Painted Portrait Interview with koyamori

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Welcome to Painted Portrait, a new Interview series focusing on traditional artists worth keeping an eye on.  Painted Portrait interviews aim to give the community more insight into talented traditional artists and how they came to be successful with their art.  Today we are interviewing koyamori.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you, let's start off by having you introduce yourself.

Hello there!
My name is Cynthia, and I mainly use koyamori or maruti-bitamin for online handles.
I live in Toronto and have studied psychology and biology, and am currently attending college for graphic design.

What inspires your illustrations?

Childhood nostalgia and exploration of the unknown are some dominant themes that are great inspirations.  


What are your favorite medias to work with and why do you liek them?

My favourite medium for some time is a mix of watercolours and inks. I like them because the colours are light, bright, and often can come out with unexpected results due to paint/water reacting with the paper.

What are your tools of the trade?

Some tools I always end up using are nib pens for inking, sable hair brushes for painting, and loads and loads of watercolour. These days I like to line with Pentel's red mechanical pencil because it dissolves nicely as water is added and adds a warm tone to the picture.

How long, on average, does it take you to finish one of your illustrations?

On average, probably 2 hours. Some sketchier paintings can take all of 20 minutes, but the detailed ones take up to 10+ hours.


What inspires your stlye, how did you come by it?

Tove Jansson who is the author and artist behind the Moomin comics/novels inspired me stylistically. Also, Igarashi Mikio who created Bonobono influenced my general philosophy in terms of themes I guess. Styles develop organically over the years, so there are definitely many more artists and designers who have influenced me, but these two would be a big part of that.

At what age did you begin painting and do you have any formal training (art school etc)?

I started to paint at 15 or 16, mainly for a high school art class. I don't have formal training, but I did tag along to a few drawing classes and life drawing sessions.

Are there any artists or other inspirations which have helped you become inspired and or progress with your art?

Since artists have already been mentioned, the other major inspiration toward art would probably be my childhood. I spent the first few years of my life in China where there was a lot of change and the countrysides were quickly being rebuilt into small cities. When I moved to Japan, there was a lot of nature in conjunction to human living, and I was exposed to the culture there.
I think having moved around a lot and seeing the different ways in which people live was a big influence.  


What is the most rewarding aspect of completing a work of art for you?

I enjoy the painting process the most, because it helps me relax and for that moment it's the one thing I need to focus on.

What advice do you have for other aspiring artists?

Draw as much as you can everyday.

Is there anything else you'd like to say in closing?

Thank you for reading!




Previous Painted Portrait Interviews:


Scenceable / ZawArt /
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Rutiej's avatar
Cool interview