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Hailing from Hilo, Hawaii, artist, husband, and father, Aaron Kai brings his signature interpretation of the Hokusai Great Wave to The Original Puffy Blanket.
What’s your name, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name is Aaron Kai. I’m an Artist from Hilo, Hawaii currently living in Los Angeles.
Tell us about how you got connected with Rumpl.
I connected with Rumpl through a friend of mine who was looking for an opportunity to do a collab with an original artist. It was kinda cool having a connection with someone from Hawaii and working together on a project on the mainland like this.
Tell us what it means to work with a company like Rumpl?
Working with a company is so cool, especially when you’re working with friends. It’s been really cool to execute something on a higher level with the homies.
"Now that I have kids, it’s my responsibility to donate whatever free time I have back to the next generation of kids and hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams."
What was the process like taking your designs from canvas to product?
The process really pushed me to kind of reiterate some of my old designs. The design we did for Rumpl, we picked something that we knew resonated well with people in the past - My interpretation of the Hokusai Great Wave. We kinda revamped that design and gave it a 2023 twist.
What motivates you to create? Anything you draw inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my upbringing in Hawaii and a lot of the colors you see out there and in nature. Being from Hilo, it rains a lot and everything really grows quickly and pretty lush, so for me growing up the greens were neon green and the flowers were fluorescent yellow. Everything is so vibrant.
What’s next for you in 2023? What’s coming up?
I’ll be going back to Hilo and donating more murals. I’m excited to have more kids come and help us paint those murals and get exposure to the art world.
What I’m most excited about in 2023 is really starting to give back more. Now that I have kids, it’s my responsibility to donate whatever free time I have back to the next generation of kids and hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams.