Monday, October 12, 2009

Behind Handmade Ho Down- Meet the Committee

As part of the series, Behind Handmade Ho Down, we invite you to meet the committee members who have helped make this event possible.

Today we meet Rick Kitagawa, our Volunteer, Social Networking, and Graphics guru.

Rick started selling pin-back buttons on Etsy in January of 2008.  He is a San Francisco-based multi-disciplinary artist who lives and collaborates with his life/business/artistic partner, Eve Skylar, and together they form Monkey + Seal.  He has only recently started becoming more involved with the Etsy community and joined the SFEtsy street team last month.

Rick (aka Ri.S.K.) found Etsy when one of his friends asked if she could buy some of the buttons he was wearing.

"I had bought a button maker a few years back to help promote some of the theatrical shows I was part of back in college.  I was wearing one I had just made for the hell of it and my friend wanted one.  She told me that I should sell my buttons on Etsy, and the rest is history.  Kinda."  

After eventually letting his button shop drift by the wayside, Rick and Eve came up with the concept of Monkey + Seal for the San Francisco Zine Fest.  "I wasn't putting enough time into the shop, and just sorta let it die a slow, quiet death.  We were focusing on going back to school for our 2nd Bachelor's in Art (Rick has a Biology degree and Eve studied Narrative Theory), and we were approached by my friend who ran the Zine Fest.  He told me about the Fest, and we got our act together and started making zines, comics, and art for the show."

After their overwhelmingly positive reaction at the Zine Fest, Rick decided to start up a new shop and Monkey + Seal was born.  "Our name comes from our baby pictures.  When you look at us when we were kids, I'm pretty obviously a little monkey and Eve is most definitely a seal." 

Ever the overachiever, you can find out more about Rick (and Eve) at, (his wedding invitation design studio), or at (his artist site).

 "Why did I want to help start the Handmade Ho-Down?  Because I want to take over the world!!!  Just kidding.  Sort of."

Rick is the Volunteer, Social Networking, Graphics, and everything Monkey Business Chair.


  1. your bad date zine rocks rick! its been awesome working with you.

  2. WOW - that illustration is BEAUTIFUL! make my imagination go wild...
    Love it!

  3. It has been awesome working with all of YOU lovely ladies :)