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Meet Chiemi Ito

Another one of our featured artists, meet Chiemi Ito. Currently residing in Japan, she is an artist and influencer well known for her detailed, monochromatic art style. Read more about her here!

Could you give us a brief introduction to yourself and who you are as an artist?

I’m a self taught artist who’s on the journey of finding her own identity.

What’s your background and what is something that you’d like to share with people about your culture?

I’m half Japanese and half Filipino, so I was lucky to have experienced two different cultures growing up.

I really like how, in Japan, a lot of people value art in different forms, whether it’s fashion, illustration or dance.

How did your journey as an artist start?

I started drawing because I really liked manga, but slowly it turned into my outlet when I’m feeling stressed.

Who are your creative influences?

My favourite works are from Junji Ito and Takehiko Inoue. They have really beautiful illustrations and I appreciate the tiny details they put in their works.

What sort of themes or styles do you gravitate towards?

I lean more towards dark fantasy: a little bit creepy but beautiful themes most of the time. I really like line art with no colors or just black, grey and white.

Do you ever find yourself stuck for inspiration and what do you do to overcome that?

I get art block all the time. When it happens, I usually take a break from what I'm doing, take a walk or listen to an audio book and horror story podcast - basically anything that gets my mind out of it. I find that the more I push myself when I’m stuck, it just leads me into a rabbit hole of frustration.

What do you think is an artist’ role in shaping society and culture?

Artists can influence people to learn and appreciate others' culture.

Can you talk about the artworks that you have done for Exit 9 and what your inspiration was?

Japan 😅 I thought that I would like to share something more traditional about Japan (Ninjas and Samurai) but with a modern twist. The two flowers that I drew are my favourite here in Japan: Tsubaki and Sakura.

Where do you want to take your art journey in the future?

I just want to continue sharing my work. I also hope to inspire somebody to start their own journey.

If you could give any advice to your younger self (and other aspiring artists out there), what would it be?

Just keep trying. It’s a slow and tedious process so prepare yourself and don’t give up. 頑張って‼︎

Explore Chiemi's Exit 9 collection, available for a limited time only. Don't forget to also give her a follow on Instagram @thisisnotchiemi

This interview has been edited for readability and formatting.

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