Who are you and how did you start making art? Why do you make art?
I am a Japanese artist currently based in Kamakura, Japan.
I explore the possibilities of various forms of expression such as mural, painting works, and collaborative works with companies. My mother is a painter, and I have been drawing pictures with her since I was a child. I entered art school with the vague feeling that one day I would like to work as an individual in art and design. However, I didn't know how that would turn into a job. I had been exposed to a lot of art works, but I think it was because I had grown up without knowing the culture of buying them, and I had never really felt that my works could be sold. After working as an assistant for various artists, I was finally able to realize that art could be a career. It was around that time that I started to produce paintings properly.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
When I don't feel motivated, I don't try to force myself to do something. I try to take time to do whatever I'm passionate about at the time, go out, read books, etc. I believe that everything is a part of what makes you who you are. But in reality, I have deadlines, so sometimes ideas come to me when I make a schedule and push myself. Or I start moving my hands without thinking, and enjoy the process of coming up with ideas as I draw.
What is your inspiration? Or how has your personal experience influenced your creativity?
Usually, I like to read interesting books, visit galleries and exhibitions, and travel. I believe that inspiration can be found anywhere. When I am interested in something new, I love the process of researching and learning about it. I also value small curiosities because they may lead to inspiration from there. Also, by listening to other artists, I can learn things that I don't have, which helps me keep my creative level high.
How has your practice changed over the past 2 years?
I have less time to be involved with the external world, and I have started to pay more attention to my inner world than before. I used to think only about my activities and work, but I started to think that I need to take care of my mind and body as well. To be honest, I used to have too many projects going on at the same time, and I would often get burnt out. From now on, I am trying to change so that I can be more selective about what I am excited about and what I can challenge myself to do, and enjoy it to the fullest.
What is the role of an artist in society?
We can live without art in the world. However, I believe that it is the artists who make the world a richer and more diverse place.
Do you have any tips or practices to share with people who are making the lifestyle shift towards zero-waste and sustainable practices?
When you buy something, think carefully about whether you really need it or if there is something better. And when I don't need something anymore, I don't throw it away, I give it to others or sell it using apps. Also, in the area where I live, they are promoting the separation of trash, which was difficult at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature. Now that plastic bags have finally been charged for, I carry an eco-bag with me and use my own bottle to reduce the number of times I buy plastic bottles. It's difficult to practice perfectly, but if you start little by little, it will gradually become part of your daily life.
What is the highlight of collaborating with Wrappr for you?
When I first heard about wrappr, I was impressed by the fact that the historic Japanese culture of furoshiki was being developed in Canada. To be honest, young people in Japan today don't have much of a culture of using furoshiki, but I think it is something that should be used right now as a sustainable product. I am honored to have collaborated on such a wonderful project.