In anticipation of our first limited edition print release with acclaimed artist aica, we sat down with the New York City-based artist to learn about her life and her art:
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. I’m currently residing in New York City.
What are your first artistic memories?
I made my sister and me smile when we had the saddest day in our childhood, drawing pictures together. Since then art has always been on my side.
How has your style evolved over the years - From your earliest interests to your current work?
I want to make your heart feel warm when you see my artwork. I used to draw and paint only for me or a person close to me. Since I’ve shown my artwork in galleries or even social media, I’ve had lots of thoughtful feedback from people I’ve never met before. That changed me in a good way. I really love that, when a person tells me that they have felt the same feeling as the girls in my artwork. I believe my art touches their hearts and in a way we connect with our feelings.
Could you tell us a bit about your release with us this week, "Heart?"
“Heart” is probably my most personal work ever. I lost my cat, Noa on January 2020. She is still everything to me. During her final moments, I held her tight and asked her to come and stay in my heart forever. After only a week, I had an invitation to have a mini solo show with Corey Helford Gallery, the gallery of my dreams! I wanted to paint this piece for the show. It was pretty hard at the beginning as even seeing beautiful and cute photos of her made me miss her even more. But as I was getting close to finishing the painting, I really felt that she stays in my heart and I felt very warm.
What is a normal day in the studio like for you?
Painting next to my cat, Ash. Ash is Noa’s sister. (I adopted them 15 years ago, when I saw Ash and Noa at the adoption shelter, I couldn’t resist taking them home with me. It was love at first sight!)
What is the hardest part of creating?
I wish the day had more than 24 hours. When I paint, I live like I have 26 to 28 hours a day. So I don’t have normal hours like everyone else.
And the most rewarding?
Connecting with you through my art! When a person finds connection with my artwork, I sometimes get an empathetic message and the person shares their memories that they usually don’t want to talk about. I really love that - when the girls in my art make them comfortable enough to open their hearts with me.
When you're not in the studio, what are you up to?
Ash has CKD (Chronic kidney disease) and her CKD got worse around this past April. I look after her, and search for a diet or anything that can help her CKD. I cherish every moment with her.
What can we look forward to from you next?
I have upcoming group shows that I’m currently working on for the end of the year and next year.
"Heart" will be available beginning at 1PM Pacific on October 7th, 2021 as regular and hand embellished editions.