AHSC Featured Vendor – Monkey + Seal

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Editor’s Note: From handcrafted jewelry, fabric hand bags made with Asian inspired prints to Asian influenced apparel and creative home decorations, AsianWeek will be featuring Asian-inspired Arts and Crafts vendors each Tuesday to kick off the summer festival season and into the fall.

The featured vendors all have previously participated in the Asian Heritage Street Celebration (AHSC) – the largest pan Asian street fair nationwide that takes place the third Saturday of every May in San Francisco.

Produced by the AsianWeek Foundation, the AHSC is committed to supporting and promoting these creative and hardworking craftsmen vendors who may otherwise not get the online attention and exposure they deserve.

Monkey + Seal
Monkey + Seal is the collaboration between San Francisco-based artists Rick Kitagawa & Eve Skylar. Both artists have been drawing since they were kids, doodling on printer paper with crayons.  As kids, Kitagawa’s wide ears and big eyes & Skylar’s round face, large eyes, and penchant for the water resembled those of a Monkey and a Seal, respectively. This ultimately became the basis for the name of their future business.

 

After meeting in UC Berkeley’s Asian American theater troupe in 2005, the two realized that they were passionate about art, not English or Integrative Biology. Studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for their second bachelors degrees, they both realized that their true dream was to change the world for a better through their art. But they themselves were a bit indefinable: Skylar studied visual development for film and games, but found work in illustration and a love for painting. Rick studied illustration, but found himself in the printmaking and painting studios most of the time, and both ended up doing graphic design work on the side.

Monkey + Seal was thus born to create a space for these two artists who are part of a growing generation of individuals who are not fine artists nor illustrators nor animators nor designers, but are an indistinguishable mix of all of the above. Their products include handprinted silkscreen microfiber ties of bold colors and designs with local flavors, intricate and detailed prints, and tshirts with colorful designs.

With Monkey + Seal, Kitagawa and Skylar have decided that they want to bring other artists up with them on their quest towards changing the world, and have resolved to become “Artists Empowering Artists”.

For more information about Monkey + Seal or to purchase their products please visit  www.monkeyandseal.com. They will also be at the Alternative Press Expo (www.comic-con.org/ape) in San Francisco on October 1st and 2nd.

About the Author

Tiffany Louie is an Asian American born in San Francisco, obsessed with SF Giants baseball, Hello Kitty, good food, politics, and dogs (not necessarily in that order).