” Interview from Artpromotivate “

 

Writer : Graham Matthews
Original URL : http://www.artpromotivate.com/2012/03/hiroko-sakai-contemporary-japanese.html


Artist Spotlight – Hiroko Sakai
Contemporary Japanese Artist from San Francisco, California, U.S.A.



Artist Introduction

I am an Artist, originally from Japan, and has been living and working in San Francisco.


surrealism painting, fantasy painting, life painting, bird painting, skyscraper, eye painting, rope walking painting, feather falling from sky, inspiring, figurative paintingArtistic Style

I am a painter. I am not sure what style is my art….. maybe you can tell from my website.
One thing I can say is my art is the ‘communication’. I am a Japanese who has problem to communicate in different language here some times. But through my art, I can express what I have inside freely and can connect to people’s heart.


Medium

I am an oil painter.

I used to work on my art with various mediums, such as air brush, pastel, tile mosaic, etc… but after all, I ended up captured by oil. I love oil.
I feel that Oil is the basis of paintings.
When I paint in Oil, I feel as though I’m sharing inspirations with old masters. And the slow dry process of Oil gives me plenty of time to communicate with my canvas, giving me time to think as much as I need.

Japanese surrealism painting, Japanese fantasy art, Japanesque, surrealism oil painting, Asian art, Japanese art, Japaense garden, bamboo, fantasy fine art painting, koi fish oil painting
Technique

I am a self taught artist, so I do not know if I have any technique to boast to the world*
Humm…. but on the other hand, since I did not learned my art from outside, I can say all my art comes from my inside.
If you have some time, please take a peek at here > About Hiroko Sakai


Themes

The theme of my art is… I think ‘Life’. All what I get through, all what I feel… in my life can be the theme of my art.


Why do you create art?

Because I live and exist.


How often do you create?

Except the time I am sleeping, eating, taking bath, etc…??
Oh, but art marketing takes a lot of my time, like this* but still typing my keyboard, new images are going on in my mind.


Influences

My Art is often compared with Salvador Dali’s because of melting clock, but honestly, I have not seen Dali’s work so much…. one of my true inspirations is from Frida Kahlo for her naked expression of her emotions in her life, also I like Norman Rockwell’s way to express life in humorous and intellectual way. I feel the depth of life from his works while his painting surface are… what you call… easy going?

love, lovers painting, love bird painting, surrealism painting, fantasy art, melting clock, snake, eye painting, moon, apple tree, night, figurative oil painting


Do you make a living with your art?

I am trying….


What is your favourite two methods of art promotion?

Facebook is one of the main places right now. It is also comfortable for me who sometimes have hard time with the conversation of talking English. Exchanging short English words with my fans, I can show them my messages widely.
Also, I have started becoming more serious to express about my art on my blog… Hiroko Sakai Blog I kind of started taking interest in writing which I used not to be a big fan before. The good part of them is Medusa, Medusa art, Medusa painting, Medusa face, snake painting, myth art, sexy woman painting, stylish artwork, beautiful woman's face, Medusa fine art painting, fantasy artMedusa, Medusa art, Medusa painting, Medusa face, snake painting, myth art, sexy woman painting, stylish artwork, beautiful woman's face, Medusa fine art painting, fantasy artI can get direct responses from many different kind of people from all over the world.


Recommend a contemporary artist…

My goal is Royo.
His theme of art is totally different from mine, but I am stuck in his art since I saw his work at my first sight on his book. The light and shadow on his works are overwhelming.


Three words that describe Hiroko Sakai

A trouble maker


Please tell us something interesting in your life

The biggest thing is that I am a Japanese artist in San Francisco. I myself had never imagined that I would end up to San Francisco as a single mom artist.
It is a long story…To get here, I had got through so many black comedies, such as international marriage, domestic violence,San Francisco Asian Women’s shelter life….I hope you have some time to take a peek at my story.
> About Hiroko Sakai


Where do you see yourself as an artist 10 years from now?

10 years from now? I even do not know ifI am still alive…
I am living"today" with my art every Japanesque, Japanese art, Asian art, zen, meditation painting, Buddhism monk painting, Japanese garden, temple, buddhism painting, spiritual painting, inspiration, Buddhism monk, prayer for world peacedays.


Advice for Emerging and Upcoming Artists

Whatever other people say, you know your art the best. If your art is not accepted, it is just because they are different.
I can not explain well in English, but there are as many people as the number of the stars on the sky, so you just need to find people who have the same inspirations as yours.

 

 

Hiroko Sakai – Surreal Oil Paintings

Art Website – Hiroko Sakai Fine Art
Twitter – hirokosakai
Facebook – Hiroko Sakai Fine Art on Facebook

 

This is just one of several videos that Hiroko has
at Youtube of her inspiring artworks. To find more,
please search for Hiroko Sakai in the Youtube search bar.

 

* Visit Artpromotivate. They are full of useful art resources!

 


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist

 

” Eyes in my paintings “

 

eye, artist website, cool art, eye painting, Hiroko SakaiI’ve been often asked why eyes are on my paintings a lot. Well, it’s a good question.
Before, I did not think about it.
In Japan, I’d never painted eyes. They started coming on my canvases here in San Francisco.  

Moving here alone, leaving my own country, family and friends, was not always so much fun. Life and customs are different. Language is like a math form, and from time to time, I feel I’m going to become lost where I am.

One day, my mother in Japan gave me these words:
"Everybody comes to be born in this world alone, and when we finish our time, everybody leaves this world alone again."

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I mean, all of the things I see and feel in this world around me are just coming out from inside of me, depending on my state of mind. And now, I found that those eyes in my paintings are my own eyes after all. It is just like, when you read a novel, you follow the eye of the main character, and the other characters are all just gushing out to make the context of his story.
It opened my eyes to have learned that I could control my life better simply by changing my own viewpoint.

