An excerpt from chats with artist and #hobesgirl Satsuki Shibuya earlier this month. See below for a day in her creative life, some insight into her new book and the exact 'moment' that spurred its idea. One of our favourite, highly inspirational interviews yet, along with some beautiful images from Satsuki and the team. - Thanks Satsuki!
Describe a typical day in the life of Satsuki Shibuya.
I rise at around 7AM and go straight out the door for a morning walk to enjoy some crisp fresh air while still in a daze. It’s quite dreamy, and allows for the senses to be at their peak due to my monkey mind not being fully awake yet.
Upon returning, I prepare breakfast for my husband and myself, which usually consists of some fresh vegetables, protein and a few carbs, along with feeding our pup, Skippy. This brings me to about 10AM when all is settled, and the work day officially starts.
The optimal work day for me is between 10AM and 3PM (with an hour lunch break between 12 - 1PM). I'm on the hunt for how to best utilize my energy, and have read numerous books on daily rituals and body rhythm. I have found the above schedule to work the best thus far. For those on a similar quest, I highly recommend The Power Of When: Discover Your Chronotype by Michael Breus and Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.
The morning block of time (10AM to 12PM to be exact) is my production time, when concentration is at its peak. Mixed with abundant energy, paintings, new concepts and experimentation take place.
After lunch, the last 2 hours are spent on administrative tasks and the work day ends with preparing for what is to come the following day.
Late afternoons are reserved for dinner preparations, relaxation, and free time to allow for the mind to linger and wander. Then it's right to the kitchen, followed by either brushing up on some Japanese while watching a Japanese show, or rounding out the evening with meditation, reading and journaling.
To some, a daily routine may be yawning, but for myself, having a constant allows for grounding, and expansion presents itself through the subconscious.
When did you first start painting?
I was never drawn to painting nor formally trained as a painter, but after receiving a sudden message in 2015, it opened a new world and I've not looked back since. Up until this point, it had always been music or design, and learned through traditional education. However, after taking a year-long hiatus due to a sudden illness, I found myself completely lost as to how I could function in the world. Feeling decapitated from what I knew, I explored deeper into the spiritual mind, and found myself connecting back to my roots. Through this process, a message to paint appeared and continues to evolve, with painting being one form of my creative expression.
What mediums and processes do you use for your work?
Simplicity aligns with my soul, and permeates not only into life, but is also the approach to my studio practice. An excessive abundance of stimulus overloads my system and therefore, when painting, I love to keep the process minimal, with just the necessary equipment: watercolours, paper, and a brush. Sometimes I'm drawn to the idea of introducing more mediums into my practice, but continue to humbly follow watercolour, as it has shown the way towards where I need to venture next.
Tell us about your book, Moment.
During a trip to Singapore, visiting family during Chinese New Year, I was waking before dawn due to jet lag, and greeting the sunrise with meditation and yoga. On the third morning, I suddenly received a message to write a book. At that time, the subject matter of the book, nor how I was to produce the publication were apparent. When such messages come through, I ask for three concrete hints or evidence before proceeding. After receiving triple nods to go ahead with this project, I searched what to write about, only coming out empty handed, until one day, I realised I had already begun writing the book. For about a year, I had been writing poetry and messages from the Universe, coupling it with watercolour paintings on my Instagram. I do not quite recall how or why, but it felt natural. Extending from this journey is MOMENT, a collection of watercolour paintings and words to accompany those on their life journey, searching for moments of reflection.
Where do you find your inspiration?
For myself, inspiration is all around, constant, but connecting specifically with nature, sounds, colours, communication with people, quiet moments, memories, and things of the unseen world; transcribed or transferred into the tangible. It is the stillness in-between chaos, in-between the noise, where I find inspiration most, and captured in a way with hopes of timelessness and fluidity.
Satsuki wears the The Boat Hobe in Beach
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