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Made in Chicago: Go Buggy

By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 11, 2008 10:10PM

2008_07_GoBuggy-gyoza.jpgOne thing we never thought we'd own is inedible food. But Go Buggy's Gyoza Dinner set (pictured) has changed our mind. The hand-sewn details and bright colors make us want to both squeeze those mushrooms and then promptly devour them.

Go Buggy, a.k.a. Machiko Munakata, 33, is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She came to Illinois for graduate school and afterward she decided to move to Chicago to find a job. She has lived in Chicago for three years, and is currently residing in the north burbs with her husband, children and sewing machine, Ethel. Machiko's awesome felt and polyfil food is mostly Japanese inspired yakisoba, grilled tofu, and Japanese eggplants, but she also makes eggs, lemons, apples, and oranges.

We gave Machiko the MiC questionnaire, and she filled us in on her color theory of the world, how crafting keeps her sane, and her dark fast food secret.

Chicagoist: How do you make your art stand out from everyone else?

Machiko: I often confront the notion that everything has been done before us. After I go through this thought process, I always conclude by believing that if I really love what I do, I can survive to make it my own.

C: Where do you want to go with your art? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

M: My background is in Ceramics. I started to make the food out of felt when my first baby was born. I was overwhelmed and stopped ceramics since I just couldn’t balance the two. But then, I started to mess around with stuff I had around the house while my baby was napping. I was always in love with clay but I realized that material is just a vehicle for me to just keep making things to maintain my sanity. In 5 years, I would still like to be making what I think that are cool and improving my skills.

C: How did you start making stuff?

M: I always liked art classes in schools. I wish I can pinpoint when but when I realized, there was nothing else I would rather do than to make stuff.

C: Why is the sky blue?

M: I think if it was green, it would look moldy. If it was brown, I think it would be too muddy. If it was red, it would look bloody…. Hmm..

C: What does your process look like?

M: A total mess. But I know where everything is. Okay, not really.

C: What is the best thing about Go Buggy?

M: My mistakes are my own to clean up and won’t inconvenience anyone else.

C: Tell us a secret…

M: I act like and believe fast food is the poison of our society though I have gone through their drive-thru windows several times myself. How terrible is that?

C: What does the Chicago art scene look like?

M: I think there are lots of opportunities for emerging and established artists. There are pockets of gallery districts all over Chicago, and I always see all ages attending openings. There are functions at the Art Institute, amazing number of art and craft fairs in summer time, several art great centers, and SOFA at Navy Pier…. I think the art scene is alive and kicking.

C: Where do you see that culture going?

M: I hope it continues to thrive.

C: What advice for beginners who want to sell their stuff?

M: Keep at it. Cultivate what you love and know best. Try to improve when you think can’t. Rejection is not so bad.

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