アーティストインタビュー「painter ojifu」 - FROM ARTIST

Artist interview “painter ojifu”

Today, we spoke to artist ``painter ojifu'', who creates numerous landscape paintings mainly using oil paints.

First of all, what made you want to become an artist?

The story begins about 30 years ago.

Suddenly my wife said to me, ``Draw my face, you can draw it.''

I'm not sure if my wife thought that she would be able to draw a face easily, since she had seen children drawing anime characters and skillfully making things, but I don't know. I was confident that I could draw, so I accepted the job lightly.

That night, since I couldn't use my wife as a model, I prepared a photo and started drawing after my wife and child were asleep.

There I found myself concentrating just on drawing without worrying about time.

Then, near dawn, a strange phenomenon occurred.

Suddenly, I felt like someone pushed me on the back and told me to draw.

At that time, I remember being shocked that this is what I should do.

In my case, I was running a beauty salon, so I was doing some artistic work, but I think at that time I was looking for something other than work.

Therefore, I think it would be more appropriate to say that I found what I was supposed to do.

And after that, the two-legged straw business began.

It's a very dramatic encounter!

By the way, what is the most impressive piece of art you've seen so far? Please tell us how you met and why it left a lasting impression on you.

Is it Edward Hopper? Hopper was a painter who was active in the 1920s in the United States. His paintings of cityscapes and bars from that era appear to be painted simply, but they are actually profound, straightforward, free of unnecessary elements, and powerful. It really hits me.

I believe that the worldview of your current work has been created through various events. Please tell us about the style of your current work and how you arrived at it.

This is a continuation of what I said at the beginning, but I started painting with pencils, colored pencils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, and oil paintings for 10 years.During that time, I started a Cultures Club with local people, and held solo and group exhibitions. , exhibited at art exhibitions, and even had art dealers come along.

However, around that time, I gradually began to worry about my paintings.

(No, this is not the kind of painting I want to paint)

Even though I have an image in my head, I just can't express it like the image in my head. My skills can't keep up with my image, what should I do?I couldn't find an answer.

I put down my brush.

And for the next 15 years, I never picked up a brush.

One day, about 13 years later.

I received an invitation from someone who knew my past to draw it again, but I flatly refused.

I myself haven't picked up a brush for 13 years. I honestly felt that there was no way I could draw like I used to, and even if I could, how many years would it take to regain my senses?

But he was persistent and kept trying to convince me for a year and a half.

By that time, I had lost my nerve and was leaning towards painting, but one day he came to my house clutching a few brushes and paints.

That image of him was the moment I decided to draw him again.

It took me about a year to regain my sense of style, but as I continued to draw, I was able to notice the slump when I put down my brush.

Life is interesting, and for an autodidact like me, it may have taken a long break for me to realize that.

That doesn't mean you've always been active as an artist...!

I would like to ask you about your current works. What kind of image does painter ojifu have in mind when creating the motif of ``landscape between dreams and reality'' in your profile?

When I was painting until I put down my brushes, what I felt while interacting with various people in the art world was why so many paintings by Japanese people were dull and heavy, and the images I wanted to paint. I always thought that it was different. What's more, the world's hierarchical relationships, systems, constraints, and obsequiousness made it difficult for people like me, who were outlaws who couldn't shake the image in our heads and were not honest.

Since then, the image I have had in my mind has always been American pop.

The moment you see a landscape, you have an image of all the colors, and then it becomes a battle with yourself to see how close you can get to that image.

My motto and goal in painting is to express real-world landscapes more wonderfully and beautifully by adding my dreams to them.

I believe that you have created many works up until now.

What does landscape painting mean to painter ojifu?

When I come across a landscape that I want to paint, my heart dances, and then I can't help but want to paint it as soon as possible.

I want to feel that emotion, so I search for it again.

It sounds cool, but to be honest, it's the easiest thing to draw lol.

When I started drawing again, I realized that I was already 60 years old, which surprised me lol.

