(Left: Collecting the stars)
TZ: So Yoskay, tell us what part of
Yoskay: I was born and raised in Toba
TZ: When did you make the long journey to come to
Yoskay: When I was 15 I moved to
TZ: Out of all the places, why did you move to
TZ: And then a few years later you moved up to
Yoskay: I wanted to do that whole art career thing, so I thought it would be good to move to SF. I was there for a year, and I had to go to school to keep my student visa, I worked 3 jobs and showed at a few coffee shops in SF, like Canvas. I had a show even at the coffee shop I worked at, I convinced the boss to let me put some work up.
TZ: Scott Belcastro said in his interview that you two worked together during your time in
Yoskay: Yeah we showed at a few coffee shops there in
TZ: Where do you go to get inspiration, or what triggers you to get inspired?
Yoskay: I don’t think that I have one place where I get my inspiration. I have interest in certain things that I do, like certain shapes, colors and textures. But I don’t have my own personal reference. It’s just that doing this, I know it will progress in a direction. To see what will happen
TZ: So by doing art you feel like you are progressing as a person in the right direction.
Yoskay: Yeah, basically.
TZ: So with 3 words, can you describe yourself?
Yoskay: I don’t even have three words.......
Soy milk, tofu..miso.......
water, rice and fish. (laughing)
(left: Yoskay in his studio at work)
TZ: What artists could you say that influence you?
Yoskay: There are a lot; it’s hard to narrow it down.
TZ: When you start a painting what do you do first? I noticed when I walked in you were working on a piece with an already finished background, do you start there with the background?
Yoskay: Well first I have to build the frame for the canvas and then Sometimes I sketch it all out first, and other times I just go directly on the canvas.
It really depends; I try not to have a routine when I work.
TZ: So are you a night painter as well?
Yoskay: Yeah, I am an all night painter. I work sometimes until 5 in the morning, it helps too to be living with Tessar Lo, we have similar working hours.
TZ: Do you have preference to a size to work on?
Yoskay: I like painting small little things sometimes, painting for days hunched over, and other times I need to stretch out and go big. I go back and forth a lot.
TZ: So, speaking about your current work: How did you get involved with Project gallery, how did the team form?
Yoskay: I started showing with Beau Bassie at the old space in
TZ: How long have you been working with Beau Bassie?
Yoskay: My first show was in 2005 with him.
TZ: So do you feel like you are part of a strong team of artists?
Yoskay: Yeah it’s nice to see the selection Beau made for the Project team, I think it was the best, some people have left and new ones have come, but I think it was a good choice. So now I feel really comfortable. It’s like we have this healthy competition that keeps pushing me.
We help each other out; it’s a give and take relationship we have formed.
TZ: How are you feeling about your success in the LA art market at the moment?
TZ: Do you have any new toys coming out soon? As your last one was a great success at Comic Con 08?
Yoskay: no comment....
TZ: What are your future goals? Any dream shows you would like to take part in?
(Above: Yoskay in his Downtown LA Studio. )
To see more of Yoskay Yamamoto's fantastic work please visit his website :
Thank you so much Yoskay for this great interview!