I can never quite decide which is my favourite Ghibli movie of all time but Spirited Away is definitely one of the very strongest contenders for the spot. There's just something about the aura and feel of the movie that somehow greatly resonates with me and part of that has to do with the characters. And one of the best, and most interesting characters in the movie is definitely Kaonashi, the mysterious lonely spirit that the the main character Chihiro first meets when crossing the bridge leading to the bath-house.
I was asked to create a Kaonashi iPhone 4 Case for Polagram, an awesomely talented and amazing person that I've had the good fortune to meet while on my Hooby Groovy journey. I first 'met' Polagram via Instagram when she created an iPhone case for herself inspired by my Panda iPhone case and tagged me in the photo. I was really touched and more than a little proud that my little panda creation inspired someone else to create something for themselves. Well from then on, I've been an avid follower of Polagram and she's been such a great support to my Hooby Groovy label too.
So when she asked if it was possible to create a Kaonashi iPhone case for her, I was really excited to do it. One of the favourite characters from one of my favourite movies? Heck yes!!
Several design considerations came in this. One side was always going to be Kaonashi's mask but I wondered what to do for the back. One idea was another mask, this time with a different expression, happy on the front, sad on the back. I even toyed with the back being the corrupted version of Kaonashi when he had swallowed the frog spirit in the bath house and had a big massive mouth but when I drafted it up, it scared me too much lol! In the end I went with a simple back with a soot ball and a few star-shaped lollies that they're seen eating in the movie. I sent Polagram my design proposal and she agreed to it and so I began work. Here's what it looks like:
Construction was fairly simple and straight forward, the main challenges being the small size of the case. This meant that the little cut out parts of Kaonashi's mask, like his eyes and mouth, were really different to cut and sew. But I really wanted that 3D-esque effect and I think the end result definitely looks better than if I had just gone with the easier route of embroidering everything.
Polagram recently created a video review of the case, you can check it out here:
It's the first video review of any of my Hooby Groovy creations, I'm so excited about it! :D
I really did enjoy this whole process, from pulling out my Spirited Away artbooks for reference, to listening to the Spirited Away soundtrack while drawing up the designs and all through getting Polagram's feedback and constructing the case and finally getting to watch my creation in someone else's hands and hearing what they think about it. It's an amazing feeling being able to see my creation half way across the world in a whole other continent and knowing that its new owner is happy. Big huge thanks to Polagram for this chance and I hope that one day I'll get another chance to work with Polagram on another creation. :)
Hi! My name is Ee-Leng Chang and Hooby Groovy is the name of my brand. Based in Melbourne, Australia and founded in August 2010, Hooby Groovy has now grown to include three fun and cute collections of gadget cases, designed and hand-made by me. Drawing upon pop culture, video games and all things cute, the Hooby Groovy aesthetic is fun, minimalist and cute.
Have a look around, have fun and have a lovely day! :)