I wanted “unquestionably clear black lines. When I saw the black edge of the stained glass, I realized, “That’s it! That’s what I realized. The artist, Sayaka Yamahashi

-Sayaka, can you tell us about your journey from encountering paper cutouts to acquiring them as a method of expression?

After graduating from high school, I went to Tamagawa University. I was very influenced by the art department at Tamagawa University, where you can learn all kinds of things from art history to practical skills. I used to make artworks with pastels when I was a student. I used to draw portraits. Influenced by an artist I admired, I started using soft pastels, saying, “I’ll study the art materials she uses.

However, as I tried it, I began to feel the need for more lines. I wanted something that didn’t have the unique colors of pastels. I was getting impatient because I couldn’t get the picture I wanted. What I wanted was an “unquestionable black line.

I can’t use a pencil, and even a magic marker is uneven. I want a line that is stronger than an oil-based pen. I tried a variety of art materials to get the lines I wanted. I wanted to draw the line I wanted at the time I wanted. I want my lines to be my own as soon as possible! I was in a hurry. What I ended up with was paper cutouts.

-How did you find your way from pastels and magic to paper cutouts? 

When I was on the train, I happened to see an advertisement for a church in the train. Anyway, when I saw the black edge of the stained glass, I realized, “This is it! That’s what I realized. It was Kirie that allowed me to create the “lines” I wanted.

I can’t use a pencil, and even a magic marker is uneven. I want a line that is stronger than an oil-based pen. I tried a variety of art materials to get the lines I wanted. I wanted to draw the line I wanted at the time I wanted. I want my lines to be my own as soon as possible! I was in a hurry. What I ended up with was paper cutouts.

-How did you find your way from pastels and magic to paper cutouts? 

When I was on the train, I happened to see an advertisement for a church in the train. Anyway, when I saw the black edge of the stained glass, I realized, “This is it! That’s what I realized. It was kirigami that allowed me to create the “lines” I wanted.

-The first encounter was with an advertisement in the train. How did you learn to reproduce the black edges of the stained glass?

I didn’t learn it from anyone, I taught myself. I first bought a cutter from a 100 yen store and tried it. Pastels and watercolors require skill, but I didn’t think paper cutting was something to learn. I tried it myself and found the “round the corners and cut it out” method. Anyway, I made soft lines with the consciousness of rounding the corners. In my mind, it was clear that the lines were not those of a famous artist.

-Please tell us about your current activities.

I draw portraits of pets to order from their owners. I have been drawing portraits since I was a student. I also receive orders from people who have lost their beloved pets. Some people say, “I can’t look at a photo, but I can look at an illustration,” and they are very happy.

-Have you changed your production tools?

I draw on an iPad. It was hard to get used to at first. Lines would appear in strange places, and the pen would slide around on the LCD screen. The advantage is that it’s easy to correct, colors don’t get mixed up, and colors are easy to adjust. It’s less tiring than drawing on paper, and I can draw more and more.

-The parenting manga you publish on social networking sites are also very interesting. I enjoyed talking with you after a long time. Thank you very much.

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Author of this article

SAITO Riko(齊藤理子)

幼い頃から絵が好き、漫画好き、デザイン好き。描く以外の選択肢で美術に携わる道を模索し、企画立案・運営・批評の世界があることを知る。現代美術に興味を持ち、同時代を生きる作家との交流を図る。といっても現代に限らず古典、遺跡、建築など広く浅くかじってしまう美術ヲタク。気になる展覧会や作家がいれば国内外問わずに出かけてしまう。

I have liked drawing since I was young, manga and design. I tried to find a way to be involved in art other than painting, and found that there were ways to be involved in planning, management and criticism. I am interested in modern art and try to interact with contemporary artists. I am an art otaku, however, it is not limited to modern art. I appreciate widely and shallowly in classical literature, remains, and architecture. If there is an exhibition or an artist that interests me, I go anywhere in and outside of Japan.