Now, I feel like I have two ‘mes’ in my life. one is what is actually struggling in this life in my body, and the other is watching that me from above. When I get trapped in strong emotions, I talk with my other eye which is observing and tells me that it is not that hard from its objective view.

art for sale online, artist original oil paintings, buy art online, buy artist original artwork online, canvas art prints, canvas stretched art prints, cool artwork, cool art, for facebook, contemporary art, fine art prints, framed art prints, Hiroko Sakai, large posters, modern art for sale, online art galleries, original art, original paintings, original oil paintings, original oil paintings for sale, oil painting, oil paintings, paintings for sale, paintings for sale online, San Francisco artist, San Francisco art, signature and numbers, something cool, unique art, where to buy art online, house warming gift, sun flower painting, fantasy art, fantasy painting, angel's door, angel feathers, blue sky painting, rainbow, love, angel painting, surrealism painting, summer, miracle, wonderland paintingIn that sense, when you get stuck in depressing situation, once you separate your eye from your body and start seeing yourself putting a little distance from your actual body, you can have a clearer vision. Pain and suffering are mostly coming from the subjective state of your mind.

I know that my art is very emotional, but I can express my emotions on my canvas so strongly because I borrow from what my other objective eye is watching about me.

I also feel the power that is always watching and leading me from above. My appreciation for the connection with the power always make me feel humble, and I love that feeling.

 


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist

 

” Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family “

 

Time flies…
I feel like I’ve started painting the illustratoins for this Panda story, "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family", just a couple of weeks ago.
But it’s actually 6 months had already passed!

Now, "Okin" is coming out to the world making this colorful book with more than 30 illustrations which I’ve created for this book.
Isn’t it gorgeous? *smile*

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"Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family"

 

The story is about a little blue panda bear named Okin, who was ‘different’ from other panda friends. And getting through some heartwarming happenings, Okin eventually finds his place and a new family where he can be really happy being as what he is.

children's book, cool children's book, heartwarming children's book, panda story, panda illustration, animal illustrations, blue panda, sign language, sign language hand chart, cute panda,panda,dreams, challenge, gay family, same sex marriage, gay parents, adoption, sky blue, babble, heartwarming story, family, love, artist illustration, hiroko sakai, hiroko, san francisco local artist, gift for kids, cool gift for children, cool, cute, drawing, illustrationWhen I got the script from my publisher at its start, I found myself smiling reading the story. Story is simple, but containes some interesting themes, such as ‘two Daddy’ family, mixed colors, child adoption, sign language, etc. Especially, being an Artist in San Francisco where different cultures and various values on the styles of love are jostling each others, I felt a lot of empathy in this little tale. It was rather amazing that Jeff could weave such various subjects in this short story.

Jeff Lutes, who is the author of "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family", is a licensed sychotherapist, writer, public speaker, and social justice advocate in Austin, Texas. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, the International Association for Relationship Research, Counselors for Social Justice, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Issues in Counseling, the Council on Contemporary Families, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

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I am a believer in the third sex.
While homosexuality often has hard time to be accepted in some societies, I have to say that we could not forget that those non-sense custom was built mainly by the influence from religions. Before them, in the ancient cities that had built high advanced cultures such as ancient Rome, homosexuality was rather regarded as noble form of love.
Even in Buddhism, we Japanese has a famous story, " Chigo no sora ne- 稚児のそら寝", which shows Buddhism monks had some little boy in their temples with them for their sexual needs. I remember that I have learned this custom in a class at my junior high school.

children's book, cool children's book, heartwarming children's book, panda story, panda illustration, animal illustrations, blue panda, sign language, sign language hand chart, cute panda,panda,dreams, challenge, gay family, same sex marriage, gay parents, adoption, sky blue, babble, heartwarming story, family, love, artist illustration, hiroko sakai, hiroko, san francisco local artist, gift for kids, cool gift for children, cool, cuteIf you are interested in digging into this subject about homosexuality and gay culture more, I would like to introduce these two great resources.

What the Science says and Doesn’t say – About Homosexuality by Jeff Lutes

What the Bible says anddoesn’t say – About Homosexuality by Mel White

Anyway, in this Art world in San Francisco, I’ve been blessed with the chances to work with gay people. Most of them are wonderful business people who have keen sense of beauty, detail oriented and they are generally very romantic and sweet.
I love gay people.

 

Meanwhile, one of other main themes of this book was "Sign Language".
It was my first interesting challenge to create a hand sign list.

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Here is the process of creating this chart. Click thumbnails to view lager images.

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1. draw painting base line 2. paint hands 3. paint back
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4. scan all hands 5. extract each hands 6. make a grid by illustrator
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7. copy grid on photoshop 8. inlay hands 9. add back
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10. add alphabets 11. hide grid 12 add frame line

 

"Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family" has some quize pages in the end of the story where you can learn sign language playing with fun activities.
Let’s practice sign language alphabet and challenge the quize!

 


 

 

You can now order this fabulous book online.
Please visite Hiroko Sakai Fine Art Online Shop/ books / "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family"
Each books from my website comes with my hand signature.

 

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Thank you~*

 


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist

 

” Website marketing tips for Artists “

 

In these couple of weeks, my website marketing have been taking all my times. Even in my dreams at nights, I’ve been submitting my website links to search engines.

You know, in last February, Google changed their search algorithm for what they calls "high-quality" content, which has dramatically shaken up the businesses of websites that moved up or down its search rankings.
What dose it mean?
I believe this comment I’ve found in Websites to Google; "You’re killing our business!" would tell you all;

insomnia painting, sheep painting, funny painting, humorous painting, art, funny art, hiroko, hiroko sakai, original oil painting, cool art, cool painting"My God. I just lost 40% of my traffic from Google today," said commenter DickBaker. "Referrals from Yahoo, Bing, direct sources, and other sources are the same, but Google dropped like a rock."

Actually, this is never other people’s problem to me. As an artist, who’s been working on my art exposure in this internet world, I am also the one who got some negative impacts from there.

