Instagram: @mihoko_otani06

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I grew up in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. It is a very tranquil town. Blessed with a rich history and cultural heritage, it is known as a “mythical country”. I love drawing since I was a child and I studied design and illustration at university. Later, I worked as a graphic designer in Tokyo and is currently a freelance designer and illustrator.



2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I’ve been searching for my own painting style for a long time. The style of the current picture is relatively recent. I think it is important to draw objects that are interesting to me in a natural way and to believe in my senses. It is often said that the colors you draw are unique. A color scheme with a strong contrast doesn’t feel right to me. I think that was because the area where I grew up wasn’t a place with strong sunlight.


3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I mainly use acrylic gouache. I like the matte texture and I’m used to drawing.


4. What is your artistic process like?

I often want to paint on people and landscapes, so I’ll cover as much as I can and go take pictures. Going there may change the direction I want to draw. After that, the screen composition will be based on the photos. After that, screen composition on Photoshop based on the photo. After that, color the paper. Color schemes are sometimes tested on Photoshop.


5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

People who have special skills, such as workers and craftsmen at construction sites. Unreal things in everyday life. Amazing while close at hand! And so on.


6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is deeply connected to my inside and is a very important being. It also gives me a chance to notice what I usually miss.



7. Where did you study?

I studied extensively at Ibaraki University’s Faculty of Education, including design, illustration, painting, and sculpture. After that, I took the Hiroyuki Yamada illustration course.


8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I think that I’m still drawing illustrations.


9. What about in ten?

The environment and style may have changed significantly, but I want to do more work and continue to draw illustrations.


10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I think art is a communication tool. If there is something that resonates with the heart of the person who saw my work, it is the happiness above all.



11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Yakitori, tofu, nuts, sake, coffee.


12. Favourite book?

I like books full of attractive visuals such as photos and illustrations.


13. Favourite genre of music?

I listen to music of various genres. I especially like music that has the essence of jazz and soul.


14. What are your hobbies?

Painting, listening to music, simple cooking.


15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I can hardly imagine, maybe a confectioner or a barista?