Though playful in nature, Hiné Mizushima’s needle felted creations aren’t meant to be played with. Exhibited in galleries in the US, Australia, and Japan, and featured in books and magazines, as well as commissioned for campaigns and publications, they’re better described as soft sculptures than toys.
Born in Japan, Mizushima majored in Japanese traditional painting before working as a designer and Illustrator in Tokyo. But after some moving around, she found she was much more drawn to craft than art. Now based in Vancouver, Canada, she describes herself as a slow crafter, with her work including needle felting, miniature collage making, and stop-motion animation videos.
As part of her work, Mizushima has been commissioned to make music videos for the band They Might Be Giants, and has made miniature collages for several book covers in Japan.
“It takes a long time to make a needle-felted piece,” she remarked in an interview with Frankie, “especially for me (I’m a slow crafter). It has also crippled me! (Seriously, I have been having a problem in my shoulder and arm for months!)”
“My work is a bit retro, twisted, fun, colorful, nerdy, and cute (but in questionable taste),” she adds. “Luckily I usually make what I want. And I hope my work can make people smile!”
Indeed, if her work doesn’t make you smile, we regret to say that nothing will.