Sunday, August 28, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 1

Time to complete the new Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge prompts! Let's go!

Day 1: How did you discover mori kei? What attracted you to the style?

I've talked about this before on the internet, but it's been a while. So let's start at the beginning!

I first discovered mori in 2013. I remember it pretty vividly. Before finding mori, I wasn't that interested in fashion. I wore jeans and t-shirts most days, was obsessed with my bright pink converse, and the only non-mainstream fashion pieces I owned were a black punk-style skirt I bought at Hot Topic and then styled once with a t-shirt, and a pair of long black lace gloves.

Enjoy some pictures of pre-mori baby Kathryn. Look at those massive lace gloves and those uggs. Oof.

In 2013, I was casually interested in anime and very interested in Japan. I can't remember exactly how, but I had come across Lolita fashion on the internet. I believe it might have been through anime art? Which I was very into at the time. I liked Lolita and spent some time lurking on Lolita LiveJournal groups like EGL and Daily Lolita. But Lolita felt out of reach for me, especially as a high school student with no money to buy fancy brand dresses. 

This was my first time trying any J-fashion. I was attempting Lolita, and the kind people at daily lolita gave me some good concrit because I clearly had no idea what I was doing. 

Being interested in Lolita, I started thinking, "Hey, are there any other Japanese fashion styles?" Which led me on a google search down the rabbit hole of J-fashion! After a few different searches, mori kei came up. And I was hooked.

I remember vividly saving a ton of pictures and running to tell my mom that I was going to change my style (my mom loves fashion and has always been my biggest supporter.) My mom was stoked, and we went to our local thrift store the next day to put together my first mori outfit. That's another story in itself, but it's safe to say that after that day, I was hooked.

The first mori outfit photo I ever saw! Very 2010s mori style. 

What attracted me to the style was its soft, feminine feel and its connection to nature. I have always loved twirly dresses, lace, anything that made me feel soft and cozy and feminine. And mori can definitely have that feel, but can also feel practical for everyday life. And growing up, nature was also an important part of my life. I spent my childhood camping, playing in the creek, climbing trees, and generally enjoying the outdoors. So a fashion that could connect with that part of my life was important to me. 

How about you? How did you first discover mori?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: 2022 Revamp

Many, many years ago (and by that I mean almost 10 years ago now wow I feel old) a tumblr user called Shady Oaks made the first and most well known list of mori prompts, known as the Mori Girl 30 Day Challenge. The prompts were very well loved and many people completed them multiple times, including myself! But by this point, the prompts are kind of old and some of them are a little too specific to the time, in my opinion. So, I thought, why not make my own list of prompts! 

I decided to use some of the original prompts, but I've also added some of my own questions to spice things up. Hopefully you enjoy, and please make sure to link me your responses if you complete this challenge!

