My name is Makiko Yaginuma. I am an artist and also an art psychotherapist.
Art has always been my primary interest and important drive in my life since childhood and I have never
stopped creating art until now. The ultimate expressiveness in art and creativity is truly amazing and I genuinely believe such a powerful medium can contribute enormously to make the world a better place.
Art as a form of communication
Art takes various forms such as 2D visual images, video, sounds, installation, performance and etc. We not only see art but also experience it both physically and psychologically, in other words, we communicate through art and this is where the real power of art kicks in.
This great communication potential can be used and applied in many different ways, such as in an art event, exhibition
or collaborative workshop in order to support social issues – and this is how and why I collaborate with MAINTENANT Sustaining Now.
What being an artist means to me
Being an artist, I see art as my life-long study rather than simply a profession. This gives me numerous opportunities to see things from many different aspects and widens my views about the world around me.
What qualities, interests and educational requirements do you need for this field of work?
Having a great interest in the visual and also having a habit of observing things are definitely essential as an artist. How you develop your own visual language is entirely up to you, and this can involve a long and deep thinking process so it would be great if you enjoy pondering, too.
Also as an art psychotherapist, I have an enthusiasm in learning and exploring the human mind. This interacts with my visual language and plays a significant part in my art making.
Studying in the university is not essential to be an artist. However, to become an art psychotherapist, you need Master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy and need to be registered with HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) and BAAT (The British Association of Art Therapists).
What I find fascinating about art
My very early career was in photography, then I moved on to theatrical design, painting and art psychotherapy. Through all these experiences, I learned that art can undo things when words are unable to do so. It is as if encountering the moment where the very badly tangled and complicatedly tied knot comes apart suddenly and magically. This is just so fascinating.
What do I do exactly?
I mainly paint in oil. Also I use ink and watercolour for occasional illustration works. I make paintings to build up my portfolio or to exhibit in shows. I sometimes paint for commissioned works, too. In these cases, my clients suggest some themes for me to explore with my paintings. In my art psychotherapy related work, I offer community workshops for children and curate exhibitions or events in a gallery involving socially vulnerable people and dealing with the topics around social issues such as homelessness, poverty, mental illness and disabilities.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals do I support?
Art can contribute to many of the global goals.
good health and wellbeing as well as reducing inequality are the closest that I am working on with art at the moment.
As Ellen Dissanayake, an American scholar, said, “Art is a need as fundamental to our species as food, warmth or shelter”, Art is indeed essential to keep us healthy!