Naoko Takenouchi

i. I work as an artist primary using glass. My training is glass blowing and sandblasting, but I often combine fabric, wood , metal and other natural materials in my work to expand my visual language. 

ii. I do this creative work because:
Since I immigrated to Canada in 1993, the creative expression using glass has become a significant way of navigating my personal and creative path. It is also an important bridge between my inner world and society.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I can be very patient, sensitive and focused when I’m creating.

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Finding and achieving the good balance of production work and creative work. Glass making, specially glass blowing is a very expensive medium. It is very hard to generate enough income through the production work and still have time and energy to pursue the creative exploration.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I always loved to draw. When I was in kindergarden my dream was become a painter and live in Paris.

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
My early work was influenced by Swedish glass as I had an opportunity to work with several Swedish glass artists in Japan. In 1998, I saw a powerful exhibition by Bertil Vallien who is a well known Swedish cast glass artist. His sculptures had narrative and very mysterious messages to me.

vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I studied glass blowing at Tama Art University in Tokyo. After I graduated university, I worked with several Swedish glass artists in Northern Japan which influenced my early work. Since I came to Canada, I attended Pilchuck Glass School several times and also took workshops at Atlin Art Centre. I feel all the experiences are essential and helped me to be where I am now. 

viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
I like this quote. “The only time Success comes before Work is in dictionary. And that is alphabetical.”

ix. Some proud career moments:
When I feel my visual language reached to peoples heart and bring them inspirations.

x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
It is good idea to find a school to give you a basic training and understanding in your field, then get further experiences by taking workshops and courses. I also suggest to look for opportunities to train your creative process rather than just focus on techniques.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
The inspiration for my work has always come from my dialogue with my inner world and reflection on my life experiences. I’d like to continue to work the same way and if my work can speak to many people, that will be wonderful!

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
The Terminal City Glass Co-op will be hosting a spring auction Spark: Fire & Light on May 26th. Terminal City Glass. I am also having a show at Circle Craft Gallery on Granville Island until May 27th. I just had another exhibition at Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg FL.



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