Birthday Interviews Pt 3: Marceline from Asking For Trouble

Asking for Trouble is my favourite purveyor of kawaii characters, it seems like Marceline can make anything cute – from a planet to an aubergine!

Since we also both have a love of Japan I asked Marceline to contribute her top 10 tips on what to do in Tokyo for our 10th Birthday Zine, and I can’t wait to put some of them into action on my next visit.

Of course we asked Marceline to answer our 10 questions interview and here are her replies…

Did you have a childhood career ambition?

I wanted to be an astronaut! My parents let me stay up to see Halley’s comet when I was 11 and I still have my lovely vintage Japanese telescope I got for Christmas a year or two later. There’s little chance I’ll make into space now, but I can at least draw the Solar System.

Marceline can make anything cute!

Marceline can make anything cute!

What is your favourite colour? Does this impact your designs at all?

My favourite colour is grey, so that really doesn’t work with my kawaii designs. I find I always default to blue but I also like to combine lots of bright colours in my artwork, as well as my outfits and home decoration.

If you could go on holiday anywhere tomorrow where would it be?

Japan. Always Japan. I miss Tokyo so badly, but I would also like to visit Kagoshima on the southern island – it’s sub-tropical and has an active volcano – what more do you need?

What is the best place to visit in the town/city you live?

I’ve only lived in Helensburgh for 7 months but it’s got to be the seafront. The views over the Clyde are lovely in all weathers, the Waverley paddle steamer stops by in the summer and there are multiple ice cream parlours (try Dino’s), chip shops and charity shops.

Helensburgh Sea Front

Helensburgh Sea Front

Tell us one thing we’d never know about you?

I’m half Dutch and my family’s windmill Het Pink ( is a working museum in Zaandam. You can even view a bust of my Great-Great-Grandfather in the windmill museum!

Marceline's Family WIndmill - Het Pink

Marceline’s Family Windmill – Het Pink

If you weren’t doing this for a living what would you like to do?

I would like to work in an antiquarian bookshop or a very specialist library so that I could spend all day reading about 1950s expeditions and studying out of date maps.

What music/radio etc do you listen to when you’re working?

I find English lyrics extremely distracting when I’m trying to work so I mostly listen to J-Pop (Perfume, Capsule, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu) and instrumental bands (Mogwai, Errors, Tortoise).

Who is your biggest artistic inspiration?

Far too many to mention! If I had to pick one, I’d go with Bill Drummond, who’s been such an amazing cantankerous hero of mine for decades. He doesn’t directly inspire my work, but he reminds me that making art is a form of madness and that you should never follow the rules if you’ve got a better idea.

Do you have a favourite feel good film of all time. What is it?

Probably My Neighbour Totoro. I saw it at the cinema about ten years ago and was completely charmed and then spent many hours trying to win a copy of the DVD off eBay. I love all the Ghibli films and can watch them endlessly but Totoro is so simple and perfect.

Do you have a favourite quote or phrase?

Say aye tae a pie!

I must say I loved these answers, especially the windmill one! How cool is that?!

Remember you can get a copy of our zine – find out how >here< and you can visit Asking For Trouble at

Rachael x

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