Jake Wiens got a chance to catch up with Wyatt about their trip to Japan for Catch & Flow 2016:
Jake: Yo Wyatt! We are back in the states after an epic trip for Catch & Flow. You were all over the place. From late night sessions to the podium on the main stage at Catch & Flow. Lets talk about your trip. How many times have you been to Japan now? It seems like you are a regular.
Wyatt: Wassup Jake. Yeah this trip to Japan was epic. As of this trip it has been my 4th time to Japan now, I swear each trip seems to get better and better. Once you start to understand how to ride the train, order your dinner, and find the venue it’s a lot easier to feel less like a tourist and more at home haha!
Jake: What makes Japan trips so epic for you?
Wyatt: Everything! Most of the time you are there you don’t get to just hangout. Each day the crew mobs to different places. Some days I would just find sick film spots and grind, others with the whole KUSA crew checking out the city (sometimes shopping with Weins&Fuegz), playing ken with Nobu, clubbing with the GT Crew, being there with the COTK team, climbing roofs with Bonz, Competing etc. Almost everything you do there is just so insane haha! You are always on your feet, always moving. It’s a lot at first yeah, but Japan really is the most epic place for a kendama player.
Jake: What specifically is special about Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Catch & Flow is a very special and unique freestyle event. Its not world cup, it’s the gritty, cutthroat, do or die world championships. You give it all you got and hope to come out on top, but sometimes you don’t. No one is telling you what tricks to do, or giving you a list to practice, you choose how you want to play kendama, you choose the tricks that you want to do and you choose how you want them to look. The next guy does the same thing and then the judges decide who was the dopest.
Jake: How was it battling Fish in the finals? I was on stage right next to you guys and I could hardly contain myself it was so epic.
Wyatt: Amazing! I love Fish, I have been playing with him for years now. It makes me really happy knowing that he is a great friend of mine. Going against him in the finals of Catch & Flow was so great! Both of us were pretty nervous, we both wanted to give a great performance and show whoever watched the finals how sick kendama is. I think we both laced hard and gave a good show for everyone. So knowing that, it was just sick to be up on that stage experiencing that with such a close friend of mine.
Jake: I have never seen you so stoked during a contest. What made your stoke level 11 during this battle?
Wyatt: Haha I dunno! I guess I was just really stoked that I was lacing all my tricks. It’s a lot of pressure being on stage and its hard sometimes to really focus in and land the tricks that I want to. But during this comp I dunno, I just felt good, like I was in my natural habitat. I took all my nerves and tried to use them as fuel. Instead of being so nervous it just got me more excited I was able to stay positive . After that all the pressure lifted and I felt comfortable to go for what I wanted to and what I thought was fun.
Jake: What was the craziest thing you saw this trip to Japan?
Wyatt: The Underground BMX Battle at Club Asia was pretty insane. Nobu hopped on the mic and started MCing it! Then after words when we hopped on stage and started lacing! That was so wild!
Jake: What are your plans for next years Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Stay Hungry!
Jake: Give the kids one piece of advise on how to never be soft.
Wyatt: Always play kendama how you want to. And work hard, forward moons ain’t easy!
“I never want to stop creating. I hope I get to spend every day being an artist.” – Madison Morabito aka Painted Bluu
Madison Morabito aka “Painted Bluu” just dropped her newest custom “The Kaleidoscope”. We took some time to talk about her life as an artist and to get to know her a little bit better.
What inspired you want to paint this design on a tama?
Painted Bluu: As an artist I’ve always tried to expand the surfaces I’ve worked on and to me a tama was the perfect challenge. Whether it be painting, drawing, wood burning. I wanted to apply my medium to this less common surface.
How many different designs have you done on damas?
Painted Bluu: I’ve done about 10 design lines since I started painting kendamas about 2 years ago, and I’ve painted countless customs!
How did you begin painting?
Painted Bluu: As a child I watched my father painting comic book strips, his talent made me want to be an artist. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I picked up a paint brush and it’s been my passion since.
Are you in school?
Painted Bluu: I’m currently a printmaking major at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR.
What drives you to create paintings, drawings, and tattoos?
Painted Bluu: The endless possibilities. As an artist your job never stops. Everyday I am inspired to create something new, something better. While I do paint and draw nearly everyday, I’m excited to begin my tattooing journey! Lately I’ve found my biggest inspirations in tattoo artist John Larsons work, and some of my favorite printmakers. I’ve been very into American Traditional style tattoo work, learning how to convert everything to that style. I also am heavily influenced by middle eastern art, I use a lot of organic shapes in my mandala works.
What’s the craziest thing you painted on?
Painted Bluu: The craziest thing I’ve painted on is either a saw or a skate deck, both were crazy sick to do! I love painting on unique surfaces!
Do you have a muse?
Painted Bluu: Right now what’s pushing me to be my best is so rise above and beyond in the tattoo community, I want to hone in on my painting skills and be able to produce perfect flash pieces.
What has to be going on while your creating?
Painted Bluu: Music for sure! Brand new and Tiny Moving Parts all day, nothing pushes me more than that!
How would you define your style?
Painted Bluu: Id say currently my style is aimed towards the American Traditional tattoo style, but overall I’ve always had a very middle eastern art style to my work. Creating mandalas are a huge passion for me. The symmetry is comforting.
What is your Pokémon go team?
Painted Bluu: MYSTIC FOR LIFE, in my free time I run every gym I encounter. Often with P0WAH0USE
When your not Painting or drawing, what are you up to?
Painted Bluu: Inmy free time I am hiking. I love being submerged in nature.
Painted Bluu: My favorite kendama players… Stephanie Lussier, she’s my favorite person on earth, Wyatt of course, and my DKT boys ❤️
What’s next for Painted Bluu?
Painted Bluu: I never want to stop creating. I hope I get to spend everyday being an artist.