Wishcandy. Interview with Sashiko Yuen.
Wsks: Hi Sashiko thank you for accepting this interview, can you tell us a short & fun story about yourself, that you think is going give us an idea about you as an artist?
Sashiko: When I was a young girl I loved drawing kitschy pin-up girls. My mom never questioned it, but told me to hide them from my father. One day he accidentally discovered them and gave me a lecture so long, I didn’t draw anything naughty or from my heart again until college.
In our second level painting class, the young grad student teaching it said we would all design our own painting series for the first time. I decided to drop all my inhibitions and rebel against what I was taught was right and “proper.” My series wound up being an explosion of nude women, grotesque and romantic imagery. It was well received, I felt amazing, and I’ve never looked back. Please be your true selves, no matter what!
Wsks: Do you remember the moment where you decided that you were going to be an artist or was it something that kinda just happened, can you explain the process?
Sashiko: I’ve been drawing since the first moment I could hold a pencil. As a kid, mostly everyone draws, but at the time I didn’t realize I was way more interested than my classmates. I’d get my mom to take me to art museums and I’d draw both still life and my favorite cartoon characters.
As I grew up, everyone else stopped drawing and I didn’t. I’d study anatomy and got really into designing outfits! I almost went to NYC to model and study fashion design, but I was 16 when I graduated high school. So my father wouldn’t let me move there. After that I was told by a teacher it was possible to have a career in art, and not starve to death. That’s how I wound up where I am now.
Wsks: I think “Prankster” is one of my favorites, can you tell us more about her?
Sashiko: A lot of my work is semi-autobiographical. I was going through a rough time in my personal life, clashing with loved ones and letting go a lot of friends. My extreme moods and anger brought violent images to me subconsciously. This inspired me to create this girl.
She’s going through anger issues and easily could have done something more bloody. Instead it’s something more juvenile, she has a lock of hair in her hand that is obviously not hers. I’ll leave the rest of the story up to you.
Wsks: There´s a lot of painters that don’t put any special attention to the titles of the paintings, I think your titles are awesome! Can you tell us more about the titles?
Sashiko: When someone is looking at my art, I like to let them come up with their own meaning. It becomes personal that way. Though creating a title the way I do, I feel like I get to tell a story. It helps reveal my intention.
Wsks: The characters you create are inspired by people you know?
Sashiko: They’re inspired by the people I’d like to be friends with. Girls I could confide in, have long conversations, watch horror movies, bake cakes, and paint my nails with. I put a lot of my love into them. Essentially they are a melting pot of what I’m interested in.
Wsks: How will you define your work?
Sashiko: As long as I’m contrasting two very different things, it will be my work. If it’s beautiful or cute, it also has to be morbid or strange in some way. One can’t exist without the other. A sense of humor is also a big help.
Wsks: Most recent basic-iPod-playlist?
Sashiko: I’ve been playing a lot of Shangri-las, The Cardigans, Andrew Sisters, Elvis, Wanda Jackson, Little Richard, Vivian Girls, Lykke Li, and The Runaways. Trying to surround myself in mostly oldies to create a sense of nostalgia and sugariness. Otherwise I typically listen to Indie rock.
Wsks: What’s your favorite place to work?
Sashiko: The best place to work is in a studio alongside other artists. That’s a really inspiring and encouraging environment!
Wsks: When you travel, you prefer a shared room in local hostel or a big fancy hotel room? Why?
Sashiko: It would depend. If I’m traveling with friends I’d want a big fancy hotel room that we can act really silly in. If I was alone I’d probably go to a hostel (only for a short stay). It’s a lot cheaper and I’d be able to meet other travelers.
Wsks: What do you know about Mexican culture?
Sashiko: I used to study a bit of Spanish in school, so I only know a few basic things I was taught there. I remember the things that interest me the most, like El Dia de los Muertos or the strong sense of religion. I love seeing religious icons like Jesus or Virgin Mary with such bright colors.
Wsks: Do you know any Mexican artist?
Sashiko: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are the ones that come to mind. Only because I completely adore Frida. I love her strangeness and her candid use of surreal elements.
Personally, I do know comic artist Inés Estrada. Who is really sweet and a babe. Hi Inés! She makes really colorful and expressive work, which I dig. She’s talented so go look her up and send her some love!
Wsks: Thank you very much for your time Sashiko, I really enjoy your work, have fun.
Sashiko: No, thank you!~