In these past some months, the numbers of the inquiries from my Online Gallery Shop had dropped a lot. I was wondering what’s going on.
At first, I naturally thought it was because of the current severe social situation being caused by the recession of the world, but after all, I had found that my website Google page ranking had got dropped so my shop website was not getting shown on the top of Google search as before anymore.
It was a shocking discovery, but on the other hand, it brought me a new hope.

If the silence of my online gallery was caused by the world economical depression, it would be a little hard for me to control it, but it seems like this problem was being caused by the bad effect of this website ranking status. Then why not to learn about this new SEO things a bit more?
The brighter news was that it was something which I could manage by myself for the better change. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not a rich fat world famous artist who could afford to hundreds and hundreds dollars to hire professional SEO people, but time is always on my hands. Besides, I love playing with those new information and puzzles.
I lost no time in getting to work!


OK, so now let’s see what I’ve got….

Regarding to the complicated references of the new SEO techniques for improving website rankings, you could find thousands of suggestions from other smart internet experts in "Google search", such as ‘Google Challenging SEO Rules‘, ‘SEO rules have changed. Do you know the new rules?‘, so I am not going to give you more tortures to keep reading my funny English on and on, but I could add a couple of tips which I can share from my actual experiences here.


Firstly, please take a peek at my page;
"URL submission resources for website marketing".

website tips, link exchange, search engine list, search engine submission, add URL, most important search enginesHere is the list where you can submit your website URL for free or a little fee or reciprocal Link. I also have listed some pay services which you can use for your website marketing.

I made this SEO list
originally for my personal use, but since it made an useful list, why not to share with friends who support my art?

One tip for search engine submissions here is that some search engines keep the links for lifetime by one time submission, but some drops in some months, so it is important to keep submitting your URL to them constantly. I will also keep adding new links, so I would like to encourage you to book mark this page to add your SEO references. *thanx*


Secondly, What I would suggest is listing you and your art in ‘quality’ artist profile listing websites.
While I have listed some of them in my page above, in internet world, you could find hundreds artist listing websites which also providing the service of selling your art with. I think it is a good idea to list your information on them as long as they offer you to add your website links.

By the way, most of them offer artists profile placements for free, but if you want to sell your artwork with them, you may be asked for some fee.
But wait! Before you take your credit card out from your pocket, I would encourage you to take a little time to make some research.

Check their Google page ranking.

Even the website looks very neat and cool, if their monthly fee is high and their page ranking is low, they could be making money rather from artist registration fee than actually selling art there.

Also you can check Google search results, putting some keywords like "buy art online", not "sell art online". You know what I mean?
Your target is the art buyers who are checking search engines to find and buy art, not the artists who are looking the places to sell their art, right? Then you have to list your art on the places where art buyers check up on first.
When you fish, you put a bait which fish likes, not the bait which you like. Marketing is the same. To scatter baits in the right places, you must always think from the side of your target.

Here, as one of the effective artist listing websites for your art prints sale, personally, I would recommend Fine Art America.
I’ve been on their website for more than three years now, and they are the only artist website who is actually selling my art prints to bring me checks constantly.

artist profile listing, fine art america, sell your art, art, sell art onlineBesides, their fee is very reasonable. You just need to pay thirty dollars once in a year. It’s not the monthly fee.

Once you get your gallery page up, you may need some marketing to let the world know about your art and your shop. I usually place my ads on free classifieds, also social networks service page, such as my facebook fan page.

Also, if you want to be more serious, you could open your own online art gallery shop linking those outside services as the extension of your online shop. In that way, you can own your shop online without worrying about shopping cart, customer support and any other complicated works to deal with the sales. You just need to work on building the traffics. Rest are taken care of by the printing service website people.

In that meaning, this Fine Art America is a very reliable service where I can send my customers to with my confidence.
Isn’t this an impressive story?;
One day, I’ve got contact from them. They said that they got an order of my art print, but my digital artwork image I uploaded to them had ‘slightly’ unnatural light spot and they made me fix it for three times until they gave me their OK to put it on their printer.
It was some extra work, but it gave me confidence on their sense of responsibility to provide better products to their customers.

I hope those tips would be some helps for your successful website marketing.

 

In this current uncool world economical situation, most artists’ lives are struggling. Even some art galleries where I’ve shown my art at had to close their doors in San Francisco, too.
I do not blame people if they wanted to buy food rather than art which dose not fill their stomachs in these days.

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Compare with the old time maestros who did not have so many options for their art exposure other than depending on the connections of professional art dealers, we are lucky to live this cyber society where we could develop new markets as wide as we want without relying on those traditional methods so much. We just need ideas, knowledge, times, patience and challenging spirits.

In fact, the traditional way of the art exposure at physical gallery shows are fancy and cool, but honestly, it could have brought too much works to an artist like me, who do not speak language here so perfectly, who do not know even how to start car engine to transport my art, and in the bargain, who is a single mom with a little wild one who’s been really good at messing up my schedule.
As you may already know, to make a show at a gallery takes a lot of energy and times of artist. Starting with art submission, interview meeting, preparing for information, art transportation, sending out invitations, hanging (depend on the type of galleries), attendance to art opening reception, etc, etc…. And the greatest thing is that there is no guarantee that your art could actually sell in the show. Time to time, I could not help but feel like what I was doing was just decorating galleries pretty for free labor?

Ofcause I understand you say that it is important to have your art out in front on people’s eyes constantly. But in my experiences, unless you got a chance to show at famous or well-known galleries, the show at ‘some’ galleries would not leave you so much credits. I have shown at several places in San Francisco till now, but not so many special things left on my hand which I could add to the developments of my art career here.

challenge, art, hang glider painting, sky painting, sun set painting, ikaros's wings,fantasy art, hiroko, hiroko sakai, sun, fly, dreams, cool painting, cool artIn those wander, I’ve started being infused with new hopes in this modern generation tool where you can keep spreading your information to all over the world 24 hours 7 days without respite.
If you established original connections of your art in internet, the effect and possibility could be limitless.

