May 27, 2022
How does one get a job at one of the most sought after positions in the mokuhanga community, Mokuhankan, and go on to be a large part of the success of the company while there?
Cameron Hilker did just that.
We don't make mokuhanga alone. We ask advice, search out tutorials, workshops, and have mokuhanga conversations with each other. But when your business has many moving parts and is expanding everyday, then things can become a little more complicated.
On this episode of The Unfinished Print I speak with Cameron Hilker, who worked with David Bull at Mokuhankan from 2017-2022, as Business Operations and Social Media Marketing Manager. Cameron's work with David Bull and Mokuhankan was important work for the rise of mokuhanga and the new found interest in the making and production of the Japanese woodblock print.
Notes: may contain a hyperlink. Simply click on the highlighted word or phrase.
David Bull - is a Canadian woodblock printmaker, and educator who lives and works in Japan. His love of mokuhanga has almost singlehandedly promoted the art form around the world. His company, Mokuhankan, has a brick and mortar store in Asakusa, Tōkyō, and online, here.
Jed Henry - is an American artist and graphic designer. His work with woodblock prints is as designer. He works with Mokuhankan, as well as various other mokuhanga artists who carve/laser, and print his designs. His work under the Ukiyo-e Heroes banner is very popular.
Ukiyo-e Heroes - is a series of designs created by Jed Henry, collaborating with the woodblock printing house, Mokuhankan, in Tōkyō. Starting in 2012, Ukiyo-e Heroes has expanded year after year with many different designs. You can find more information, here.
Provo, Utah - is the fourth largest city in the United States. It has a large Mormon community. It is close to beautiful canyons and nature.
Mokuhankan - is a brick and mortar woodblock print shop located in Asakusa, Tōkyō. It is a learning and working space, where it sells the works of artist Jed Henry, master carvers of the past, and various print series. All are printed and carved by Mokuhankan printmakers and carvers. Started by printmaker David Bull as a way to sell his own series and reprints of old carvers of the past, Mokuhankan has grown exponentially over the years and is a must visit when coming to Tōkyō. More info, here.
Tsukuba Express Line - founded in 2005 this train line services two Prefectures (Tōkyō and Ibaraki) within the Kantō Region of Japan. The Kantō Region consists of the following Prefectures: Tōkyō, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Chiba and Kanagawa.
Infestation Print - from the Ukiyo-e Heroes series. Designed by Jed Henry and carved and printed by Mokuhankan, Tōkyō.
Kickstarter - started in 2009, Kickstarter is an online platform and Public Benefit Corporation used to promote and raise money for independent projects which cannot receive funding by other means.
ukiyo-e - is a multi colour woodblock print generally associated with the Edo Period (1603-1867) of Japan. What began in the 17th Century as prints of only a few colours, evolved into an elaborate system of production and technique into the Meiji Period (1868-1912). With the advent of photography and other forms of printmaking, ukiyo-e as we know it today, ceased production by the late 19th Century.
anime - is a term associated with Japanese animation. Japanese animation first began in 1917, but became famous to the West in the 1950's with Tōei Dōga. Nippon.com has a fine history of anime, here.
David Bull's Twitch - his stream can be found, here, titled Japanese Printmaking.
Twitch - was created from its previous platform Justin.tv in 2011. It focuses on gaming.
Wisconsin, United States - located in the mid-west of the United States and became a U.S state in 1848. It was originally inhabited by the Mississippi and Oneota peoples.
Early Japanese COVID Protocols - Japan currently is one of the last affluent democratic countries to open their borders to tourism. Early in the pandemic, Japan prevented many Japanese nationals, and foreign citizens, from re-entering the country. This went on for most of 2020, and all of 2021. This also adapted with the different SARS-CoV variants. JNTO has more information, here.
Don Quijote - also known as DONKI, is a a large discount store founded in 1995, and is located throughout most major cities in Japan and Asia, today.
Okutama - is a city located near the Okutama Mountains in Western Tōkyō.
Ōme - is a city located near the Okutama Mountain in Western Tōkyō.
Tsushima Yasue - is a printmaker who works at Mokuhankan and has been with the company since 2011.
Yoko Ishikawa - is a printmaker who works at Mokuhankan.
Ayumi Ohashi - is a printmaker working at Mokuhankan.
Ayumi Shiba - is a printmaker working at Mokuhankan.
Your First Print: David Bull - this was the first DVD I ever purchased on how to make mokuhanga. This was in 2007. While I look back at that time thinking about why I didn't take it up as seriously as I do now, I sometime wonder, "Where would I be now in my Mokuhanga journey?" I realize that that is a redundant way of thinking. I am where I am now today, and to be happy with just that. You can still find this product on Dave's website.
Pikachu - is an electric-like Pokéman first appearing in 1996.
Mario - is a video game character created by Shigeru Miyamoto. Famous for the Mario Bros. Nintendo video games. The print by Mokuhankan with Mario, called The Rickshaw Cart was the first print in the Ukiyo-e Heroes series.
Link - is a character from the Nintendo video game series the Legend of Zelda, first seen in 1986. the Mokuhankan woodblock print starring this character is called The Hero Rests.
The Fourth Wall - is a term in the performing arts which separates us from what we are watching on screen or on the stage. If the actor begins to speak to the audience, they are "breaking the fourth wall" and are bringing us into the story.
woodblock.com - is one of the first websites created by David Bull in order to describe the process of Japanese woodblock printmaking in English. It was and is an asset for those of us continuing the art form today.
The Japan Times - the oldest newspaper in Japan, and first printed in 1897.
Yomiuri Shimbun - is a Japanese newspaper founded in 1874 and is considered a conservative newspaper.
US Time zones - there are nine times zones in the United States. They are as follows - Atlantic Standard Time, Eastern Standard Saving Time, Central Daylight Saving Time, Mountain Standard Time, Pacific Daylight Saving Time, Alaska Daylight Saving Time, Hawaiian Aleutian Standard Time, Samoa Standard Time, and Chamorro Standard Time.
karoshi (過労死) - is the Japanese word for "death by overwork."
Haneda Airport (羽田空港) - is one of two International airports (Narita International in Chiba Prefecture is the other) which supports travel into Japan. First built in 1931 from reclaimed land in Tōkyō, it was the primary International airport to and from Japan form 1978-2010.
Sensō-ji Temple - is the crown jewel of Asakusa in Tōkyō. The oldest temple in Tōkyō, it holds the image of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The entire property of Sensō-ji is heavily touristed and has many shops (nakamise) and places to visit.
Asakusa, Tōkyō - is a famous part of Tōkyō with restaurants, festivals, shops, shopping arcades, places to purchase anything from Buddhist statues, to pots and pans (Kappabashi). You can see kabuki theatre and buy woodblock prints. It is a special place.
toro (灯籠) - is the name of traditional lanterns.
kappabashi - is the avenue located near Ueno and is in the Asakusa area of Tōkyō. It is famous for servicing restaurants with their wide array of kitchen utensils like pots, pans, etc.
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opening and closing credit music - The Promise Ring - Everywhere In Denver (1996) from the album 30 Degrees Everywhere.
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***The opinions expressed by guests in The Unfinished Print podcast are not necessarily those of André Zadorozny and of Popular Wheat Productions.***