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Welcome to Mai's Everyday Art blog!

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

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.

Watch the performance in action

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.

Drawing with stains left from a meal at SPQR restaurant in San Francisco
Memory Drawing, mixed media, 2007

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.