Moreover, the best part of this ‘independent’ internet marketing is that you do not need to worry about the reactions of art galleries who mostly like to have art that can sell. As long as you market your art by yourself, you are the boss. You don’t need to worry about making any "compromise" on your artistic calling to modify your works to suit other people’s market conditions.

To be known in the world is a very important job for artists. Marketing art in internet makes it possible to spread your name and art as wide as you wish. The wider you spread your art, the more chances you could get to have them reach to various buyer’s eyes. Actually, my art has been selling more actively online than physical gallery shows these days, having my paintings get "adapted" by the art patrons from many different places in the world, whom I could have never met if I was just showing at San Francisco local galleries.

My future dream is, I hope that someday comes when these two ways, traditional way and modern way, meet together. I mean, spreading my art in internet to the world widely, I want to have a cosy base here in San Francisco where I can make my art showing them at a few relaxing regular galleries who truly love my art.

 


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist

 

” Art and Gift and Expression “

 

Being an Artist, I often wonder,
"What is Art?".

For making a life as a living thing, I don’t see so much special meanings in Art there. Only to keep our body to live, what we may need is just some simple basic things, such as food, water, air etc.. and other things could come along as subordinate matters. But still, I know that our spirits can not live without Art.

In these couple of days, my work schedule gave me a lot of hustles and I could hardly have times to be myself. In the fuss, something hazy and irritating started getting piling up in me and they kept growing to pop at the end.

But I eventually had a chance to stop for some minutes to turn on my favorite CD.
As soon as the music started, the waves of the sound surged into my stomach and I felt some beautiful strained energy started sublimating all the black fogs into the air which had been accumulated in my soul.
Feeling something in me floating up in the air to be held in clear power, my vision started fading into my inner world.



(Angela Gheorghiu : Vissi D’arte, Tosca, Puccini)

 

Why our souls get so shaken when we touch these special creative juices called ‘Art’?

I am a believer in the existence of the incorporeal spirits in our body. Scientifically, our bodies are composed of the sum total of the carbon. Then, why the mass of carbon can move, think and feel? Wouldn’t it be a little lame to explain them with some electrical responses?
I rather feel that our bodies are just the carriages of the spirits. The true characters of us are the shapeless form of energies we have in the core.



 
(Sylvie Guillem : Bolero)

 

"Sylvie Guillem" is already my Goddess. Her strength to control herself and her body to pursue her expression is my goal.
I saw Guillem’s Bolero in Japan in 90’s, which was sealed by her in 2005. This performance was specially danced again in 2007 for memorial stage for Maurice Bejart in Tokyo, Japan.

When I saw her stage for the first time, I got a thunder struck. I did never expect a female dancer danced this Bolero. Still Guillem’s Bolero was neutral. I felt as if I were watching a well-honed performance which is being danced in the banquet of Gods there.
I believe that is the power of Art to release our spirits to transfer to anywhere beyond times and physical distances riding on the waves of the energy that the inspirations leads, no matter where our bodies are at.



 
(Kseniya Simonova : Sand Animation)


People who were born with special talent are called ‘Gift".
But ‘Gift’ is not meant only to describe themselves. ‘Gift’ is also meant for their talents to be shared for us, being the mediums to transmit the God’s energy to our hearts through their various ways of expressions.




(Valentina Lisitsa : Liszt, Totentanz) 

 

What the mysterious power of the Gifts is, if you met them in regular daily lives, they could be quite ordinary persons, but once they stand on the stage of expressions, they transform themselves into divine possessions using their body as the transmitter of the revelation from the power above us. Those metamorphosis always give me goose bumps.

 

After all, I may be able to say that Art is the essential energy which feed our spirits, connecting our individual souls to the power above.

What are we artists for?
We are for showing you what you’ve wandered for to find the home of your spirit…
Today, I wrote about Gifts in third person form ‘They’, but someday, I wish the day comes when I could write ‘We’.



 
(Hiroko Sakai Fine Art)

 


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” Painting blue sky in a fine day “

 

I have painted this blue sky painting for the back image of my coming Panda book looking the sky of San Francisco from my window.

blue sky painting, clouds painting, sky painting, blue, oil painting, beautiful sky

 

red line

Here is how I painted this sky.
Click the images to see larger images.

 

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1. paint sky base 2. draw out lines of the clouds with the shadow color 3. add white
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4. blending with soft fine brush after blending
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5. add high light 6. blend again finish!

 

red line


"Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family"
is coming with this blue sky painting in the beginning
of October 2011! Please stay tuned~*

children's book, cool children's book, panda, tiger, panther, animals, blue sky, blue panda, panda children's book, children's book illustration, gift for children, little readers, children,

 

 


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” Artist lives forever… “

 

"Me and my head high and my tears dry
Get on without my guy
You went back to what you knew so far removed
from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track, my odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black… "

 

Emy Winehouse has gone only after one month of this stage.
July 23rd 2011, God’s taken this fragile gift back from this world holding her broken wings.

How come nobody took her off from this puppet show? Her spirit was not there anymore, but being chained on the stage like a clown at the circus, only the hollow smiles were covering her screams which was being hidden in the deep bottom of her soul.
Watching her last stage makes me get overwhelmed to tears, feeling the same conflicts that I am holding in myself, … the conflict which most artists may have to face for our over keen inspirations living this life.

hiroko sakai, oil painting, life, skyscraper, bird, rope walking, inspiring art, angel, feather, eye painting, surreal art, cool artI’ve been always wondering…
People say "I love Artists"…
But what they really know about Artists?
They’ve ever thought about sharing this real madness with us which could actually be the source of the inspirations for our creations which are appreciated by them?
Time to time, I feel myself like a tiger or something in a zoo that should be isolated from the world. People love to see what Artists create, but it is the different story if they really like to invite what is behind on the Art into their actual lives.

