Currently my artistic icon is Harumi Hironaka. She is a Peruvian-Japanese painter and illustrator that spent most of her teenage years in Japan, but currently lives in Sao Paulo. She claims that a lot of her influence came from anime and manga styled artwork.
She began her career by working as a translator, and later started her art career by working freelance.
¨I worked at home and spent most of the time sitting in front of my laptop, it was terribly boring. Every time I took a break I started drawing. So that’s when it hit me: I wanted to add color to my little drawings.”
Their artwork is very raw, a mixture of manga style, with realism, and hints of water colour technique. The art is sensual, and honest, and there is lots of different character in all of the people that they draw.
She learned how to paint by watching Youtube tutorials, and googling helpful tips and in less than a year had her exhibit at an art gallery. She said that she was shocked by the success, but wanted to dedicate more time to selling her illustrations, which she has.
The characters are all drawn with a similar style, and you can definitely tell they’re all the same type of character, but each is unique, and expressive in their own way. It’s magical. All of the art has specific focus on eyes and lips, and it defines the character.
She’s made a few statements about her work, but my favourite is;
“Crisis and emotions excite me. They awaken me and get me started immediately and recklessly. Nothing energizes me more than being at the edge of the cliff, looking into the abyss, feeling the uneasiness and the vertigo. These urgent situations make me translate my anger, my pain, my fantasies… into color.”
The semi fantastical style that the characters are drawn in catch subtle hints of sexuality, and for a brief moment seem to capture them and their life. All of them have a sense of style, and mystery, in a beautiful portrayal of realism.
She commented on the ‘imperfection’ behind the emotional state of each piece, saying,
“There’s something that vibrates in each of them, something that’s wrong. None of them are perfect, and that’s why, even when they are playing a character, they are more real than many people out there.”
Having imperfect characters to relate to is important. Portraying people as individual, and flawed, is an important description of character, and shows the humanity behind the art.
Her style is sensitive, emotional and sensual. When I look at her work, I find a lot of characters relatable, and they give me a strong emotional feedback. Her work is fantastic, and she deserves a lot more credit then she gets. She’s iconic, powerful, and her work will hopefully be, a life long project.
You can buy some of her prints off of her website, http://harumihironaka.bigcartel.com, and new products go up regularly. Her Instagram, which features other art work she does, some of them prints, some of them just singular art pieces that aren’t for sale, is @harumi_hironaka. |