Today we’d like to introduce you to Yuko Royston.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
People often compliment artists as “talented”. I often say “Not me. It has been practice after practice.” I was born and raised in Japan and came to U.S. at age 24. Unlike moving to different country at young age, to learn to adjust to different culture and belief system is not easy at that age. I was raised by traditional and strict parents and focused majority of my life chasing an academic and social success. However, I always questioned the way of living seeking for approvals from everyone and everywhere. I felt my own voice or ideas were not valuable enough. I was getting Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology for obvious reasons, trying to figure out who I am (LOL) and hope to help others who struggles.
I firmly believe things happen for reasons. Why or how that happens makes sense only when I trace the dots backward. For example, we have no controls over loss of dearest people, you can predict when and how illness or disease hit you. Before I fully dive into my art making around 2012, my life with schools, loss of mother, marriage, raising children, and other life events went with confusions, frustrations, disappointment towards myself and others. And came depression and substance abuse. I mention all these hardships because they are important parts of who I am today and are instrumental bedrock for my artworks. I portray human conditions in my artworks. Beautiful, not so beautiful, whimsical or dull, bright or dark. The consistent theme is imperfection. Observing and embrace our imperfections is more accurate. I leave sketch lines on my pieces to make them look like unfinished or not so pretty. I think it adds trace of process or journey.
My main medium is acrylics and charcoal, and encaustics, but I pretty much use anything I stumble upon. I usually start my piece with a narrative in my mind. However, my goal is to have a viewer to pay attention to his/her own voice, emotions, or story with it.
Please tell us about your art.
My message is pay attention to your own emotions and listen to your authentic voice. It matters. With overwhelming volume of news and information floating today, it is very easy to get caught with others’ thoughts and opinions. My “Children and War” series derived from my wish to stop wars. The portrait series celebrate human, woman in particular in the beginning.
Another thought is the power of using hands, ten fingers to make something. It is healing. Art making is not for only “talented” people. It is for everyone. Everyone is creative in different ways. We all held a crayon and doodle when we were little. We did it not because we wanted to know if we were good at it or not. We did it because it was just fun or just being curious. We were simply able to pay attention to our inner voice and honor it as a child.
To me, art making taught me many things about myself and life itself while it gave me peace and healing.
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?
Due to all the social network and information overload, artists can be easily distracted by the fame, popularity, and the business end of it. Those can lead us to great things. You can send your message, hopefully, good ones, to much bigger audience and influence can be bigger. To me, it is almost impossible to create artworks without hope that this will bring something to someone’s life. I almost feel humbled to say a word “change”, but that should be artists’ role. For example, I have a strong wish for world peace. One of my series “Children and War” is my way of participating and sending message to community.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My website: www.yukoroyston.com, Instagram: yuko_royston
Etsy : www.etsy.com/shop/YukoRoystonArt
Saatchi : www.saatchiart.com/yroyston
- Website: www.yukoroyston.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yuko_royston
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YukoRoystonArt