To survive in a social life, holding those extreme emotional bombs inside of the soul, Artists must lean how to hide the screams under peaceful smiles. In between those hypocrisy and faith in own emotional demands, something starts eating the balance of our mind…
Winehouse was one of the purest soul of Artist’s who denied those hypocrisy. She chose burning herself up following to the naked revelation in her spirit.

This song "I Heard Love Is Blind" brought me some kind of shocks.

‘How can I put it so you understand?
I didn’t let him hold my hand.
But he looked like you; I guess he looked like you …
No he wasn’t you.
But you can still trust me, this ain’t infidelity.
It’s not cheating; you were on my mind…’

 

 

At first, I laughed with this incoherent logic in her, but then, I found myself feeling jealousy toward her exposing such a pure voice so boldly. It made me wondered if I ever could paint such a real voice in me out on my canvas so honestly…

I am very sorry that she had to leave this life so quick.
But you know what the privilege of Artists is?
We Artists live forever in this world beyond the time as long as our creations keep living in people’s hearts.

Winehouse will never die in our hearts…

 



PS-
Winehouse said "Love is a Losing Game"
Yes, I can not deny it now, just getting through there.
(If you are not on my Facebook fan page, check my previous blog "Hannya and Love")

But I want to paint more sweet side of love.. someday again…

 

 

 


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” Hannya and Love “

 

I believe that this "Hannya" is one of my best works I’ve ever created.

The Hannya mask is a mask representing a female serpent-damon filled with malicious jealousy and hatred, worn by women betrayed or spurned by their lovers who turn into serpent demons.

hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The story of Hannya may not be acknowledged so widely unless you are well informed about Japanese traditional theater, Noh. Even I myself did not know about the details of the meanings which this famous mask contained until I made some research about Noh masks for other works of mine, "Boukyo-Nostalgia".

In Genji story, which is widely acknowledged as the world’s first novel, written by a court lady in Heian Japan (795-1192 AD). Genji, a man of passionate impulses and a lover of beauty, the favorite son of the Emperor, though his position at court is not entirely stable. "Aoi no Ue" is the Genji’s first principal wife, married to him when he is 12 and she is four years older. Not surprisingly, she finds him childish, and their relations remain uncomfortable until her death. her death was brought by an evil spirit of Lady Rokujo who is the Widow of the crown prince Prince Zembo and a longtime mistress of Genji.

I was inspired with so strong woman’s emotion and love that Lady Rokujo held in her as to change her into evil spirit to attack her rival, which is represented by "Hannya mask" in Noh performance. I wanted to express the naked nature of women that is held in our depth.

 

Love is always a double-edged sword…

In the past couple of months, my life had been totally screwed up by the explosion of this bomb. I had got through ardent passion with a man and lost it so quick and sudden.

He was gorgeous.
I am usually extremely picky. I have been always wanting to protect a peaceful life of my little wild and also wanting to have my time for concentrating on my Art instead of dealing with confusions by inviting new people in my life so easily. So in those romance department, I had kept my single life for years after I put the end on my last love with my ex-boy who is still now very close each others like the family.
My life was calm and well-controlled.

But, those peaceful life had suddenly changed by his eyes.

The first date with him was fun and friendly. I was not expecting any more things at all. He was a gentleman from the beginning to end of the evening. We kept smiling until his deep blue eyes showed the shadow of an abandoned little baby dog, saying good bye at my apartment door in the end of our date. In that moment, my life had fallen into a deep hole of an aphrodisiac. He had suddenly jumped into my life from there very naturally.

lake, lake chabot, romantic, love, boat, waterAfter the evening, I felt like I got on a roller coaster. Everything was fun spending the time with him. Picnic in the beach, fire works, sports game watching, boating on lake… and we gave every spare moment to exchanging our passions.
I was even feeling the special Charisma in him. He was like a walking Wikipedia and always tried making me laugh with the jokes out of his amazing knowledge. I became totally crazy about him in such a short time.

But as time goes by, in such rapid developments of passions, fine cracks had started forming inside of me. My emotion was getting hard time to keep up with grasping what was going on there.
In spite of my agitation, his responses were always patient in polite smile which made me more nervous. He did not show his emotions so much and I could not see what was on his under water at all. I mean. He was always passionate, but I could not tell if he was passionate because of me or just for his own fantasy of love. It got me scared to get involved in there more and more.

I eventually told him that I got scared. He said that he understood. Then we just put the end on our dating. It was so sudden and hollow after sharing such deep passions and fun time together. I really did not understand what we were and what the time we shared was after all…

The myth of "Gemini" was so true.



Anyway, getting through crazy depressions for some weeks after the good-bye, I think I’ve grown a little bit now.

As an artist, I realized that if I started any relation with a man next time, I’d better be with someone who really takes interest in my Art including what are making my Art. Even my strong emotions are the part of my Art. Unless my partner has the interest in being with and supporting those Artist’s inner world, my life would be torn into pieces after all.

seven years in tibet, brad pitt, bryce willettI have recalled one scene of an old movie, "Seven years in Tibet".
Brad Pitt and his friend fell in love with a lady at the same time. The two men made opposite approaches toward her. Brad showed off his gorgeous skills and talents as a famous mountaineer, but the other man was just staying close to her helping and supporting her activities. And the one who won her heart at the last was the later one.

"Mr. Gemini" was totally the type of Brad Pitt. While I was with him, getting overwhelmed by his charismatic powers, what I was always feeling was how he was gorgeous, how he was smart, how he was…… then I had stopped and realized, "how about me?"
As long as I had stayed with him, I would have been taking the part of his shadow feeling it would be my happiness to be able to support such a great man, and my Art would have been buried.

seven years in tibet, joe sievertsenOn the other hand, my ex-boy whom I wrote about a little before was an Art collector. Artists were his life inspirations and he loved supporting Artists. I have been with him for more than 8 years now, the first couple of years were as lovers and even after we put the end on our relations as lovers, we are still exchanging close cares like family members and without his support, my Art would not have made in this San Francisco.

