Satsuki Shibuya – Painter, Artist and Spiritual Thinker
A lot of you probably know Satsuki Shibuya through her lovely abstract watercolor paintings. Living and working in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, she creates artworks that are based upon intuition, energy and spirit. Satsuki calls herself a painter, artist and spiritual thinker, but in the end all she really strives for is being a creative messenger in order to spread love into the world.
As you can imagine, I was more than happy when this interesting woman said yes to an interview for the blog. I hope you enjoy reading Satsuki’s answers as much as I did and find some inspiration in the beautiful world she creates.
1. How would you describe what you do? And how did you discover that this is your purpose?
I would describe what I do as a creative messenger. Through creative outputs such as art, words, thoughts, imagery, and sounds, projecting energies and messages from the Universe to share with others of love, peace and harmony. Although I use titles such as painter, artist and spiritual thinker to best categorize myself so that others may be able to relate, in the larger scheme of things, I feel that it is just a part of the whole, which is to spread love into the world. For myself, painting and art is a direct translation of what my soul is experiencing , without any filters or manipulations. It is a direct expression of who I am and what I stand for. With words, it is a continuation of this expression, but in a way that may elicit better connections with those who may not feel that art is their language of communication. Through different mediums, outlets and expressions, I continue to on my mission while here on Earth.
The discovery of this purpose was not something that happened over night. Since young, I felt that a purpose, something needing discovery, a reason for my existence, but not knowing exactly what it was or how it would be uncovered. I searched furiously, ridiculed by some who quipped that the search would end in vain, but inside, knew that I could not rest until the bull’s-eye was hit. After falling ill, I was once again able to reconnect with this burning desire, which started since childhood and led me down the path of a spiritual awakening. Through this, all began to point in a particular direction, which was towards my soul purpose.
2. Your parents are from Japan, you were born and raised in Los Angeles. Does your family background influence your life and work as an artist and if yes, how?
I never consciously thought that the two were interconnected until I began hearing the voices of others who would see correlations between my background and work. I started to examine this more carefully and began seeing connections between our subconscious and the present self. Within my own DNA lie stories, lessons, and journeys beyond my own recollection, and these experiences, appear in my work, as I believe they are linked to my life energy. The more I dove deeper into this connection, the more I sensed my Japanese background yet could sense its infusion with being American.
3. When you were a child, what was your dream job?
I had many, although I recall two of the stronger ones, which was becoming an actress or a veterinarian. A veterinarian due to my love for animals and the thought of being able to help and perhaps save lives of creatures whom may not have a voice of their own in our human-centric world. An actress because I love and still do love the idea of being able to enact and live a different life than my own. To view life through another.
4. You already worked on a few beautiful projects with renowned brands like Kinfolk, Vrai & Oro, Madewell and Poketo. How do you attract the type of clients you want? Or how did you attract it in the beginning?
I have to admit that I have been very fortunate in that these connections have happened quite serendipitously. By nature, I am quite a shy person, and therefore, have not been one to assert myself. I have told people who ask this question that the Universe is my manager and that I fully comply and flow with what is gifted as I believe all happens at the time, rate, rhythm, it is meant to unfold. All I concentrate on is creating and sharing genuinely, authentically and humbly as possible. To stay fully connected and present in all that I am creating.
5. What would be a dream project or collaboration?
To be able to create a piece that is multisensory, experienced beyond the five senses, and connect others, who engage with the work, to simultaneously without the need for verbal communication. A piece that not only touches the hearts of others, but the soul of each individual and through it, awakens something within them to continue pursuing or nurturing their soul path. A wish to create or collaborate in order to awaken peace, love and harmony within all who inhabit this world. As you can tell, I have yet to bring this idea to fruition, but know that it is something I would like to create one day.
6. What has been the greatest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was becoming sick and not being able to work for over a year. It was a time when things were beginning to pick up momentum and suddenly, over night, came to a complete halt. Not being able to sit up for more than thirty minutes, let alone, do anything that required even an ounce of concentration, I felt completely cut off from the world. Although, at first, the illness was linked to endless darkness, now, is only felt with deep gratitude for if it were not for the pause, today would not exist. Through the shadows, I connected with a part of myself that had been hidden away since childhood and eventually found my path. Challenges are a disguise for a turning point in ones life and mine was no different. By allowing the illness to guide me, it was the beacon of light I had been in search of for since childhood.
7. What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have a specific routine or process?
A typical day starts with a morning routine consisting of meditation, reading, journaling and yoga or a combination depending on time availability. I have found that my foundation, though, is in meditation and it is something I try to do everyday no matter what may be happening. If not in the morning, then in the evening. It allows for the heart to stay connected with my inner rhythm, which connects to the Universe and keeps me centered. After my morning routine, it is usually breakfast for the household and then, right into work.
8. Where do we find you when you’re not working?
At home. It is where I am the happiest, at peace, and can truly enjoy the lulls of the day. I recently realized that I am quite a hermit, a happy one, mind you, as time is spent mostly at home since the studio is also located in our home. When 3PM rolls around and the sunlight is floating through the windows, with a book or magazine in hand, stretched out on the living room sofa, feeling a breeze lightly dancing over my skin, I drift off into an afternoon nap. There is nothing more luxurious, simple, and deeply fulfilling as the time spent during this magical hour.
9. What would you really like to learn someday?
How to transcend all fears and let go completely of the self that holds on. To be completely free, to live beyond my physical form, and be at peace with all.
You can find more paintings of Satsuki Shibuya on her website.
If you enjoyed this interview, feel free to share it with your friends.