About Michiyo


Allow me to introduce myself briefly first. Originally from Japan, I have spent over 25 years in NYC as a watercolor artist and an instructor at reputable art schools throughout the city. You can find more details about my journey on this page, along with my philosophy on my work and teachings. I hope this gives you a sense of who I am and helps you feel connected!

One of still life drawing from High school

My journey to become an artist

A curious child with colorful imaginations...

As a child, I loved doodling in my notebook during classes, often daydreaming instead of listening to the teachers.

In high school, my art teacher, a seasoned artist, mentored me. I spent almost every day at his studio after school, drawing and painting. I dreamed of going to art school but didn't consider becoming a working artist.

Instead, I chose photography to use my creativity at work. Starting as a photographer's assistant, I learned how lighting affects subjects, which was eye-opening. However, I missed the hands-on creativity of drawing and painting from high school. Developing prints in the darkroom was the closest I got to that feeling, as I watched images come to life before my eyes.

At 23, as I shifted from assistant to solo photographer, I felt my limited life exposure might limit my career growth. Then, I found a book on unique global schools. A certain New York art school grabbed my attention: it was affordable, taught in an atelier manner, and the location offering the life of independence among unknown faces. It stirred something inside me, and with a daring spirit, I took the leap.


Wanting to be helpful

Arriving in the U.S. as a student, visa rules prevented me from off-campus employment. I was granted Teacher's Assistant position, allowing me to guide fellow students in our mentor's absence. One day, a classmate valued my feedback, noting I articulated it effectively and it was simple to understand. This helped me realize the significance of providing explicit direction instead of depending on a "observe and learn" approach. Once I was approved for work-visa (aka "Artist visa"), I started offering private lessons and gain my experience as a teacher while developing my own body of work as an artist.

Connecting dots...

Growing as an artist

While working on my exhibition pieces, I reflected on my journey...

Support from my high school teacher motivated me to improve my drawing skills.

Assisting photographers taught me how to use lighting to create mood and atmosphere.

Studying under a watercolor mentor showed me the possibilities of this medium.

Teaching students helped me identify areas that needed explanation, leading me to develop better teaching strategies in order to share my knowledge effectively.

Interestingly, I stumbled upon watercolor by chance, and it changed me, molding me into the artist I am today.

For some reason you are here reading this, stumbled upon my website... I hope it's meant to be!

Now, it's my time to pass on all that I have gained to the world and help you to navigate the path of your own.

Copyright 2024 ©Michiyo Art Inc.