I’m sure you all have seen Oktak’s brightly colored frame pouches and purses and love them as much as I do. Well, today for Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx I am intertaining Oktak’s designer and maker, Aki Takada. Aki was born in Tokyo, but now calls New York City home and she likes to share pictures of her adopted home on her flickr page. Aki also studied handbag design & construction at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and she has been sharing her lovely creations since 2005.
1. What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?
oktak – I create bags & pouches of all sizes and shapes, but I think I’m best known for my frame pouches. After quitting an intense job with the Japanese Foreign Ministry, I had an epiphany and decided to take a course in handbag design & construction at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I started creating my own line in 2005, and registered my business in Jan 2007.
2. What are your inspirations in your art and life?
Inspiration is everywhere, but a lot of the time, I find a gorgeous textile and it speaks for itself (it will tell me what it wants to be made into). Other than that, nature (flowers & sea creatures are especially intriguing), my kids’ drawings (their use of color and bizarre ideas simply amaze me), illustrations, product packaging, vintage kimonos and photography among other things.
3. Were you an arty craftsy kid?
Yes, I’ve always been creative. As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a “manga” artist. I drew lots of “manga” and made original comic books – they must still be somewhere in my parents’ house. I also started to sew at an early age, and remember sewing my first doll at 7. Since then, I’ve made everything from felt plushies to room shoes to handknit sweaters.
4. What three things would you want to be able to have if you were on a deserted island? Beyond the basics of survival.
The complete works of J.S.Bach, sketch book and huge set of prismacolor markers and a piano (this is my other passion).
5. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
I don’t follow any blogs on a regular basis, apart from those of my family and friends. Sadly, I just don’t have the time – but I do check out various blogs sporadically.
I shop a lot on Etsy. Now I buy jewelry and paper goods exclusively on Etsy, and try to buy gifts there too as much as I can.
6. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
Book: Blunder by Zach Shore
Movie (most recently seen): Food Inc.
Listening: Antonio Carlos Jobim
7. What’s new? Any products or projects you’d like to share?
I’m preparing to open a second shop on Etsy 🙂 This one will be for babies & kids. I’m hoping to make tiny backpacks & book bags for the little guys