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How did you become a artist?
Since I was a little child, I always wanted to become an artist. I’ve visualized myself getting involved in the creative world probably since I was in junior high school. In 2004, I started showing my art publicly, and here I am now.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Japan.
Who were your main influences growing up?
My mother’s side of the family was comprised mainly of musicians, dancers and artists, so I was always exposed to art in many different forms. Another influence was Japanese comic books (manga), especially shoujo-manga artists. Additionally, I have been influenced by authors such as Osamu Dazai, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Shinichi Hoshi, Hermann Hesse, Robert A. Heinlein, Franz Kafka, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, to name a few.
Did you go to art school/college for art or are you self-taught?
As a child, I attended private art school for Japanese calligraphy for over 10 years and later studied Chinese calligraphy under a few notable calligraphers here in the Bay Area for another five years. Furthermore, I studied fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute, and graphic design at the California College of the Arts.
Any advice or tips to novice painters?
It’s not easy to pursue your dreams, especially in the face of hardships and criticism. I believe that something good will happen to you sooner or later as long as you don’t give up on your dreams. So even if you receive harsh criticism about your work, keep believing in yourself and keep doing what you love.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging project you have worked on?
Although this may not be the answer you’re looking for, I would like to say that I, myself, have been the most rewarding and challenging project I’ve worked on. Supporting myself with a full-time job while taking a full course load at the California College of the Arts was the most challenging experience I’ve ever had. Since I had to maintain high GPAs with a crazy amount of homework in order to keep scholarships and awards while I worked at my demanding full-time job, it was very difficult for me physically, emotionally and financially. Many times I had to work on projects through the night at school! Because of these experiences, I feel that I am better equipped to deal with the challenges in life, especially as an independent artist. If I think back now, I believe that it was the most rewarding life experience for me, at least so far!
What is your favorite portfolio piece? Why?
Currently, I have eleven series of works so it is very hard for me to choose my favorite portfolio piece out of them. I would say that my most favorite series could be the “Flower” series. In “Winter,” the black motif of dry flowers and leaves conjures images of departure, death or reincarnation while in “Spring,” the red motif of dry flowers and leaves represents dayspring, life, or beginnings. I love the images of beginnings, and endings, which are a continuous and eternal force around and within us.
What artist inspires you most?
Robert Smithson inspires me the most.