Eriko Yamada


Eriko Yamada

Eriko is a champion of silk screen lab. Her works are extremely layered and detailed large format serigraphs on paper. I get lost in her pieces, filled with creatures and heros in a contemporary Japanese style. So, good! I had the honor of sharing a printing workspace with her for over a year and she puts in more work than any other artist I know.

Interview by Forest Stearns of Fatbol:

Fatbol: First off, tell me What to call you, Who you are, WHERE you’re from, and WHAT you do.

Eriko: Hi, I’m Eriko, with O at the end. It’s a typical name for a Japanese girl, but I guess my personality is not that typical as a Japanese girl from what my friends have been telling me. I mean, everyone’s different which makes the world and our lives much more interesting and fun, right? Most artists are at least a bit crazy anyway, whether they admit it or not.

I was born and raised in a small town in Japan, and when I was 18 I moved to San Francisco to learn art and lived there for about 6 years which was a blast! I moved back to Japan in late summer of 2010 and I’m currently working on a personal project based on my recent experience with medical care while continuing working on a series of Japanese mythical/folklore pieces.

Fatbol: Where can the world go to see more of your work digitally and gallery?


I have a show at Hanaya Kitagawa cafe in Nara in October.

Fatbol: What is specific and unique that you plan to develop for the Fatbol project?

Eriko: I’d like to explore cultural diversity and show some story behind each piece with a hint of humor.

Fatbol: What is your favorite style and application for your own work?

Eriko: My favorite style would be Ukiyoe. I always enjoyed making woodblock prints as a child, but silkscreen printing has changed my life as an artist ever since I took my first silkscreen class in collage. Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to create one right now, but there are a lot of interesting tricks you can do with it, and it is FUN!

Fatbol: Explain your own style and science of art.

Eriko: Color and texture are two things I really put a lot of thoughts into my work after I made plans for balance/design and the theme of the entire image. I do like artwork with black & white, and I sometimes enjoy making small artwork with pen & ink, too.

Fatbol: What are three words that best describe your artwork?

Eriko: Colorful, playful, mildly-mysterious

Fatbol: What inspires you?

Eriko: Nature. I look at plants, flowers, trees, insects, birds and anything in wild.

Also, I’ve always been fascinated with monsters that appear in folklores and mythological stories. Even if they are imaginary creatures, they are an important part of history and we can learn a lot from them. I’ve been reading books about historical images and mysterious legends to stimulate my creativity.

Fatbol: What is your earliest “artistic” memory?

Eriko: The day I was introduced to a pair of scissors…cut, cut, cut!!!! I made a bunch of confetti out of origami that day.

Fatbol: What is your goal in life?

Eriko: To have a gallery space open to any form of artistic talent.

Fatbol: Name something you love, and why.

Eriko: Sencha/Japanese green tea. It has to be the strong one. It gives me energy and I can’t live without it.

Fatbol: What makes you angry?

Eriko: When I accidentally bite my tongue while having tasty meal.

Fatbol: What was your favorite toy as a kid?

Eriko: Shovel and dirt.

Fatbol: What is your favorite toy now?

Eriko: Shovel and dirt. Gardening is fun.

Fatbol: What is your “dream” art project?

Eriko: It’s a secret.

Fatbol: What have you been listening to while you’ve been working on your art[recently]?

Eriko: I’ve been listening to KZSU online…they play variety of good stuff. I have too many songs on my iTunes and sometimes I don’t want to pick songs to listen to because it’s not fair to the ones I don’t listen to that day (hahaha..) but my usuals are..Converge, Mogwai, Isis, Four Tet and Robotic Empire Record Sampler from 2006.


Fatbol: If you were a cocktail on a drink menu at a bar, what would your name be?

Eriko: Spicy Bomb Limone

Fatbol: If you could go back in time and talk to “8 year old YOU”, what would you say to her/him?

Eriko: Don’t believe everything your mother tells you. She’s sweet and wonderful, but that doesn’t mean she’s always, 100% right about everything.

Fatbol: If you could collaborate with any other artist [living or dead], who would it be and why?

Eriko: KAGEMU - Collaboration of dance & digital art is very unique and it doesn’t get boring. I’d love to draw some characters for them and have a show in a cozy dance floor packed with people.

Fatbol: What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?

Eriko: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” - Richard Carlson

Fatbol: If you had a chance to say one sentence for the whole world to hear, what would you say?

Eriko: Live strong!