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Meet Chieko Shimizu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chieko Shimizu.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My passion has always been to “create”. In my younger years when I was living in Lexington, Kentucky, the nature was the main inspiration of my art. The beautiful blue grass has taught me the fragileness and beauty of childhood which stayed in my mind until now. I would spend hours and hours in my room drawing, painting and making stuff and randomly give it to my friends. So, after 15 years or so, when I told my friends I will pursue art as life work here in California everybody was like, “we all knew it was coming.”

Although, back when I was in Japan, I wasn’t so brave to go for it as an artist. It wasn’t financially realistic to live as an artist in Japan, where emerging artist do not have much chance to succeed as a professional career. So instead I worked at the art gallery for several years so I can still relate to it. It has taught me many things as how the art business was run in Japan but after changing my job for several times I started to lose hope in my dream.

It was when I met my husband and moved to California where I finally found my chance to give my full-time attention to art. I knew I wanted to create something original with colors, but “what?” I wanted to know the colors of California and the people and their passion towards art. After attending several classes, I found it. It was the art form of “mosaic”.

A public meetup was run by a local mosaic artist who taught people how to create mosaic art with tiles and glasses. It was a perfect occasion for someone like me who didn’t know anybody around and wanted to create. When my very first mosaic piece was completed, I was blown away with its beauty.

After creating several pieces, I stated to combine the techniques of abstract painting and mosaic. Which extended my possibility of color on my pieces? Ever since then, I have been pursuing my original art style of “Abstract Glass Mosaic Art” and creating pieces for appreciators.

My story as an artist is not fancy. No background education, just self-taught with passion. But the most important turning point came when I met some amazing people in my life who reached out their hands to me. I have learned through this experience that if you give your full effort to keep creating, it will eventually lead and connect you with the right person to build up an amazing community. The result of your effort will never make you feel lonely.

Special thanks to my wonderful husband and an amazing artist Kathy Richardson who taught me the beauty of mosaic art.

Please tell us about your art.
My art form of “Abstract Glass Mosaic Art” is a combination of abstract painting and mosaic art. Where I first paint to express a certain feeling or even people or place. Sometimes I just paint thinking only about rivers, or paint someone only with color flow by talking to them. Whatever gives me inspiration are translated into colors. The colors never run the same way which makes all pieces unique. Then glasses are attached on my painting to be preserved forever. The light reflection is what makes my pieces unique and it is never finished without it. Frozen moments are captured inside glass like time has stopped. The collections are my creations.

Every time I make them it teaches me to treasure the small moments. Every piece represents that “moment” only happening once where I even feel lucky to have preserved it. I hope my audience get to experience that pleasurable surprise of “take your breath away” moment when they see my art.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I personally believe the role of artist have not changed even with the advancement in technology. With all the information we could get, our expression as artist have widened and stretched our possibility. We have more joy, problem, anger, sadness to express and tell a message to make a world a better place.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kazuno Ataka

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