When I look back at my childhood memories, even though I did not know how to do any needlework by Misako Matsumoto

When I look back at my childhood memories, even though I did not know how to do any needlework, I would use origami paper and old cloth with scissors, tape, and glue to make different clothes for my dolls and stuffed animals. I also loved drawing, and liked the blank side of folded flyers, so I would collect them from the flyer bundles and whenever I had the time, I would enjoy doodling on it. Time passed and I entered elementary and middle school, where my love for drawing and creating continued, and in high school, my dream was to have a career in art and design. However, because of my family’s financial status, I had to give up studying at an art college.

I had no choice but to get a job unrelated to art, which did not last. I found myself not able to find a job that I wanted to do. Yet, in my heart, I continued to hold on to the dream of working at a position involving art and design.

Meanwhile, I came across a public exhibition held regularly for clothes designs in a magazine at a bookstore I happened to stop by. I continued to apply for years, but my designs were rejected every time. One day, I came across an article on an apparel company looking for a new designer. During the interview, I brought all the rejected designs and showed it to the interviewer.

The result: I got the position. I was very happy. I was finally able to work with art and design, but as soon as I entered the workplace, my lack of educational background in art school prevented me from undertaking professional and more responsible tasks. I worked hard for years, but in the end, I quit the position. I continued to work at companies related to art and design, but when I got married at the age of 24, I stopped working. Yet, I never stopped drawing and spent days challenging myself again in art-related public exhibitions with self-taught techniques.

However, I started developing a strong desire to study at a professional school, and decided to take an online course on art. Even during all this, I continued to enter several public art contests and was drawing something everyday. It became a part of my life, and while raising a child, I started dreaming about becoming a picture book author. I attended a picture book workshop for years, created many sample picture books, and repetitively took them to publishers, but was always disappointed by the results. I saw myself falling into a negative mindset. “What am I doing wrong. I’m trying so hard…” I was always fighting this inner conflict. I continued to hold on during such hard times, but did not have the courage to escape, and soon realized that 20 years had passed. 

At the same time, I was also developing an interest in emotional development and acquired the certification to teach it. I opened a painting and crafting class for children at my house, and taught them about art and molding for over 10 years. In one of the curriculums, I taught the children how to do suminagashi (marbling print) and was intrigued by the artistic expression. With many years of trial and error, I combined sumi (Japanese ink) and acrylic paint and created my own unique style.    

The artworks I draw are based on unrealistic and abstract motifs, but this is because of my dream of becoming a picture book author. I was creating a lot of abstract stories that were out of touch with reality, but when I think about it now, the long period of time I used on sample picture books became a motive and foundation for the fantasy world I create on a single artwork.  

Friend

Acrylic paint and ink
14.4 × 17.3 Inch
2020
$383 (with Frame )

Meanwhile, with the recommendation from a friend, I started uploading my artworks on Facebook. I gradually began receiving friend requests from artists related to art and gallery owners. Looking through their posts, I became interested in contemporary art and realized that maybe competing with a single artwork is more suitable for me. I started focusing on a single artwork and putting all my heart into it, which was by far the most fun for me. For years I had been assuming that I can become a picture book author, but I realized that I had to let this dream go. Strangely, as soon as I let it go, I began receiving offers to join group exhibitions from different galleries. I decided to challenge myself with contemporary art and started dreaming about becoming an artist. By letting go of my past thoughts, I was able to find a new dream. Since then, I have been invited to showcase my artworks in overseas exhibitions in New York, Monaco, Paris, and Cebu Island. I was also lucky enough to get to know about JCAT and in February of 2020, I joined Team A of the “Made in Japan 2020” exhibition in New York. Fortunately, three of my artworks that I exhibited overseas, went off to their beloved new homes. It became the biggest encouragement for creating new artworks.  

Since then, I have decided to join Team A of the “JCAT Exhibition 2020 in Paris.” 

Even though it was postponed because of the spread of Coronavirus, I believe it is wonderful that regardless of age, we have come together in chasing the same dream of exhibiting at overseas exhibitions.  

 

After several long years, the experiences and challenges I face for my dream, and the energy, time, and money I used for it was definitely not wasted. While chasing a dream, not everything goes as planned. You will face struggles, conflicts, and even compare ourselves with others, but there are reasons behind those struggles and in order for your big future dream to blossom, you may have to take a longer path. I personally felt that everything that has happened, led me to my dream. 

I can continue it because I like it, I can immerse myself in it, and life becomes fun. If you work hard towards your goal, you will meet others who aim for the same goal. I believe that always having a dream is a very wonderful thing. I am still in the middle of achieving my dream, which I can clearly see now. It was as if I had been in a dark tunnel for ages, but I am now finally standing at the starting point. I will continue running towards my goal. This goal is for world peace, to express this in my artworks, and to create art that makes people smile and find peace.

I will devote myself to create artworks everyday to run towards my goal.

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