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Art & Life with Kaitlyn Shimazaki

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaitlyn Shimazaki.

Kaitlyn, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I started Mayumi-Ko very recently. For the last 5 years, I’ve worked full-time as a strategist at a digital marketing agency. I’ve always had a creative side, but I never really get to touch on that with my day-to-day tasks at my job.

When I first started working, I moved into an apartment in San Francisco and I needed some art to make my new place a home. However, I was making an entry level salary while living in one of the most expensive places in the country. So, I went to Target and got some poster board and painted my own stuff.

I ended up doing that for my next two apartments and even for some of my friends as well. It allowed me to create what I wanted, and that made me really happy, especially when I got to see my friends’ reactions when I gave them their pieces. I started by painting stuff for people like cards, prints, or even t-shirts as gifts. By the fall of 2017, I bought a tablet, started drawing digitally, and made a separate Instagram account called “Mayumi-Ko”.

I think what’s unique about my story is how Mayumi-Ko brought balance to my life. I love my job and my company but I wasn’t able to fully access my creative side. But that’s ok; I’ve always been told not to put all of my eggs into one basket. With my artwork, I have a stress-relieving outlet that counter-balances my analytical day job. Mayumi-Ko allows me to share what makes me happy with other people. Seeing other people happy with what I create brings me a lot of joy!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make a bunch of different things: prints, cards, clothing, mugs, phone cases etc.… I draw everything digitally on my iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. The digital aspect is huge for me because it really widens the horizon in terms of what I can create. I grew up in Southern California, and summers were always spent at the beach. A lot of what I create is influenced by the ocean and its’ surroundings because of my upbringing. The prints I create make any place I move to feel like home for me. I wanted Mayumi-Ko to be a way for people to make their spaces a “home” without the obstacle of breaking the bank, because that was me when I first started working in San Francisco. A lot of what I wanted I couldn’t afford, and I didn’t want that to be what inhibited me from having a space I enjoyed coming home to.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
I would definitely say my one piece of advice to another artist and a lesson I wish I learned earlier would be to not compare yourself to others. It’s really difficult with social media and other outlets not to constantly compare your own work to someone else’ s. Instead of discounting the work that you’re doing, enjoy your work and the differences in what other people are doing!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can check out my work through my Instagram (@_mayumiko) or my website which has everything for purchase! I have a few retailers at the moment, which I didn’t know was even possible, but I am so grateful for. People can support my work by purchasing or just following along my journey!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal Photo Taken by Ryan Daly
Other Photos Taken by myself & Ryan Daly

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