Riyo / Talk To The Sun is a self taught stamp maker and artist who lives in Yamaguchi, Japan. Her love for handmade and crafts turned into her full time work with a warm support of her family and friends. Her lifetime goal is to live simply.
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong, how did you discover your love of stamps?!
I liked collecting rubber stamps since I was little. As I was born and raised in Japan, there was a background of love of stamps and stationery. It is the same with carving stamps. Stamp carving was already popular in Japan for decades and I started carving stamps occasionally since I was a child. I rediscovered my love of stamps in my late 20’s as a form to express my imagination.
Carrie: If you had to choose 3 words to describe your art, what would they be?
Whimsical, curious, childhood.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
Some people in the past once told me I didn’t have a consistent and established style, so I may not have a style. But my mother told me once that one would have her absolute style in early stages of being an artist but others may look for her own style through her life. After that, I stopped thinking about styles so much.
There are a few things I am clear on: a) I can only draw how I learn to draw, b) I am imperfect but I value imperfection dearly, c) I am always conscious to remember that I was once a 5 year-old or 10 year-old who would make art by heart.
Carrie: What does your studio/workspace look like?
It is a corner of my room. so it is not really a spacious studio or workspace but i have windows facing toward garden. From there i can see trees, rice field and mountains.
Carrie: Where do you get ideas for your work?
My family, childhood memories, people and things around my environment, vintage books and items…music and films I like..and stack of files with paper scraps I have collected for a long time…
Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?
I create my stamps from doodles to final designs…but I sometimes just draw something in my mind and carve it into a stamp to see if it works. If not, I leave it for a while and come back to it later. Some designs are left alone for months until it feels right… then, I re-evaluate some existing designs once in while and change bits and pieces.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
My art may be a reflection of me. I want to keep it optimistic and lovable. As much as possible I keep my art apart from my own life or emotions. When I design a stamp or carve a stamp, I am always to be calm and peaceful. I don’t want my stamps to be something untouchable to play with. They need to be interacted with, to be loved and used for their crafts. I want them to be playful and fun, ageless and genderless.
Carrie: What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”
I always have a bowl of maccha (japanese traditional green powder tea)..most importantly to have a long good sleep. To do nothing also works for me.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Shops online or offline who sell vintage picture books.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
My mother who is calm and patient, with the most optimistic heart.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity is something we are born with.
Be Creatively Courageous: How do you honor the 5-10 year old still living in you? What was your favorite art activity as a child? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
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