Having to overcome obstacles is key to shaping one's self. Lifelong artist, Satsuki Shibuya recently found peace in her struggle with health through the creative medium of watercolor painting, transforming her way of communicating with the universe. After only a year, she is launching her first solo exhibition called Into the Light in Madrid, Spain.
We gave her free reign to to chose her favorite pieces and interpret our Spring 15 line. She tells us her story, how she takes intangible feelings, spiritual communications and the story of her life, and transforms them to something tangible through art.
You seem to always have your hands in many different projects, what keeps you inspired to constantly be creating?
I feel that creating is who I am, as much I am human or Japanese-American. It is a part of my existence. When I forgo creating for a certain period of time, I start to get restless. On the other hand, I also need to be very aware of the balance between fulfilling my creative drive and overdoing as the later inevitably causes burnout. I have experienced it first hand and know that nothing is more important than our well being.
The correlation between your spiritual philosophy and your aesthetic really shines through; can you tell us about how you developed your style?
When asked this question, sometimes it is difficult for me to answer as I never consciously tried to develop a style. Painting came out of the blue for me as I never intended to paint nor did I ever think that I would be doing what I do right now. After receiving a spiritual message one day to paint and exploring different mediums, I came upon watercolors and through the medium, found a connection between the tangible and intangible world. A way to communicate what I was sensing and seeing with others who might be interested in experiencing something from a different perspective. More than trying to develop a particular style, painting for me has always been hoping to be a catalyst for peace, love and harmony.
Aside from us reaching out and admiring your work, what attracted you to this project?
Due to health reasons, I am not able to take on many projects at once. In a way, it is a blessing as it forces me to truly evaluate why I am deciding to collaborate, why I am doing what I do and check whether I am constantly in line with my life purpose. When first approached for the collaboration with Bridge & Burn, something intuitively told me that it would be great project to work on. I thrive in situations where I am entrusted full creative freedom and with the philosophy of Bridge & Burn being about designing classic, timeless and understated pieces, it felt that aesthetic consciousness came from a similar place.
Was there a specific vision you had for this shoot or did it flow more organically?
The project was marinating in my mind for a while, but once I started working on it, one idea led to the next and it came together seamlessly— definitely a more organic process.
What is it like being a painter in Rancho Palos Verdes?
I love being able to work from my studio in Rancho Palos Verdes and still be close enough to the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles. Having very sensitive senses, being in a serene environment where one can hear the leaves in the trees rustling or smell the seasonal changes in the air is truly a necessity in being able to connect to the quieter parts of myself and express this in the work that I create.
What’s in the future for Satsuki Shibuya? Maybe start making music again, or something new you're working on that you've never done before?
Even though this is channeled through painting, I feel that my true path lies humbly in communicating and sharing the insights of the Universe with the world as much as possible while here on earth. Ever since I was younger, this connection was already present before I could even understand the actual thoughts that were in my mind, almost like a knowing without realizing what it was that I sensed, but had to deny this part of myself due to the ridicule and bullying that I experienced from being different. Now that I’ve come full circle and have fully embraced the fact that I may view things from a different perspective, I truly believe that my heart is most at home when I am able to connect spiritually with the Universe and our world. Whether this is through blogging or penning a book, only time will tell, but I do feel that I am headed towards this direction and excited to finally freely be who I am, inside and out.