A life changing journey: Takao Miura

At the age of 24, Takao Miura, began a year-long journey that would change the course his life.

Always good at science and mathematics, Takao finished at the top of his university class in Sapporo, Japan, earning a degree as a speech therapist. Still, he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted more of a challenge, and the chance to improve himself in a different way.

So he took off on his own for New Zealand to improve his English and experience what it was like to be all on his own. For the first months he was there he worked at Cloudy Bay Vineyard and stayed at a backpacker’s hostel for vineyard workers. He met new people every week and saw them come and go. Wanting to give them a small token of friendship as they left, he again took up his childhood hobby of “doodling” to create little farewell gifts.

One of Takao's botanical doodles

One of Takao’s botanical doodles

Soon, everyone wanted Takao to create drawings for them and he was reminded of his dream to become an artist. As he took English classes, got to know more and more people, traveled, camped and spent time in nature, he became more outgoing and sociable. Most importantly, he became more confident in his drawings.

Inspired by the Maori tribal designs of New Zealand, which reminded him of Ainu tribal designs from his hometown of Sapporo, Takao decided to learn everything he could about Maori tribal design and culture. After two months of intense study in the local library, it was time for a new, more confident, Takao to make his way back to Japan and begin his new life as an artist.

Tribal hippo

One of Takao’s tribal animals, this one a tribal hippo

Five years, a move to Tokyo and a few art competitions later, you can find Takao’s art in murals around the city, in his online shop (called Noah’s Art after the nickname he chose for himself while in New Zealand), and on his about.me page. Using it as his English website, Takao links the international about.me community to his English-language Facebook Page and Instagram so you can see more of his beautiful work. His favorite feature, however, is that he can put his favorite photo in the background of his page and have it prominently displayed. It’s certainly the reason why we decided to take a look at his page for the first time. We also love the video he’s embedded which shows him at work. Then seeing his Backstory, we were able to discover that apart from being an artist, he still pursues his love of math.

He works as a statistical analyst for a pharmaceutical company and finds a sort of chemistry between his two different types of work. While he can draw nearly everywhere (paper, leather and wood are just a few he works with), a clear and distinct drawing line is really important for his drawings. Why? Because he draws with with attention to good mathematical balance.  In the  flowers and circles of his art, don’t be surprised if you run across some trigonometric functions.

Takao at an artist fair in Tokyo.

Takao at an artist fair in Tokyo

If you had to recommend one place to visit in Tokyo, what place would it be?

That’s a really difficult question. If you’ve never been to Tokyo, I’d recommend you visit “Harajuku(原宿)”.

There is no other place like it. If you walk around for a few hours, you will find really interesting shops, fashionable people, and cozy cafes. Although I’m not big fan of shopping, I like walking around in Harajuku.

What else can you tell us about Tokyo?

In my opinion, Tokyo consists of many interesting neighborhoods. As I mentioned above, Harajuku is good for running into fashionable people. Each neighborhood has some special feature that it’s know for: Anime, night clubs, even for buying second hand books! I’d recommend you to walk around Tokyo in not only big neighborhoods but also small ones.  You’ll definitely find interesting things!

What do you like best about living in Tokyo? Do you think you’ll go back to living in Sapporo at some point?

Tokyo is one of the busiest and most complex cities in the world.  For me, Tokyo is the best place to meet people and make connections, and I think there are many opportunities for young artists. My hometown, Sapporo, is also quite big city (it’s the 5th biggest city in Japan), but If I were living in Sapporo, I probably wouldn’t have become an artist. I’m not if I’ll go back to living in Sapporo in the future. I’d like to work without settling down in certain place. It’d be nice if I could work and travel at the same time.  The background of my drawing is based in Japan and New Zealand, so it’d be nice if I could do something in both countries.

3 responses to A life changing journey: Takao Miura

  1. Ron Allanach

    Pretty impressed..enjoyed your creations as well as your interview – Sweet!

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