Creative Director and Model, based in Brooklyn. She's a Japanese artist interested in exploring different points of view through her multicultural background. Maruchi is her creative agency where she emphasizes making a better environment for the creative industry for both artists and clients. She took some time to share with us her work and what Support means to her.
As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?
Support from my peers inspires me to believe in myself and keep working hard while supporting others in return. As a freelance creative, it's so important to me to interact with other creatives, while encouraging and looking out for each other. It makes me excited to listen to their thoughts and processes. It's a community.
Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?
My mom has always been supportive from the very beginning. She is a doctor and I am her only child. Her peers would ask me if I would follow in her footsteps, but art was my only interest from when I was very little. We couldn't be more polar opposites in what we do. Regardless of that, she always supported me to take art classes and believe in my talent.
What is a big challenge being a BIPOC creative in your industry?
I've seen positive changes in the industry, but the biggest challenge is still feeling like you're a token for the benefit of others. It feels performative, and it isn't satisfying when you feel like you got hired for the diversity card.
Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?
Making genuine connections with other creatives and having a community that will give you honest feedback has helped me navigate making decisions for my career. I also like reaching out to people you look up to!
What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?
I am a fourth generation Chinese, born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. I moved to the U.K. to attend University at 18 and moved to NYC after that. Being multicultural is a big part of my identity and my work. I started my own creative agency, Maruchi which stands for "multi" in Japanese. I believe as creatives, we are often multiple things, whether where you're from or what you do. I hope it can be a place for fellow creatives to feel safe and valued for their art.
Why is BIPOC representation meaningful to you?
I get excited and feel proud when I see the BIPOC representation because I can personally relate to it, and it gives me hope for a more diverse perspective in the industry.
Why is DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) important to you and your industry?
To me, it means that people care. I think the more diverse the industry is, the more beautiful work and connections will emerge.
Why are telling BIPOC stories important to you?
It's my identity, and I hope other people can relate to it in some way. Even if my work is not directly related to my culture, the process of collaborating with others is just as important to me, because I get to learn about their stories as well.