Step Into the Studio With Josie Azuma
Josie Azuma's abstract work has inspired our clients since we began working with her earlier last year. With the launch of her second collection, we wanted to discover more about the artist behind the work. Read below for our interview with Josie!
View Josie's new collection here!
When did you first discover your love of art?
I’ve loved art as far back as I can remember. My earliest memories are loving art time at school and taking art classes in elementary school from a local artist.
How would you describe your artistic style?
My style has definitely evolved over the years. The last couple of years I’ve focused on abstract art because that’s what makes me the happiest--loose brushstrokes, with a focus more on color and feeling rather than a literal depiction of a subject. I’m constantly seeking balance in my works.
What inspired you to become an artist?
It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do all day every day. I felt very trapped working a 9-5. The experience of working in an office doing something that I didn’t feel passionate about, and how that made me feel, really motivated me to finally pursue my career as an artist.
What is the inspiration behind your work?
I love the process of figuring out the composition. The feeling I get when creating is my real inspiration, but there are so many inspiring things in the world around me-music, nature, New Orleans, my children, architecture, textiles.
How do you stay inspired?
I change things up. I love switching back and forth between collage and painting, and even with painting I will occasionally mix up the paints I use. I mostly paint with acrylics, but if I’m feeling a little uninspired I like to play around with gouache or oil.
Describe your process.
My process always begins with color selection and paint mixing. Rather than mixing paint colors every day, I like to mix large batches of paint that I keep in airtight containers and use those colors for a collection. If I’m painting, I’ll loosely sketch some shapes and just start painting. If I’m collaging, I cut a large section of paper off a big roll and paint papers to collage with. When I have enough, I start tearing and cutting the paper up. I will arrange the collage then glue it down, then it usually requires some tweaking at the end, because the papers laid out on the panel don’t always look the same once they are glued down.
Do you have a favorite artist?
Paul Gauguin has always been one of my favorites, I love his vivid use of color and shapes and have always been fascinated by him as a person. There are a ton of contemporary and emerging artists I admire--Ansley Givhan, Sofia Lind, and Maja Dlugolecki are just a few.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Passionate, Dedicated, Empath
Tell us a fun fact or something we might not know about you.
I practiced law for 5 years and then owned a wedding planning business for about 4 years before I decided to pursue art full time. I still help out with weddings occasionally, doing wedding design and also social media for my former employee who now owns the company!
Do you have any upcoming events, series ideas, or exciting news that you want to share with us?
I have some new collage pieces releasing with The Scouted Studio in March! I’m also very excited to be releasing some limited edition prints soon!
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Check out Josie on social media here!