Sunday, October 13, 2013

Makers Part 16

The meeting between natural and human is the core of Japanese aesthetic philosophy. Nature is seen as a dynamic whole that is to be admired and appreciated and one of the principles central to this is 'Wabi-sabi,' the aesthetic defined as the beauty of things "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". My next maker is Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi who is an artist who lives in the beautiful forested mountains in Kanazawa on the west coast of Honshu in Japan. He has a video production company and is a freelance illustrator and works with mixed media. For me, his drawings and paintings speak of a world that is constantly in motion - each image is a moment in some fantastical story and I want to see what happens next. His work can be found in his etsy shop and on his website and on his facebook page.

Can you tell me a little about your background? 

I graduated from Kanazawa College of Art, and was doing graphic design for a while in Tokyo. I established an atelier and home in the country on the mountain slopes in Kanazawa, Japan. I draw and enjoy growing vegetables and fishing. I get inspiration from my natural environment and the beautiful four seasons. 

What do you make?

I draw from my imagination and use acrylic, watercolor and pastel and mixed media.

What attracted you to this particular medium? How did you get started?

Two years ago I suddenly wanted to draw and I think this came from watching my young daughter's free expression in her painting and drawing. Until this time, I did only graphic design and movie work. I love the freedom of expression that comes from my imagination.

How long have you been making?

Images are always swelling in my head. Some work can be finished in about two hours, there is also work which can take two days.


How does your practice fit in with your everyday life? Do you have your own studio space and when do you work and where?

I have an atelier in the place of rich nature. The quietness and beauty is very suitable for my work. Since I am a freelance illustrator, I fit my creative drawings in between working jobs. I find it increases my imaginative power which helps my professional work.

What are the best and worst aspects about working with this medium?

I feel, like many artists that creative work has a healing power. I hope that the work will heal a lot of people at the same time. I find it hard when a good idea does not appear.
I think painting today still has important ideas perhaps more so than technology. 

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by the rich natural environment and many great artists.


Do you get creative blocks? If so, how do you deal with it?

I cannot draw a good picture when my mind is noisy, and I get frustrated.
When I get frustrated, I look at the moon and stars, and this calms my mind in meditation.

What other mediums would you love to explore?

I would love to explore painting onto pottery. I will always be exploring different creative ideas and methods, I will continue to draw as long as I live.

What do you hope to do next with your practice?

I want to continue to entertain and delight people with my work. Just like that.

Arigatō Tetsuhiro! Are you a collector? If you would like to be featured, please contact me.


  1. Charming art, I just love his work. Great quote: When I get frustrated, I look at the moon and stars, and this calms my mind in meditation.

  2. What a fantastic artist! Excellent choice. I think I've found a new favorite.