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Interview Series 02 - Portraiture Artist - Chiho

Many people can draw portraits, but seldom we see an artist who draws with warmth in their art. Chiho is one of those portraiture artist whose art is not only cute and elegant, but it also touches one’s heart. It isn’t easy to put feelings into a non-moving piece of item, but for Chiho, she has done it with her cute drawings and portraits.

She has traveled widely to many countries, and with each place, there is always a unique culture that makes it so special. Taking these experiences with her, Chiho could make art and draw through the eyes of those she came across during her travels. With rich insights to how different people live, she captures the essence of what makes each and every individual so unique and one-of-a-kind.

1. Hello Chiho ! Please tell us more about yourself and the work you do.

Hello everyone ! I am originally from Japan but currently based in Singapore as an artist. While I’m not traveling, I work as an art teacher at Studio Miu.

2. What drove you to draw “Portraiture illustration”?

When I travel to other countries, I found that drawing portrait is a very good tool to communicate with local people. While different countries are bound by their own unique language, there are some things that people everywhere can find a common identity in. Especially, I believe music and art are some things that bind people and foster stronger bonds even though these people may not speak the same language. Traveling also opens new doors for me to escape from the daily routines and proactively evolve myself in a new place, a new life and with new people.

3. What is the most interesting thing in your work?

I can use my art as the medium to communicate with people while traveling. In exchange of my portrait art, I have experienced many kindness of people. For example, I am often invited to their homes or people share their food with me. Even though I do not speak their language that sort of kindness can be felt by my heart. Immersing in different ways of life has opened my eyes and heart to many new experiences, and there is always something new to be learnt. Being a freelance artist makes me think about what I really want to do and need to do.  I really enjoy having control over my own life, of being who I really am and being surrounded by various opportunities.

4. Are there any challenges you faced in your work?

I cannot travel as much as I want because I also work as an art teacher. So I start taking an online order to draw portrait so that my portraits can travel on behalf of me. I only draw a portrait manually not digitally. To track item after posting  is my small enjoyment. Whenver my customer updates me about receiving their portrait together with their happy photos and a background of foreign scenery, it is the happiest time for me.

4. Do you have any final words for those who want to embark on the same journey as you?

Never stop believing yourself, keep pushing yourself to achieve your dream or goal. Continue making one step, no matter how small it is. These small steps will lead to big leaps eventually. If it does not go well, you are probably in the wrong place, or the timing isn’t right, or that the crowd you are approaching isn’t right. Change your angle and don’t be afraid of trial and error.

5. Is there any interesting story you want to share with us?

Since I was young, I got close to my friend’s family very easily and I was often invited to their dinner at their home, which is not very normal in Japan. My parents were not very happy about this. I was taught that this was not a good things but when I am getting older, I realized that this is my special talent that I can enjoy adapting myself to a new environment and a new community easily. As it allows to express who I am and helps my artistic side blossom as a traveling portrait artist.  🙂


Chiho's Website

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Special Thanks to Nilufer Tea x Chiho

Chiho can convey her kind and warm intents through her art that have been lovingly drawn by hand. She loves to spread happiness to people by drawing exclusive pieces. Her skill has given birth to many cute and wonderful portraits that are unique and convey a happy feeling to those who set eyes on it. She hopes to continue drawing for people all over the world with the purpose of making people smile.

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