Misato Suzuki

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I was born in Aomori, a city in the northernmost part of mainland Japan. It is very beautiful and right on the ocean and surrounded by forest, a lot of green everywhere. For college I moved to the USA, to Washington state, and then finally down to Southern California for my Masters program.
What drew you to Los Angeles?
I went to Claremont Graduate University for their MFA program for Painting. LA is thirty minutes away, and we would go there for gallery openings on the weekends. I knew it would be natural move after my program. It was the perfect place for creative opportunities.
Having grown up in Japan, are you inspired by any Japanese artistic styles or cultural trends?
My hometown has many traditional craft and folk arts that I really admire. Most of these arts require natural materials and an old wisdom. I am very inspired by these styles, and I hope to continue on this rich treasure.
Sometimes you will see familiar figure like birds or flowers, but I like the idea that my art is not there to take on roles. Art has to exist in its own right. — Misato Suzuki
How has your style developed and changed over the years?
In my early twenties my main medium was oil painting. I was really interested in German expressionism and the Bay Area figurative movement. Then, as I starting working in the Masters program, my whole idea of painting changed. I experimented with many different materials and ideas. I really tried to dissect things in order to make them more simple. It was very challenging - and still is.
What is the best compliment someone could give you about your paintings?
I really appreciate any compliments! Simple wording is nice, except the phrase “zen-like” I really can’t stand.
Do you work in any other mediums that lend to your paintings?
I like to use coffee. Also, walnut inks that my friend makes.
You have exhibited both nationally and internationally, from Japan and Holland, to Texas and Florida. In what ways do your works possess a universal language?
My work tends to be more abstract, which gives audiences more freedom to interpret their own idea and thoughts.


Sometimes you will see familiar figure like birds or flowers, but I like the idea that my art is not there to take on roles. Art has to exist in its own right.

What necessities do you require when making your art (radio, specific paintbrushes)?
Good music, good coffee, and cool air. Rainy days are actually most ideal.
Is there something people would be surprised to discover about you?
I am still surprised myself, but I am a mother of twin girls. They will be turning 2 years old very soon.

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