I created a blog with a 12 year old girl from Hong Kong when I was 14. I designed the graphics and wrote editorials until I was 18. It was a help blog for a game called Poptropica. Along with it, an enormous community developed from around the world, and every reader that said “Thank you”, I still cherish today.
I know firsthand how quickly a culture can become central to your life, and the people that share it. I had a passion for blogging and gaming when I was young. I struggle to find the time now. But I still have a passion for watching anime, learning about its influences on western animation; borrowing manga and feeling overjoyed or worried when they’re devised for the silver screen; and drawing, copying the styling’s of Akira Toriyama (Dragonball), chibi, online devised comic webstrips, and everything else that made me draw so harshly. These interests are a part of my identity, so much so that I sometimes wish I was Asian.
Currently, my obsession is on Pepakura or Papercraft (model). I’m fascinated with the intricate designs, the detail and precision needed to create models, and the artist’s vision to create a paper toy that conveys movement or expression through its structure. These toys are designed by artists around the world, like Shin Tanaka from Japan. I thought I could focus my research on this subculture of creativity, but I’m concerned that it is primarily an offline medium. However, it is a special art, one that is distributed online, edited, collaborated, and then printed and made by you. There are many communities and organisations designing and sharing paper models based on popular culture or original creations. I hope to discover these communities through the lens of autoethnography and share my explorations with you. I will be updating my research on Twitter which you can follow by searching #2EDIGC.