In the past, I used to paint people, still life, and anything else, and there was a time when I was especially good at drawing detailed buildings, but now when I draw people, I get too involved and get tired, and I prefer watercolors to watercolors. It's a pain to process, and it's not very satisfying to draw.

That's why painting landscapes is probably the best for my mental health.

​​​From your perspective, painter ojifu, how do you feel about the place and lifestyle of artists these days?

Nowadays, with the spread of social networking sites, there are many opportunities for presentations, which makes me happy. When I used to paint, all I had to do was hold solo or group exhibitions and wait for art dealers to invite me to see my paintings.

So I had no choice but to draw silently by myself.

It's true that whether a painting sells or not sells hasn't changed since then, but I feel like there are now many opportunities that can be found depending on your thoughts and actions.

Where do you get inspiration for your daily work?

Inspiration and imagination are essential when creating paintings, and what you are born with is also important.

Especially in the creative world, these two strengths can make a difference in the work.

When I used to draw, I had many opportunities to talk with people in the art world and art teachers, and they often told me that you were born with an innate sense of color and perspective. I may or may not have understood at the time that I couldn't learn from him, that I shouldn't learn, that I should just keep drawing, but now that I think about it, I think he was able to see right through his personality.

This is a little off-topic, but in my case, when I start painting, I already have a complete image of the colors and shapes in my head, so it's just a matter of whether my skills can keep up with that image.

Among the various techniques and media, please let us know if there is one that you are good at when creating works.

Not explicitly. I'm not sure if they use amazing techniques or not, but sometimes they use acrylic paint to cover half of the process and then finish it off with oil paint.

Also, when using acrylic paint, you can use gesso white as a base paint instead of white, or apply white gesso over the top after adding color to the sky and clouds, and take advantage of the light color that stands out. If you add more color, it will create an interesting atmosphere.

Do you have any interests or hobbies other than art?

Before I resumed painting, I had been riding a road bike and writing novels.

I had been riding a road bike for five years, but when my son wanted to ride it, he took everything from his helmet to his uniform.

Novels are my childhood (I was born and raised on the market street of Yokohama Chinatown)

When I wrote a funny story about a battle between boys of various races set in Yokohama Chinatown, I was approached by two major publishing companies, but both of them decided to co-publish it.

Publishing includes planned publishing, joint publishing, and self-publishing.

Yes, if it is a planned publication, the publisher owns the entire amount, but in the case of a joint publication, if the publisher judges that the work is interesting but has no sales potential, or that it may explode or not sell, it will be kept in the best part of the book. We have to bear the printing costs and everything else. If we hang our heads, we can make a national debut, but it's expected to cost 3 million yen. My wife says we can prepare the money and we'd like to make our debut, but this... That's a gamble.

That's right, and I decided to give up this time.

If I hadn't been drawing, I would have continued to do the above two things, but now I'm full of only drawings.

Moreover, my second son is actually a leather craft artist under the name Haru Leather, and is active on YouTube and various SNS. I am also working with the studio as an atelier, so at home I mainly focus on oil paintings, and in my atelier I mainly focus on portable acrylic paintings, with about 5 paintings in progress at the same time, so I am currently unable to do anything else. That's a problem.

Thank you very much for speaking with us! You have faced various difficulties and encounters leading up to your current activities...

Finally, please give a message to everyone viewing FROM ARTIST.

I think it's very difficult to judge a painting based on just one photo. I'm sure the artist has a similar feeling.

However, when you hold the original version in your hands, an indescribable emotion will envelope you.

And if you look closely and see the scratches of the brush and the drops of paint, which cannot be seen in the small photocopied photo, you will feel the artist's thoughts.

That is the real pleasure of having the only original edition in the world.

So please don't be fooled by the photos alone and make your own judgments.

I have uploaded many other paintings on Instagram, Twitter, BASE, etc., so I would appreciate it if you could take a look.

Introducing the works featured on FROMARTIST

Work name: Shirakawago back garden

Detail page URL: https://from-artist.com/products/sirakawagou-back-garden

List of works: https://from-artist.com/collections/painter-ojifu

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