For this weeks artist interview, in the Dutzi gallery, I got the chance to meet and talk to artist Shihori Nakayam, an illustrator working for her masters.
Inspired by manga and children’s books, Nakayam’s gallery is filled with intricate and elaborate illustrations of her memories. All along the walls one can see how precise her illustrations are– ranging from large canvases, to small canvases and even thin but thorough paper.
I really enjoyed Nakayam’s gallery– quite possibly far more than the others I’ve seen. Her gallery was filled with small and delicate, but detailed, illustrations of her memories (either on events or people). What I think I really liked was how small and fine each stroke of hers seemed to be. The details were crazy– I asked her if she would ever use a magnifying glass to help enhance her ability but she said she never did that. She draws normally, just using the smallest pen/ pencil tip she can find. Nakayam says she pays a lot to detail, no matter what it is she is doing, and henceforth, it is very important for her in her illustrations. Along with this, Nakayam tends to draw in the more “traditional-way”– that being hand drawing rather than the prints she does occasionally.
I think what I also enjoyed was that of how her drawings seemed dream-like, in a sense. It made me feel like it was full of imagination, somewhat reminding me of my childhood/ childish adventures. I also liked how she used light pastel colors, but not too much (accents). She used just enough to make the details pop but nothing more. To me, that make the image more interesting to look at. It was like she was wanting us to focus on the things she remembered the most from each memory.
Nakayam says she chooses what memories to illustrate based on the feelings within the memory or the person she’s trying to focus on. If it’s a personal memory of her own, she tries to convey what exactly it is that she felt. If it’s a person she’s focusing on, she illustrates everything she can think of with that person; memories with them and what kind of person that is as an individual.
When drawing, Nakayam doesn’t like to focus too much on her images. She tries to stay relaxed throughout. As for the memories, she also prefers to draw the more recent ones.
Just for the back wall piece (the biggest one within the gallery) it took her over four months to complete due to the way she had it interconnected and the small details each incorporated.
Overall, I really enjoyed Nakayam’s gallery. It made me feel nostalgic in a sense and I loved to look at how detailed she made each piece. It was utterly amazing and I would highly recommend this gallery to others.