The course at FMCC was an awakening. The course was in Fine Arts, and it was a time of exploration; of working and identifying which elements of art felt good to me, and those that I was good at. Over the two years of the course I really found time to develop not only the craft of many different mediums of work whilst at FMCC, I also found that my taste and style developed too. I remember becoming obsessed with some individuals that we studied – Klimt for example – and I was so inspired by them, that I would find my own work started to reflect elements or details from that. It was great to have the freedom to express so many different ideas throughout my studies.
My teachers at this time were an inspiration, too. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that some of the professors changed my life; in particular, Professor Chapin whose insight really taught me a lot. At FMCC I did lot of classes in drawing, painting, as well as art history; Professor Chapin taught me about painting, and the passion and skill he had really drove me to improve my own techniques and to try new things so that I could find my true style and authentic way of working.
The classes at FMCC were so specific, which attracted me to the course but also helped me as an artist later on. Take drawing for example: that was not just a generic skill but there were classes run by specialists in drawing for fashion (which I later pursued at the Fashion Institute of Technology), drawing of anatomy, still life. The range was huge, and allowed me to really hone the skills I had been developing for a while. This has really helped in my career as I cover such a wide range of work in my skills now – from sketches to be sold back in Japan, to graphic design, to portraits. In particular, the portrait work is something I think I really learned about at FMCC. I remember one piece I did a few years ago now; the couple gave me so much source material and wanted me to do a portrait of them for their anniversary and incorporating so many of those elements was a skill I honed under the tutelage of professors at college all those years ago. The core purpose of an artist is to tell a story, and I think that is what I have to do but rather than 1000 words, I have to completely communicate in one piece the same complex ideas so there’s a lot that goes into that one drawing, and a lot of skills.
I found that over these two years at FMCC I discovered my passions: to capture the moment, and to make people happy. That has set me up for my career today.