It was a good lesson for me to learn that passion and love were different. I was really attracted to Mr. Gemini, but now I can see that it was a totally different feeling from those stable bond that I share with my ex-boy.

Well, storm has passed. All are past now.

Those some weeks were really tough time for me, but as getting age, I have learned how to ‘forget’. I mean, ‘forget’ would not be the right word… maybe could I say ‘ how to sort things out if they are meant to my life or not’?
I do not belong to any religions. As a Japanese, I live following to Buddhism theories, but it is not my religion. But I do believe in the power above me which is leading me in my life, and I believe everything happens for reasons.

I have learned that what dose not work out is what is not meant for my life from the first place. So I do not try to force to bring them to anywhere in vain any more.
You know, this is not any negative action, but I believe this is the strength to ‘accept’ everything as what they are supposed to be.

 

OK, so now, look at the bright side as American always says* -P*

artist sketch, mono tone drawing,emotion sketch, hiroko sakai After all, all those emotionally tough time brought me the fruits of new inspirations.
I have realized that the more I drive myself into the depth of my inside, the more things come up to my visions, visibly or invisibly…. I even do not know if I am seeing them with my eyes or with my mind. I just need to copy them on my canvases. But this mental process is always overwhelming. I often have hard time to deal with my emotions on this state. You could call this ‘depression’ on surface? but actually, in my underwater, so many ‘rebirth’ and ‘reform’ are being made in my thoughts, inspirations, philosophies, etc,. I believe this struggles make my art real. All my art comes from my emotions and my canvases take them to share them with the world. The more I paint, the calmer I become. I am lucky that I am an Artist because whatever happened, wherever I wander off, when I draw, when I paint, I can get my life back.

I found these words in the comment which my friend Eric gave me on my Art before. The Artwork he is mentioning is ‘Hannya".

"The first time I saw your work, I was walking down Valencia street, and I was thunderstruck by one of your paintings. I had to come in off the street to stare at it. It was the portrait of the sexy nude woman with the "evil brain" as I called it, at first. I couldn’t handle the complexity of what you were revealing.
hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The many layers of a woman’s desires, fears, anger and lust. Can I admit to feeling what I am feeling when I am, looking at the painting? Not in public! In order to own that passion, I would have to externalize it, place my fantasies on someone else, as if they could be real. Otherwise I would feel deep embarrassment that I was capable of lust and fear, if others were to see what turns me on, like an advertisement of my unmet desires.

Art with such a powerful message doesn’t go down easy. For you to reveal that, you have to be a real person, not just the absent artist. You need to attach your image to your art, stamp yourself on it the same way Warhol or Basquiat attached their images (as honestly as they could manage) to their work, sort of accompanied their art even if they weren’t present when the buyer took the painting home. When I look at a Basquiat painting, in the back of my mind I am also seeing HIM, his face, his story, his sexuality, politics. It’s all there together. No mystery about the source of the art. I know his history, and that enriches the art for me, I would want to own one of his paintings because of the complex story and fascinating character behind the art. This is the way your art should be marketed, with you as the fascinating creator. A documentary about you would be fascinating." – Read more

Now I feel that I eventually got know where my Art is heading to….

 

 

"I don’t understand, why do I stress a man….

I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon. I couldn’t play myself again,
I should just be my own best friend, not f**k myself in the head with stupid men.

He walks away,
The sun goes down,
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way,
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own. "

 


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” Interview from Maria B. Villa “

 

Writer: Maria B. Villa
Original URL : http://mariabyoga.blogspot.com/

—————————————————————————————

Interview with Hiroko Sakai

This artist´s vision gives us account of how many possibilities we have as human beings to transform our lives consciously so that we can liberate ourselves from the obstacles we experience on a daily basis. Hiroko Sakai opens her heart and soul in this interview to share her inner battles by which she has evolved as an artist. The deepness and honesty of her words, as well as her paintings, are subjects of great worship.

—————————————————————————————


MB: Where were you born?

HS: I was born in a small town of northern Kyushu island of Japan.


MB: When did you start painting?

HS: It seems to me like I´ve been painting and drawing since my first breath. My school notebooks were filled with drawings.


MB: What are your major influences?

HS: My parents, they were great patrons of cultures and art in Japan, that´s why I had so many opportunities to grow artistically.


MB: What relationship can you establish between your paintings and peace of mind, body, and spirit?

zen painting, buddhism painting, mercy face, bosatsu painting, hiroko sakai, zen, asian painting, meditation, hiroko sakai fine art, miroku bosatsuHS: After having to go through many difficult experiences and after I started painting again, I became quieter and introverted but at the same time I started to reach deeper into my inner being. I am convinced that painting can make the spirit calmer, at least that´s what happens to me; the more I paint the calmer my spirit feels. I think that´s represented in my paintings.


MB: Can you tell us about an important personal experience that has marked your life and that it´s also reflected in your art?

HS: Yes, It all started several years ago when one day I suddenly got a heavy pain on my back, so I had to be taken to the hospital. The doctor said that a tumor, which size as a fist, was growing in my pelvis where the ovaries are located and that it was really difficult to check its position, he could not tell if it was benign or malignant until the surgery. If it was malignant, he said, I might not have any chance to live and even in the best case scenario I would lose my womb.

The hospital room where I was staying at was the room for cancer patients. Some ladies had already gone through surgery and some of them were waiting for their wombs to be taken out. Others were wearing scarves on their heads to hide their hair loss. That was all very shocking to me therefore I was losing all the hope left in my life. But on the other hand, I was fortunate enough to take some time to pause and look at my life, and realized that I had kept myself running all the time. It gave me some time to think deeply about my life and to see where I was standing and doing with it.

Fortunately, my tumor was benign. Thanks to GOD, I am still here to meet you today. Anyway, getting through this experience has made my artwork deep and focused; now I have time to think about my life again, which used to be so hectic. It was truly a gift from God that I could change my life for the better.

