The world of Instagram is amazing especially when you find someone like Araki. A super talented illustrator with a style to die for. Every picture she post inspires me in some way and that made me feel I just had to contact her. That lead to a collaboration but I didn´t feel that was enough so I also asked her if I could do a interview with her as I really wanted to know more about her story.
Interview with the amazing Araki Koman ;
(Photo by Kirico Ueda 1)
Hi Araki , how are you today?
Hi Stina, I am great. Thank you for having me on your blog !
Describe your style with 3 words?
I would say minimalist, playful and I guess multicultural.
What inspires you the most?
I am deeply inspired by the world’s diversity. Humans and their uniqueness. We are all different, yet so similar at so many levels. That’s definitely my favorite subject to draw. There’s no right or wrong way to do it as there’s no such thing as perfection in nature. That’s something you realize when travelling from one continent to another, perspective changes everything. Beauty in one place can be the epitome of ugliness in another place. Realizing this definitely freed me so much !
I have also been curating a Pinterest account for years now, that I use to collect imagery showcasing traditional and contemporary aesthetics from all over the world. I have boards from fashion, interior, body adornment, folklore to different types of faces and hairstyles. My Pinterest boards are my main source of inspiration for making illustrations but also many other aspects of my life.
(Photo by Kirico Ueda 1)
I think you have a very original and personal expression in your art. How did you find your own style?
It’s a very long process and I feel like I am not quite there yet! (laughs)
I think we could separate this journey in 3 main phases:
1 – CHILDHOOD
Since I was a child, drawing was a second nature to me. I was drawing all the time, using a lot of colours and different mediums. I was shy but I was confident in my creative abilities and used drawing as a way to communicate and show my affection to people around me. My goal was to make a career in Illustration.
2 - TEEN YEARS – EARLY ADULTHOOD
As a teen, I started lacking confidence in myself, my talent and my ability to make a living from my passion. It only took one rejection from an art school to give up on my dream, and choose to pursue Business as a career instead. From that moment, I completely stopped drawing from 15 to 25 years old.
3 – TODAY
Shortly after graduating from a Master’s degree in International Marketing in 2010, I went back to school a year later for a year Graphic Design course in the hope to reconnect with my childhood passion. From 2014, I transitioned from Graphic Design to Illustration with baby steps. I found a pen I liked and felt comfortable using (in my case the black MUJI pen 0.38), and sticked to it all the way for everything I was drawing.
I started with meditative drawing and made my first series of abstract characters (SOULFUL series). When I felt a bit more confident, I started making a bit more realistic characters still using the same pen and colour and I gradually added more and more details to each of them, slowly but surely over the past years. Until few months ago, I thought black and white fine line drawing would be my signature forever but lately I’ve felt more and more pushed to add texture, even more details, experiment with new mediums and…add colour. I am in the middle of it now and to be honest it feels scary… but necessary. I feel like it’s a cycle and I am finally back to where my 15 year old self stopped few years ago. Of course many new influences and experiences came along the way and made me evolve in many ways ; nonetheless, my favourite topic are still the same: fashion, humans and more specifically women. How funny !
What tips do you have to those who struggle finding theirs?
Go with the flow. Pick a tool you feel most comfortable with and keep drawing with it until you get bored. Then try new mediums and increasingly expand your comfort zone whenever what you do feels too easy and lack excitement. What helped me is also finding things that inspire me in many different cultures and disciplines and find ways to somehow implement them into my work.
Tell me little bit about your future dreams/goals?
I have so many, it’s overwhelming ! (laughs). For now, the most important goal for me is getting my Working Holiday Visa and move to Japan in 2017. The rest will follow…
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
( Pattern made for Radical Chic)
I really like the singularity, aesthetics and music of Björk.
What is your favorite*piece of jewellery?
I love jewelries even though I don’t wear much. At the moment I am really into silver jewelries and especially rings.
(Photo by Tim Franklin)
This is the amazing illustration Araki made for Suai Suai;
You will find it in the shop in January :) .
If you can´t get enough of Araki ( like me ) here is her homepage, shop and all her social media links;
Thank you so so much Araki, you are amazing!!!!