MY STORY + “BLOOM”
“Bloom where you’re planted” is my motto. Bloom is my word for 2019.
Welcome to my newly bloomed online home where you’ll find botanical landscapes and portraits inspired by Mother Nature and my tropical childhood as the daughter of a botanist and a forester. For those of you who don’t know me, Hi! My name is Anisa Asakawa and thanks for taking a stroll through my daisy patch of the internet and following along in my artistic journey. This new online home has been a labor of love and I hope you enjoy this internet garden as much as I enjoy watering it. My goal is to create an inspiring online space where I’ll share and sell my artwork that is the truest expression of my soul, in order to give you inspiring art for your space that connects with you! I’ll use this online journal to share detailed insight into my inspiration, process, creativity and upcoming events. Are you ready for an adventure?
Let’s start at the beginning: I was born and raised in Hawaii (Kailua to be exact) and had a pretty blissful childhood swimming at the beach, running around barefoot, and climbing trees daily. Hawaii’s tropical colors & hula culture molded my current visual aesthetic and love for Mother Nature.
My family traveled quite a lot and we even lived in Malaysia and Wisconsin before I graduated high school. I studied Fine Art & Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis where I learned how to push boundaries and connect with my own artistic voice. Traveling the world extensively as a child and going through the rigorous BFA program at WUSTL shaped me into the artist that I am today. Before landing on my current artistic path, I worked as a Display Coordinator for Anthropologie, a Cake Decorator for Whole Foods and a Store Graphic Artist for Whole Foods. All these professional skills, in addition to my traditional fine art training, are coming together in the paintings you’ll see here. (images from my past lives below)
Another piece of my puzzle is my family. My mother is a botanist and my father was a forester. Both are ecologists and stewards of the earth. My Dad, who always inspired me to celebrate and take care of the planet, passed away unexpectedly nearly a year ago on April, 11th 2018. This shock transformed me as a person, artist, and new mother. In my grief, I’ve learned exactly how short life is and I decided what daily actions will amount to the life I want to create. I want to express my truest self without fear. You could say that my Dad’s death has created a chip on my shoulder that drives me to be the best I can possibly be in my life and career. I refuse to live the rest of my life in any other way - only rainbows and daisies over here!
in memory of…
Victor D. Phillips III. Sept. 26, 1949 - April 11, 2018
Devoted husband to Mai Phillips and loving father to Anisa and Chiara.
“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her; I perhaps owe having become a painter, to flowers” - Claude Monet
I now call Portland, Oregon home with my husband, Nick, our baby boy, Jun, and Nick’s nearby family. I’m grateful to have Nick’s incredible family as my own. Nick’s mother, Debbie Asakawa, is an avid hiker and explorer here in the PNW. She has shared her love for the PNW landscape with me over the years and was the one who inspired me to begin painting again when I was trying to figure out my art voice after many years of working for other people. After hikes out on the trail, I spend my days dreaming of new paintings and all the plants I want to highlight.
I’ve developed my own style of painting that involves a bright pink underpainting, bold brushstrokes, a unique visual perspective, and even cake decorating “brushes.” But, I’ll save this story for another post ;)
Thank you for getting this far and supporting me in my creative journey. I hope I can bring you some joy and inspiration in world that can be unexpectedly harsh and dreary…even down-right-depressing. Even though I’ve gone through dark times and golden ones, will you join me in the light?