The Prompts

  1. How did you discover mori kei? What attracted you to the style?
  2. What was your first mori outfit? Share pictures or describe it. How does it compare to your current style?
  3. What are your inspirations for your own fashion style? Do you have anyone that inspires your style? Or any themes?
  4. How does where you live influence your expression of mori kei? 
  5. Let's talk about lifestyle! What do you consider to be activities that fit a "mori lifestyle"? Do you have any "mori hobbies"?
  6. What is your favorite hairstyle to wear with mori?
  7. What season is your favorite to wear mori, and why?
  8. What trends or changes do you wish would become popular in the mori community?
  9. Name 5 things you love about mori kei.
  10. Name 5 things you dislike about mori kei.
  11. Plan an ideal "mori meetup"! What activities would you do? Where would you go? Let your imagination run wild!
  12. Have you ever been interested in, or worn, other j-fashion styles (ex. Lolita, Fairy Kei, Decora, etc.)? Do those fashion styles influence your mori style?
  13. What is your favorite place or thing in nature? Share your favorite flower, your favorite tree, or even your favorite hiking spot!
  14. Make a word cloud of the top 10-20 words that describe your mori style and life!
  15. What are your favorite books, movies, or TV shows? Do they have any mori themes?
  16. Name 5 of your favorite mori-style songs or musicians! (They can be explicitly mori, or just feel mori-inspired.)
  17. Do you play any video games, board games, etc.? If so, recommend us your favorite mori-like game!
  18. Where do you get most of your Mori clothes? Have you ever purchased a mori brand piece? 
  19. Post a photo of your favorite personal Mori coordinate. What do you like about it?
  20. Make a mood board or photo collage of images that inspire your mori style and life! You can include fashion, lifestyle, or anything else you like.
  21. Are you interested in Japanese culture? If so, how has it impacted mori kei for you? 
  22. Are you inspired by your own culture or other countries/cultures than Japan? If so, how do you incorporate them into your mori style?
  23. What’s your favorite animal and why?
  24. What’s your favorite fairy tale or myth?
  25. How do you feel about the recent cottagecore trend? Do you find it similar to mori? Have you participated in the trend?
  26. How do people react when you wear mori? Are reactions mostly positive, negative, or a mix? 
  27. What is the most difficult thing about wearing or participating in mori for you? 
  28. What is your biggest tip or trick about wearing mori? Any style hacks, shop suggestions, or so on?
  29. Have you made any mori friends? If so, how did you meet them? Let's share where we can meet with other mori folk!
  30. If you were a mythological creature, what kind of creature would you be? (ex. an elf, a centaur, a witch, etc.)
I will be completing the prompts myself! I hope you can follow along and have fun discussing mori with me! Until next time, my deers!

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Mori Challenge Draw 2022: Prompts 1-11

Quite a while back, in 2015 in fact, a lovely person who was active in the mori community at the time made a set of prompts to follow for drawing, known as the Mori Challenge. I completed the challenge ages ago on Instagram, right when I was starting to take my art more seriously. But I recently started revisiting the challenge this year. I'm working through the prompts slowly, but I felt like sharing them with you all here, including a little behind-the-scenes info and inspirations.

You can find a list to all of the prompts archived on my blog here. Feel free to try them out yourself! You can also keep track of my art on the art Instagram, forestsandtea_art!

1) Comfort Food: I have many comfort foods, but my ultimate Japanese comfort food has been curry and rice with pork katsu! The taste is so delicious, and it can easily be purchased at any family-style Japanese restaurant. So it was an obvious choice for my first piece. (Also, this was one of my first finished pieces with Procreate! It's been fun learning to use a new software.)

2) Mind Garden: This little piece features one of my (still unnamed) original creatures. The bottle is a stock image by the way, but I had fun making this cute little piece!

3) Furry Friends: Some of my favorite animals are snakes, hedgehogs, and foxes! The kanji says "森と茶" (もりとちゃ/mori to cha) which translates to my username in Japanese (forests and tea).
4) Goblin King: I can't stand goblins, so I simply drew the Goblin King crown from the Hobbit movies. I don't really care for this piece, but it did push me out of my comfort zone when it comes to drawing.

5) Memento Mori: This is a redraw of an older piece with a similar theme. Nothing special, but I messed around with different brushes. Not my usual style and probably something I won't revisit, but it was fun. 

6) Mushroom Mori: I love mushrooms and I love purple! So this was a very fun little piece. It makes me want to draw more mushrooms!

7) Winter Mori: This one was just fun. I just drew what I wanted to and I think it came out pretty cute!

8) Summer Mori: The prompt was to draw a mori swimsuit. I have swimsuits and I hate swimming, but I tried to go for a hama vibe. I left it as a sketch because I honestly couldn't be bothered to finish it.

9) Traditional: This piece is also a redraw from the previous challenge. It has a lot of personal meaning based on an ancestor of mine who had an interesting (and somewhat tragic) life. She was from the Cherokee tribe, so I based the designs on that. 

10) Favorite Color: My favorite color is purple, but I made a simple sketch for this one using a quote of an account I love.

11) Least Favorite Color: Other than beige, I dislike all the shades of colors used in this piece. But it actually turned out fine, surprisingly!
I plan on continuing this challenge in the coming months, so stay tuned for more illustrations! If you decide to try the mori challenge let me know! I'd love to see what everyone creates.