We had the good fortune of connecting with Mayuko Ono Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mayuko, why did you pursue a creative career?
The most important reason I decided to pursue an artistic career is that I do not want to regret not doing so when I am dead. I have always loved to draw since I was small, and the idea of pursuing an artistic career came naturally. I attended Japanese calligraphy school since I was 6 years old. When I was in junior high school, I seriously considered becoming a comic book artist. At high school, I attended private drawing studio on weekend to learn and drill my drawing skills. A lot happened since I came to the US right after my high school graduation, but eventually I came back to pursue the MFA degree.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My works are hybrid of Eastern and Western traditions. The use of imagery and words are very rooted to history in Eastern art, but I use the Western manner and technique of drawing using graphite. Combining these two is where my artistic license comes in, which I think makes my works unique. Pursuing an art career is not easy. Especially if you are investing so much money and time pursuing an art degree at college. To the point, there is not a good employment perspectives after graduation even with the terminal degree of MFA. I had to really reflect on myself if that was what I wanted, and my answer was yes. The lessons I learned along the way, is that you really need to be true to yourself, and create art that is truly yours. Do not be influenced too much by what others are doing/saying or what is hot in the art market. Everyone is a critic even those who does not make art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Given the covid situation is over- I would take her to Galveston. We would go to the Jimmy’s pier, sit at the patio, enjoy locally brewed beer and gaze at the waves and beautiful sky. On Saturday, we would have a nice dinner at the Nippon restaurant on Montrose, and go to gallery openings at the Colquitt street (which happens every 6 weeks). I would also add baseball game and concerts.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My daughter, she has been the reason I work so hard. My ex-husband, and my current husband, for putting up with me, and supporting me with my artistic career.