Meekiyu are tiny origami people made into fun little ornaments, magnets and precious unique keepsakes by artist Li.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Li.
I originally made them for an Art Auction and since I had so much beautiful origami left over I made origami versions of my boyfriend and I and my family. My family and bf thought they were so cute. I've always been creating and drawing since I was five, trying new techniques.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Just to sit on my desk and create is my favorite thing. It's something I am not obligated to do but requires so much time and work. There's a difference between wanting to do something and having to do it. My art and craft is something I love to do.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
The biggest challenge is pricing. It's very hard to price your own work because you know how much work goes into it but on the other hand you want it to be reasonable so people would purchase it. The misconception about my origami dolls is that it's just fold a piece of paper and glue stuff. It's far from simple... I love to tailor each origami doll to the person, from the face, eyes, likes and dislikes.
I remember making a cute couple that had on removable bike helmets and a Harvey Davidson bike on the back to celebrate their anniversary. That's hard to price.
What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Oh it would be the Red Lover's Knot. Reason is I'm not into getting presents of the latest technology or clothes or w/e. People always say I'm hard to buy for because I don't want anything. I do love and cherish unique things that has a meaning behind it. The Red Lover's Knot is based on Chinese myth that everyone is connected to their soul mate by a red string that cannot be broken. I think it's something heartwarming and makes me go "awww"
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Actually when I was kid it was either going to be an artist or a paleontologist because I loved dinosaurs! Still do!
What other shops or artists out there do you love?
Artists I love are Tomie DePaola the children's illustrator who did those Strega Nona series. Another artist/animator/director is Hayao Miyazaki who is behind such movies as Spirited Away and my all time favorite My Neighbor Totoro.
I have so many shops I love especielly the talented ones from the NewNewTeam a bunch of artist and crafters from the tristate area. There is a whole load of talent there. Another shop is Kwan which is a jewelry shop of these modern quirky little items. I have two pairs of earrings and they're so deliciously fresh.
What does your future hold?
In the future I hope to expand my shops and be able to continue what I love to do and also get my medical Tech license. Always love helping people whether it's healing the body or soothing the soul.
Find out more about the Meekiyu at meekiyua.etsy.com and Meekiyua.blogspot.com. You can also catch Li at the Brooklyn Indie Market on November 14th.