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Meet Lisa Mizuochi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Mizuochi.

Lisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have to give a lot of credit to my high school art teachers. I was fortunate enough to have a good art program at my school. The teachers expanded what kinds of paths I could take in art. Until that point, I bought into the idea that art couldn’t be more than just a hobby. I’ve always had an obsession with details and decorating as a child, so learning that I could channel that into a productive art career made me excited. They pushed my skills and creativity to the point that when I started my first art class in university, I felt less stressed. To this day, I still have a ton of appreciation for them.

Then there are the University professors. If high school prepared me with the basic tools, college sharpened it. Oh boy, I still have leftover stress from my life painting classes, but it kicked me into shape. My five years at CSULB was a psychological struggle, but the people I met and the faculty helped me so much.

Has it been a smooth road?
That basic saying of when you are your own biggest obstacle is literally my life.

It’s just constant self-sabotage that keeps getting in my way, along with social norms that like to insist that art is a waste of time. When I started college, I didn’t even begin in art. I was a business major until my former high school teachers and my friends called me out on my bullshit.

During college, it took me a while to figure out exactly where I fit in within the creative world. I had technical skills, but it felt like I wasn’t creative enough. I would just look at everyone else’s work and then criticize myself for not being like them. Sometimes I would feel like I lack abstractness or graphic talent, other times I feel too “basic”.

By the time I figured out that I could kill it in fashion, I was already a Junior. It felt like a waste to abandon my art degree and I still believed that it would benefit my skills. Also, CSULB didn’t exactly have a fashion design program, but I took some fashion classes anyways to familiarize myself with the industry.

Now my next hurdle is my certificate in fashion design!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I specialize in fashion. The fact that I can point out my specialty is so exciting, to get this point was a struggle!

The struggles I feel about lacking creativity goes out the window when it comes to creating a look. I continuously push myself to think of different genres: couture, street, contemporary. I can just drown myself in it, it’s so fun!

I think because I come from an art background rather than a fashion degree, I’m able to be more flexible and adaptable. Because in art, we are encouraged to have a vast library of inspirations. Art is difficult so we have to find different sources to help us start something. We could be inspired by something as basic as shape, and from there we can create something. That’s how I like to start a design, just from one random source and expand it.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is great because of the people. There’s so many different types of people from a variety of backgrounds. My family are first-generation immigrants and to know that I’m surrounded by immigrants that know the struggle of adapting to the US makes me feel safe.

But LA really needs to work on transportation! Public transportation should be invested in!

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