Saturday, November 12, 2011

Exotic floral paintings in silk - interview with Takuyo Williams

This time I would like to introduce a truly exotic floral artist :Takuyo Williams . She is not only someone with Japanese heritage but she lives in the remote island of Hawaii - both places inspiring her art .

How old were you when first time the idea of being an artist came up ?

I've always enjoyed drawing and painting pictures. My parents really encouraged me to become a painter. By 12 years old, I was already painting with oil on canvas. 

By 16, I enrolled in the art high school to become a fine artist. I tried various mediums in the school, I loved oil and watercolor the most. I was also deeply influenced by my Japanese heritage. Eventually I started to pursue drawing in Japanese traditional Sumi painting styles. I studied calligraphy as a child too, the brushes were almost identical.

Could you tell us about what kind of floral art you do ?

My focus is on painting flowers on silk. I love silk painting. I hand paint floral art on all different kinds of silks. I make my floral art into wall hangings, canvas art, and even silk scarves.

Silk's luster and softness remind me of a flower's petals. I love orchids, poppies, roses and all types of flowers.
I paint flower portraits. Each flower has a presence. Floral art also reminds me of my mother's and my grandmother's kimonos. My family is original from Kyoto. I grew up dazzled by the beauty and the color of Kyoto Yuzen kimonos.

Japanese art motifs are often flowers. My favorite flower is peonies. My home town has the peony festival during winter. I use to visit the shinto shrine garden in snow to see the blooming peonies there. Hawaiian flowers are just lively, cheerful and gorgeous. I want to capture the beauty of flowers and want to show the celebration of life. Flowers are the show stopper of natural world, and keep the circle of life going.

I also create floral wearable silk art. It's so luscious to wear a beautifully hand painted art on one's body. It's very different from looking at fine art on the wall. Scarves move with you, they change when they are scrunched. My silk scarves always surprise me when I finish painting and unhook them from the frame. They look totally different.

Who inspired or taught you?

I learned Japanese traditional paintings from a master in Japan, and oil painting from a painter who spent time in both France and Japan.

I taught myself silk painting, so I feel the most free and true painting silk. I always leave the studio more inspired than dodging in, so perhaps I inspire myself.

I learned to focus and channel my creativity under my professors at Parsons School of Design. I learned a lot about professionalism from the famous, talented and dedicated art directors and graphic designers whom I worked for in NYC in my 20's.

I am heavily inspired by Japanese traditional painters of the 19th century. Their art was very traditional, using resin and rock mineral powder medium. Yet their work shows the influence Europe was having at the time. I love the Romanticism movement in Europe during the 19th century too.

In apparel world, Diane von Furstenberg. She is my big inspiration. She created wrap dresses and her print designs are stunning. I love wearing my scarves with her wrap dresses!

How often do you create ?

I paint everyday as much as I can without neglecting my family. :)

Which were the best moments for you so far as an artist ?

Definitely, when I hear from my galleries how happy my clients were when they bought my fine art pieces or scarves. I also love hearing from my customers on Etsy too. It makes my day when I read warm feedbacks on the web.

Which were the worst moments for you so far as an artist?

When my studio almost caught on fire. I ended up saving all my silk scarves. Several fine art works were destroyed, they caught fire. It happened recently. I am so glad, nothing really bad happened. I will paint those art again.

What advice would you give to other artist who is just starting out?

I would say, be good to yourself, enjoy the process of creating art. It's never too late to start making art. Make anything you want and don't quit. Mistakes are good. If you can make yourself happy others will follow.

Takuyo Williams

See more of her art in her Etsy boutique