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MB: Describe your process of healing through art. Do you think that painting can provide you with good health?

HS: Yes, I really agree so. First, after a long blank, I started drawing which helped me to sweep out all the emotions stuck in my soul. There were no colors during that difficult time. Then red came back… and blue came next. One by one, colors slowly came back on my canvas. Looking at that pattern I should say that this was my art healing process.

I had not thought about such things so intensely before but as I got through them I could see that Art has some power to heal and balance our mental state.

The creation process can bring up good and healthy feelings of achievement. Also, expressing our own originality into actual visible figures can reassure our own existence. It is like communicating with the outside world using what I have deep inside naturally.

When I got back all the colors in my drawings, I decided to start with oil painting. To be honest, I had never touched oils until then.Oil dries very slowly and in my previous job with commercial art in Japan I couldn´t use it because I was always pressed with heavy deadlines. But as an artist I´ve always wanted to paint with oil because I’ve always believed that oil is the basis of painting. And it is precisely the slow dry process of oil that attracts me the most as it gives me plenty of time to communicate with my canvas. It gives me time to think as much as I need.


MB: Is life and death a recurrent theme in your works?

zen painting, spiritual painting, butter fly, buddhism art, hand, god, rebirth, life, karma, new journeyHS: Life and death can be one of the themes in my paintings. But basically, that is not the only theme of my art. My inspiration is my own life, what I see, feel, read, and think…. every day. So many themes can be brought up as I am living and feeling every minute.

But in a sense, you might be right. I think about life and death a lot in my life, it might be because I am Japanese and was raised into the philosophy of Buddhism. In Japan, most of the people do not practice Buddhism as a religion anymore (I think), but still Buddhism has a big influence on Japanese people and teaches them to learn how to live, appreciation and humbleness, and harmony towards other people. One of my biggest influence is how Japanese think about life and death. It’s really hard to explain it in English, but Japanese have the belief of "Rinne Tensho", which means life repeats. The body is just a carriage of your spirit in this life, the spirit lives forever and from time to time. Our spirits are sent to this world to learn and get trained, and afterwards it goes back to heaven again, death is just the expiration of the physical body.
I keep that as a constant reminder, in a sense birth is the start and death is also the start of life. I’m so much interested in this process of life and death, and I’m also very curious of what would happen next, when my body expires.


MB: In your webpage you talk about how hard it was for you to move to North America, about being in exile. Can you elaborate a little bit more about that? And in what way is that represented in your artwork?

HS: What brought me to San Francisco was my marriage 11 years ago, after that I became a single mother and a struggling artist. I got married to an American man (half Japanese) who gave me extremely warm support and encouragement when I was hospitalized. After getting married, he went back to the US because he had to arrange his American life so he could move to Japan to live with me. But he did not come back for months. During that time, I found out I was pregnant and to make a long story short, it was me who had to move to the US. My new life in a far away country had started with a big belly, a difficult language, and domestic violence. I found help at an Asian Woman’s shelter in San Francisco.

life painting, hiroko sakai, rope walking, feather, angel, bird, skyscraper painting, eye painting, emotion, cool paintingI had lost everything, my studio, my career, I had spent all my savings on moving expenses and compensation for my staff (months of salaries and equipment lease…). Anyway, now I believe that it was worth the lesson.Before I came to America, I was such a naive and silly girl. Then I got a chance to survive in San Francisco for almost 10 years. I am pretty happy with the strength that I´ve developed over the years as I learned to get over the hell I was living. To keep custody of my daughter, I couldn´t leave California until she became 18. But I finally got my life back, I’m quite satisfied of what I have done and what I am working on, and also my future possibilities here. I believe that now I’m headed in the right direction toward my success.
Those experiences lead me to obtain the “strength" and "independence" evident in my art. As you are one, I am also a survivor who is still struggling on the pass to keep working towards my dreams and future. I believe that my life is one of the most blessed lives in the world because I have found what I am meant to do on this Earth and what I want to do from now on. As long as I am an Artist, I can never fail my life.

Whatever your dreams are, as long as you keep working towards them, you cannot fail. There might be a lot of traps waiting for you in the way, which would disappoint you and generate doubts but as long as you keep going, all of them would tune up to reach your goals eventually. There is no storm which does not get over. After the storm is gone, a beautiful day will come again.

San Francisco, with its vibrant arts and culture, became my second home and was a source of much inspiration. For a while, I felt disadvantaged because I was a foreigner learning a second language. Now I know that my differences are also my strengths and I can combine my Japanese and American background to produce a powerful and unique art work.


artist, artist painting, hiroko sakai, masks, mask painting, cool painting, funny painting, noh maskMB: What are some of the most important philosophical concerns for you as an artist?

HS: My philosophical concerns as an artist…. hum. I have never thought about those kinds of things. It is so natural for me to live as an artist, so when I paint I do not think so much about complicated things… I just let out what I have inside and spread it on my canvas. If there is something you feel from my art that would be my philosophy.


MB: Does your work fill your needs as an artist but also the needs of our time and the contemporary art scene?

HS: Honestly, I do not know the answer for this question yet. I just started my new career in San Francisco as an oil painter only 5 years ago, I changed my career from a commercial artist in Japan, so I need much more time to find out where my art is going to. Actually, I’m at the beginning of changing my art marketing views, until now I had worked on my art marketing in a very traditional way, just repeating gallery submissions. I realized that in this huge competition of artists, it´s like throwing stones in the ocean. Especially because the galleries like art that sells, the kind of art which would go well at rich people house walls, sorry I am a bit mean, ha ha. But I consider that my art is not part of a wall paper. Have you watched the movie “Tea with Mussolini’? I do not remember it exactly, but I think in the movie, there was a scene where the heroine is talking with paintings in a room specially made for them, she was owning paintings like her inspiring books, soul mates to talk to….I want my art to be adopted by that kind of people, by those who are sensible to it, not the people who are just looking for expensive wall decorations.

