WHAT DO YOU DO?
My work includes illustration; print, packaging, textile, web, title, some motion, and identity design as well as painting, printmaking, photography... Really anything you can see and get a feeling out of!
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I was born in Japan and grew up half of my life there and the other half in the US (mostly NYC). I also have French kids and travel there a lot. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2004, with BFA in Communication Design and from then on mostly worked as a freelance graphic designer in various companies, wearing many hats. I succeeded in obtaining O-1 "artist visa" to prove I'm not stealing jobs from 'mericans and then a green card and then am a US citizen! Raising my two kids has also given me tremendous strength and tenacity to work under pressure and enjoy working with other grownups as well.
HOW DO YOU STAND OUT IN YOUR FIELD?
I am foremost a creative thinker, as you might be able to see on my Instagram or personal work portfolio. But I am also able to work well within guidelines and collaborate well with others as I am always curious, willing to take risks, and learn. My background of being Japanese/American/French also gives me a unique and open view on how human interaction works, traditions and trends in art and design, food, concepts, etc.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I am working on rebranding an identity for a rock band from Dallas, Texas, called Max Cady.
WE ALL HAVE MULTIPLE SKILLS OR WORK IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD FOCUS ON MORE?
Beauty, Wellness, Startups, Education, companies that promote social interaction/connection
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I feel that since I have taken hiatus between freelance jobs (to focus on raising children) my resume alone does not represent fully what I am capable of. I wish I could create a long-lasting relationship with a client or have constant jobs coming in, now that I am ready to dive into the workforce full throttle.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would go back to my 20s and tell myself to "just do it" because I have had lots of self-doubts and was way into my thoughts than taking action. Reaching age 40 now I realize by "just doing" you build confidence and form connections with others that sometimes blossom into a lasting treasure, which in turn builds more self-esteem... a happy cycle!
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
How to live life creatively and fully without feeling like a sell-out.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Freelance, part or full-time job in graphic design or art direction, illustration; or even an assistant to artist or company head, or teacher.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I've had the pleasure of rebranding a men's fashion brand in which I art directed and designed their identity, print/packaging campaign and shirt graphics. I also enjoy working in small to medium-sized design studios among other more experienced designers and/or team members with different expertise. I just took the personality test and was "The Campaigner ENFP-A” - a creative free spirit who "enjoys the social and emotional connections they make with others” - in another words, I don’t do so well under micromanagement ; )
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Hourly minimum is $35 to commence. $40 is fair. That said, I can work with clients to come up with a budget we both feel comfortable with, and provide a break-down of it according to design/review process. If it's a full-time position, between $45,000 to $65,000 to start sounds fair.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Just email me, message me on IG or LinkedIn, or come up to me if you see my face and say hello. No project is not interesting to me. I love meeting new people, and chatting in real life! Even if we don’t get to work together, maybe we can still go out for noodles or exchange travel recommends or bitch about LA and so on!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Never lose the mind of a kid and just do it!
This member profile was originally published in October 2019.