I attended a solo exhibit at the Anthony Gallery that featured an artist who fuses her loves for art and fashion. Unaware of who the artist was before the exhibit, I was really taken by the messages illustrated through the pieces of art. When first walking into the studio, the guests are greeted with the mysterious title, “If this is a dream, please let me sleep”. The mysterious message set the polar and raw emotions that each of her drawings expresses. That said, she achieved this by illustrating girls with exaggerated and accentuated feelings which hint at Wakiyama’s personal emotions.
Before fame, the Japanese-born designer lived in Northern California with her family where she discovered her love for fashion. As time went on, she found moving to New York where she would get a degree in fashion design at Parsons School of Design. After graduating, it didn’t take long for her to find a job at Comme des Garcons, a leading luxury label at the time. From here, Wakiyama only worked harder to progress as a creative, working with other leading brands such as Supreme and Miu Miu.
Now focused on producing solo work, it is evident how her experiences have allowed her to fuse the two forms of art together as a multimodal project. When being interviewed by Yoon Skype, a creative peer, and jewelry designer, they discussed life growing up as an Asian-American. In addition to the commonalities they shared, Eri opened up about her struggle when it comes to verbally communicating messages. Thus, when she does go to draw and create visual emotions, she’s can do so in a way that goes beyond words.
In another interview with Christina Donoghue from SHOWstudio, Eri Wakiyama talks about the process that goes into her illustrations. When asked about the relevancy of her illustrations in today’s world, she says “ It’s a unique form of art that can’t really be replaced. Maybe it’s sometimes overlooked in how much time one puts into it, but that’s a different thing altogether. I wouldn’t say I like to do too much digital work because I love the touch of the pencil, pen, marker, or whatever I use. Put it this way, if society crumbles, I would still be able to find some medium and form of paper to draw. That’s pretty special, I think”.