A great friend named Eric, who´s also an artist, once told me: My father used to say: "know your market and talk to them directly¨. You can ignore the galleries that are scared of your stuff, their reaction is understandable. They are selling pictures that are supposed to fade away behind the beige sofa into oblivion, and match the wall color. They select art to help buyers disguise the anguish they feel, the longing, the emptiness, not to reveal it and display it. You are a bomb waiting to explode. But instead of killing people, your bomb will liberate them. Your art will free them from their shame, their guilt, their fear of discovery. You have to find the people who want to use your art for personal liberation, or to shock people so that they stop and stare. Forget the decorators looking for beige. You shock people in San Francisco! Where people come from all over the world to get laid! People flock here for sexual freedom, which is what you offer them in an instant of recognition. People looking at your art either stand transfixed or run away as fast as they can. You will have no market in between unless you change your style.

 

Thank you, Maria!


PS-
If you are interested in "Hiroko’s Path", you can learn more here.
” A life path why I’ve ended up to be in San Francisco “

artist speech, artist life path, artist life, japanese artist, hiroko sakai, lindsay speech

 


Got Art?
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” My personality by Eric’s chart “

 

I’ve got this personality reading of mine from my siderealist friend Eric Seligson in NY, who is one of my greatest art supporters and has been reading my chart for years and All has been quite accurate*
In regular horoscope, I am Pisces (born on March 2nd), but I’d been feeling I was a bit different from those sweet sign. This explains a lot. -P*

Visit Eric’s reading site here>> siderealist.com

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aquarius, aquarius painting, zodiac sign painting, zodiac symbol, eccentric angel, cool painting, cool nude In Sidereal, your sun sign is Aquarius, the sign of harmony and freedom. "Equalité, Liberté and Fraternaté" is like the slogan for you. Aquarius breaks all the rules.

Meanwhile, little frightened pink rabbit Pisces is dreaming and play acting, helping small animals and wanting the world to revolve around them.
Your moon is also in Aquarius, as is your Mercury, Saturn AND Venus. This makes you inventive, independent, and a great humanitarian. You can extract yourself at a moment’s notice when the situation starts to disintegrate. Drifting away in the breeze back to your world in the sky.

Your world is UNIQUE. There is truly no other person like you, period. You are not typical. You are permanently divided from the rest of humanity, yet you can collect data on all their passions and fears. Your loneliness and alienation from the grubby, ugly reality most people live is like a driving idealism. Not the passive kind from a Pisces, but an aggreessive, active, energetic idealism, where you live your ideals every day. You show by example what freedom really means. You and you alone are the master of yourself, ultimately, and you must always rule yourself.
You will only be partially happy with the men who want to possess or protect you (same thing). Do they offer COMPLETE FREEDOM as well? No man will or can give you providence over your own sexuality, at least voluntarily. You have a powerful Aquarius world view and unexpurgated sexual ethic that dominates your entire perspective. Nothing or no one can change you. Only you have that power, that towers over the petty sectarian divisions and prejudices of others. An aquarius never gives that power away like the weak-willed Pisces victim, the filleted fish, who does give it away, again and again until they are destroyed.

Leo, Lio,  Lio painting, zodiac sign painting, zodiac symbol, sexy, leg, lionWhy are you so determined to rule over yourself, and eventually, others? Because of the Mars, Uranus and Pluto in Leo, the fiery, proud leader, who must dominate and kill, the predator. Even (your) Jupiter, the fat, good time planet, is run by impetuous and rash, bossy Aries, always on the move. The only peaceful planet you own is Neptune, in sleepy Libra, where your can art gushes forth (in spurts, of course, and with a lot of hand-wringing and indecision)
You can only get to your art when you resolve the two extremes in your chart. The "sweet" Aquarius live-and-let-live self, always aloof and distant from the mobs, and your other, blood lusting Leo/Aries self, the side of you that can never be tamed, the side of you that tracks down the victim and eats them. All the while, like the impartial artist dissecting her own life, you are taking in these images, feelings, balancing your angry Plutonian sexual hunger against the altruistic, lofty ideals of your Moon and gentle, kind Venus, which rules your relationships. People see you as cool and collected, not the raging tiger you also can be. When they look at the art, that’s when they see the hidden complexities of you. People look at your secrets and then brand themselves with their own desires, awakening what they have tried to bury. You have to be careful when you have such a huge emotional impact on people. My father also used to say, "Watch out when you take away someone’s crutch"

Professionally, you have to ask yourself what kind of person wants to put their darkest secret up on their wall for all to see. This is the person who wants to buy your work but is too ashamed to do it. To buy a picture of their deepest fear, or desire, or both, would be an act of courage and a way to reveal yourself. So far only gay people are that much at home with their sexuality in that way, so that they could reveal their buried needs, but they are afraid of women’s sexuality, trying to create a manageable facsimile.
My father used to say "know your market", and talk to them directly. You can ignore the galleries that are scared of your stuff, their reaction is understandable. They are selling pictures that are supposed to fade away behind the beige sofa into oblivion, and match the wall color. They select art to help buyers disguise the anguish they feel, the longing, the emptiness, not to reveal it and display it.

cool painting, reveal your heart, eye painting, inspiring paintingYou are a bomb, waiting to explode. But instead of killing people, your bomb will liberate them. Your art will free them from their shame, their guilt, their fear of discovery. You have to find the people who want to use your art for personal liberation, or to shock people so that they stop and stare. Forget the decorators looking for beige. You shock people in San Francisco! Where people come from all over the world to get laid! People flock here for sexual freedom, which is what you offer them in an instant of recognition. People looking at your art either stand transfixed or run away as fast as they can. You will have no market in between, unless you change your style (Imagine your Aquarius self doing that? HA!).
So keep doing what you need to do and make the world suit itself to you, whatever the cost. They will have to accept you, they have no choice. Keep doing it.

 


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