Updated: Aug 26
I am Mai Ryuno (pronounced as my you-know and means dancing dragon in Japanese), an everyday artist and educator of art and creativity in Monterey, CA.
Have you struggled with your creativity when you tried to MAKE ART? - I did.
This performance artwork is my pivotal moment as an artist to turn my everyday life into art, which gave me more freedom, confidence and joy to create art of my own and I want to share my artist journey and how this happened to me to introduce myself to you.
My journey as an artist
I started my artist journey when I moved to Monterey, California from Fukuoka, Japan with a dream of becoming an artist 20 years ago. When I started attending Monterey Peninsula College as an international student in art, my choice of art medium was printmaking. This medium was already familiar to me as woodblock printing is one of the old and popular art mediums in Japan, the basic techniques of which all of the students in the country learn at school.
3 years later, I had an opportunity to attend a graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute (the school was just closed permanently...) where I had a truly meaningful learning of art, life and myself.
Before that, my idea of art was related closely to the medium: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, etc. However, at the graduate school, I leaned a different creative process, which starts with ideas.
One day, my professor asked me what I would do when I experienced something memorable and wanted to share it with someone. Let's say that the experience was the most memorable meal. My answer before would've been to make images from the dining experience as prints and present them. Yet, the professor suggested thinking of my answer without thinking of printmaking as a focus of my study at the time. My answer was to take the person to the meal and share the real experience.
This is the moment when I decided to make a change to my way of making my art from the traditional/product-based to the conceptual/experience-based, and also use my everyday life more directly into my art.
My first experiment was not so far from printmaking and still followed the traditional fine art presentation. I made works on paper for which I took a drawing paper to restaurants and collected stains with itemized receipts and presented them as if the stains were artworks and the items on the receipts were titles and mediums.
My everyday life influences my art
As a native of Fukuoka, Japan, which is known for vibrant social life, the most profound situation for relationship building to me was sharing meals. Having busy parents with full-time jobs and no time to prepare meals for me and my brother, we accompanied them to meals with their coworkers and business clients, and witnessed how adults built their relationships over eating and drinking. It was natural for me to create situations where people share time, space, meals and stories, that become shared memories.
I was only given a few toys, but a lot of clothes when I was a kid. My mother dreamt of becoming an illustrator and loved fashion with a keen sense of details in design. When I think of my childhood, fashion and clothing were a big part and still are until today. So, it was natural for me to include the aspect into my performance artwork, which became my self portrait in some sense.
What's now and future
Today, I share my experience, learnings and creativity and guide your creative journey to find your true creativity, joy and freedom and make your everyday life art through my artist’s approach to life and teaching at my art studio, Play Full Ground.
PFG is a creative learning community designed to embrace everyone’s uniqueness, enhance creativity and make everyday life art. We work on real life projects with adults who desire to be their unique self with open-mindedness, freedom and joy in everyday life.
Wait! Did I tell you that my childhood dream was to make friends all over the world? It was and still is my dream. So, please subscribe and stay in touch!