POINT OF VIEW INTERVIEW #56
VISUAL ARTIST: CUTE HOSPITAL
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Question 1: What got you into making art?
I always drew a lot when I was little. I got into manga/anime when I was in 1st grade because my dad took me to the library and showed me a manga called Magical Pokémon Journey. I drew a lot of Hamtaro. I also drew things like Sonic and Kirby and Super Mario with my little brother. I was really into kids' anime and video games. :)
At some point though I totally stopped drawing because I lost confidence and I hated my art. I think I was around 14 when I stopped. Then later in high school, I got really sick. I eventually ended up in the hospital in late 2015 because my heart rate was so low and I almost died from a heart attack. I remember very clearly lying in my hospital bed unable to process any emotion and just watching my mom cry.
While in the hospital I was hella bored and depressed, so I started drawing again. I drew free portraits with crayons for the other patients. I still hated my art but stopped obsessing over it and just drew for other people. It always made them happy when I drew them, so I was happy, and I stopped caring that my art was shit. Eventually, I got into the habit of drawing my friends and started developing my online brand, which is hospital-themed (very fitting). That's basically how I got back into art. :3
Question 2: What people intrigue or inspire you to pursue visual art?
This question is unfair because there are a lot of artists I admire! I'm a fan of Asano Inio's work (especially Oyasumi Punpun) and Nemutai Company. I am also inspired by the French architecture team Studio Muoto, one of my faves. I study architecture in college, so I admire good architects, and they inspire me a lot.
But most importantly I am inspired by my artist friends and my little brother. I'm so proud of them all and lucky that I can even be around them! I hope one day I can be as cute, talented, and successful as they are.
Question 3: How would you define your style of artwork?
My style of artwork combines cute/sweet elements with dark/sad elements. The name "cute hospital" is kind of like an oxymoron because hospitals are generally not cute (they're mostly just sad and kind of creepy). The content of my work is often about the coexistence of pain and happiness; it is never purely about positivity. Basically, I would say that my art is cute but also gives off a different vibe.
Like many others, my art style is influenced by anime. But I just draw whatever I feel, and if you've noticed, I don't have a consistent art style.
Question 4: What do you hope someone will gain/feel out of seeing the illustrations you create?
I have always just wanted to help people. Most of my artwork was made as a form of self-therapy, but by sharing it with others, I hoped that someone could relate and that perhaps I could save someone's life. None of us are alone in our suffering.
I can't actually draw anything of substance unless it comes from a place of raw emotion. I'm a sensitive person, and I feel everything very intensely. Drawing can sometimes be mentally exhausting for me because I often have to relive painful experiences to accurately depict my feelings in my artwork (that's why I don't draw that often) but I don't know how to draw any other way! I want to infuse my emotions in my work, and I hope that people can feel not only my pain but my bits of happiness and glimmers of hope too.
Question 5: What is your favorite piece you have created so far?
After I was discharged from the hospital, I returned home and had a really hard time, because I wasn't allowed to leave the house or talk to anyone, neither in person or online. It was a complicated situation because I was still sick, but regardless I was very isolated, and I hated it. To survive that period of my life, I started to write my feelings into a book, and that is how Love Hospital was created. I had insomnia so I would spend all night working on it and crying constantly.
Everything I wrote or drew in "Love Hospital" is completely true. The feelings I wrote about were very intense because of the situation I was in a while writing about them. However, in a way, I am thankful for the pain because I was able to produce something very precious and meaningful to me... even though the art is complete shit lol!!!
Since I released it early last year, a lot of people have approached me to tell me how much Love Hospital has helped them, and that makes me happy beyond words. My parents told me that no one would care about my book, so knowing that people actually care is very heartwarming.
Love Hospital was also the first piece of artwork that I had ever posted on the Internet. Wowie! It's pretty weird to think that just a year ago before releasing Love Hospital; I was just a nobody. I'm still not anybody important, but I feel like I've at least been able to make a statement as an artist, however small.
You can read it at http://lovehospital.smackjeeves.com!
Question 6: How far do you plan on taking your art? Any future plans or goals you want to achieve?
Art is not my main source of income, so it will always be just a hobby for me. However, I still have lots of personal goals for my artwork that I want to achieve. I've always wanted to create apparel and other merchandise, and I want to make a game, too. I also have ideas for fictional comics, which I've never done before! All my books so far have been based on my own experiences (they're self-absorbed lol), but I want to try writing a fictional story.
I want to branch outside of visual art too. Nowadays I have a lot of friends who make music and/or DJ, so I want to try doing both. I've already started learning, and it's really fun! I also like to sing, and I thought I was just ok with it, but my roommate Shawn always encourages me, so I'm going to try doing it more. Now that I have a well-paying job, I'm excited to start taking voice lessons maybe. :)
Life is so short, and I'll probably die young because of the state of my heart, so I figure I should just do everything I have always wanted to do while I still can. I know I can achieve the dream life that I want, and I'm tired of being told that it's not possible, because I know that it is. I firmly believe that anyone can make their dreams come true if they work hard!
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