i was interviewed by a malaysian design website called design enterprise. they contacted me back in june, but i had just given birth at the time so it took me awhile to finish answering their detailed questions (33 questions!). it’s good that people ask me a lot of questions because i’m not good at explaining what i do. i tend to avoid talking about it. when people ask me some questions and give me a deadline, it forces me to think about it.
they asked to use photos from my blog. i told them to use whatever images that they would like. i like how they chose images that match colour-wise and composition-wise. i like stylish design people.
anyway, here are my answers ::
DE: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Y : I was born in japan. I currently live in saskatoon, canada. I like drawing and that’s what I do.
DE : Who has been most influential in your progress as an Artist?
Y : Whoever makes me really mad. I don’t really know what is meant by “influence” in this kind of question. I don’t think about what other people are doing, and I don’t really know much about art history or theory. I draw for myself. When someone makes me mad, I draw more.
DE : When did you first think to become an artist?
Y : I’m still not sure… I’ve always had the same mindset about doing what I want to do, because I want to do it. I’ve been drawing off and on since I was a child, but I only started drawing seriously about 3 years ago. My technique has changed a lot, but my ideas are the same.
DE : What would you like to convey through your drawing? What do you want people to feel?
Y : I’m not trying to send a message. I don’t know how people will react to my work. For me, my drawings have contradictions and mixed emotions, so I can’t say anything clear about them. Maybe some people will just want to take a cold shower after looking at my drawings.
DE : What material or tools do you use for your drawings? Do you intend to experiment with other materials or tools in the near future?
Y : I like to use colour pencils, because they are adorable. Anybody can use them if they want to try. At the same time, there are so many things you can do with just pencils – so many possibilities in pencils. Colouring with colour pencils, you have to start with light colours and add in the darkness. That’s the direction i like.
DE : How long is the duration needed for you to produce an artwork from scratch?
Y : It takes me longer when I do more colouring. It only takes me a couple minutes to do the drawing as outlines. Some of my bigger drawings took just a couple hours, some took a few days.
DE : Any kinds of new style are you going to try?
Y : I try to stick with a nonchalant style – accidental drawings. When I try too hard, my drawings are not my best. When a random image comes to mind and i enjoy drawing it, the result is very good. I think because I’m just enjoying the experience of drawing and not trying to come up with a specific result. The more you draw, the easier it is to get trapped in the “working too hard” mode.
DE : Do you sell the printable version or original artwork of yours?
Y : I started selling my work at street fairs and art festivals when i came to Saskatoon. I also opened an online shop in 2006. People from around the world can come to my online shop and buy my prints, original drawings, postcards, and useless toys.
DE : Where do you get your inspiration from?
Y : Images appear in my mind whenever I’m sad, mad, happy, hurt, or sentimental – which happens a lot. I don’t have any tricks to come up with ideas. I spend most of my time lost in my own mind. Ideas just come to me as I’m going through my daily life, even though I can’t see the connection between what I’m doing and those images. As soon as I get an image, I try to draw it right away. I don’t think much about what it means. I just start drawing, paying attention to my technique, the colours, and the facial expressions. What you see in my drawings is what I’ve got in my mind.
DE : Mind to share with us the work that you are most proud of?
Y : It’s a drawing called “my secret elephant”. I wanted to draw the girl’s face looking so peaceful, and it came out exactly how I had it in mind. I love her expression.
DE : Do you involve in any form of collaboration with other designer or artist? If yes, what is it?
Y : No. I’m not good at working with other people.
DE : How long did it take for you to develop your own style? How does it begin?
Y : I didn’t have an “ideal style” in mind when I started drawing. From the beginning, I never drew backgrounds, because I thought they would interfere with the focus on the main figures in my drawing. When you look at someone you really love, you don’t notice the background, anyway.
DE : From your point of view, what is the difference between Japanese design from any other country in the East?
Y : I’m not sure.
DE : Which is your next Asian country’s design you would like to pay more attention?
Y : I don’t know.
DE : Have you come across any talented and bright artist that we should pay attention on him/her?
Y : I like eric bostrom’s work. He has a website : http://diversionmary.com. He uses ballpoint pens like magic – very very beautiful.
DE : What is art to you?
Y : Art is like being a farmer. I’m farming my brain and my heart and my hand to grow something. After that, it’s up to other people to cook it in different recipes and digest it for themselves.
DE : Does your work as an artist affects your lifestyle? How?
Y : It means i can stay at home with my baby and still do the work i want to do.
DE : Are you working on anything special right now?
Y : I’m working on drawings for a group show in portland, oregon.
DE : Are you satisfied with your current achievement?
Y : I don’t know. I like most of my drawings, and I want to keep drawing. I don’t know how I’ll change what I’m doing. New people keep discovering my work online, and whenever I show in a new location. Some of them email me and say my drawings made their day. I think that’s my achievement and I’m very happy about it. I want to show my work to as many people as possible.
DE : What is the biggest satisfaction for an artist?
Y : When people look right into my eyes and tell me how much they love my drawings.
DE : What is your new experience of lives since you have a newcomer?
Y : You mean the baby? Life has been super-terrific with my baby. Everything about it is new for me and everything is interesting, even when I’m tired or it’s difficult.
DE : What is your life purpose?
Y : To become a good person. I mean a really good person, not just nice.
DE : What would be a special treat for you?
Y : Going back to japan with my family.
DE : What is your viewpoint on relationship?
Y : I don’t have a viewpoint. I do believe in love at first sight, because it happened to me.
DE : Are you’re a right-handed or left-handed person? Does it affect your creativity?
Y : I’m right-handed. I wish I had a middle arm. My creativity would be more balanced.
DE : Are you coffee lover or tea lover?
Y : I drink water or milk.
DE : Which country you would like to visit? Why?
Y : I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. I’m saving all my pennies to go there.
DE : How can you make the world a better place to live?
Y : I wish I knew how to answer this.
DE : What can’t you live without?
Y : Paul – my husband.
DE : What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
Y : Tuesday – It’s an underrated day…
DE : What books or magazines do you normally read? Why?
Y : I like non fiction. I don’t usually pay attention to reality, so I’m always surprised to find out the truth about something.
DE : From the elements, which are Sky, Tree, River, Sea, Cloud, Mountain and Wing, which best describes you? Why?
Y : I’m a cloud, because I keep changing my mind.
DE : Word of advice to all the artists and designers out there?
Y : Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. Just do what you want.