The practice of budo – Japanese martial arts – has a positive impact on people’s quality of life. Yet the threshold for entering a dojo can be high, especially for people from minority groups. Therefore, my aim is to create graphic designs that show people that budo is for everyone.

My apprenticeship at VRMGN in Utrecht, the Netherlands, kindly allowed me to follow the Domestika course “Creating an Illustrated Brand: From the Idea to Merchandising” by Vania Bachur. Thus the illustrated brand BudoGirl was born, with images of women and girls in various types of Japanese martial arts.

Thee look and feel of the collection is cheerful and positive. BudoGirl is happy, not aggressive. She loves martial arts, vegan “milk” and sushi, cats and fruits. She also likes the sun, moon, stars, planets, flowers, mountains and rainbows. Her colours are all sorts of blue, plus purple, black, off-white, yellow and sometimes pink.

Supporting elements are Japanese calligraphy (shodo and sumi-e), like the enso circle, and empowering feminist quotes.

It is my wish that these products will inspire, encourage and empower female budoka.

Martine Mussies, Utrecht 2021

Click the banner above to look at some t-shirts, sweaters and hoodies featuring KendoGirl. More designs will be added soon!