Interview with Artist Mizuki Chiba from Japan

Mizuki art woman longboarding her waves

Tell us a little about yourself and your creations:

Hi! I'm Mizuki, 27 years old half Japanese-Filipino living in Izu peninsula japan. I was born in Saitama Prefecture and raised in Manila Philippines.  I didn’t have a chance to go to an art school because my mom wanted me to study a field that able me to get a secure job ( as many of the Asian parents do haha ) which lead me to study Information Technology instead. Being heartbroken, because I was unable to pursue the field of study that I wanted, I stopped doing my art when I was a student. I came back home to Japan after college and worked in Tokyo for a year. After working in a big city for a while, I realized that I was not happy with the life that I'm living and being tired of living in the city, I decided to move to the mountains of Nagano and I started snowboarding for a whole winter season. And that’s when my love for board riding started. Thinking of what am I gonna do after the snowboarding season, I decided to try surfing and ended up moving in this beautiful small town called Shimoda in Izu peninsula. And I was in love with surfing and this city since then.

I was inspired to do art again when I saw a poster for Shimoda city surf campaign made by Andy Davis and discovered the Surf art.  I love surfing and realize that I can do art at the same time also which is the best of both worlds!

My creations mostly focused on surfing culture itself. From the scenes of classic 60’s surf films to modern surf photography.  I love experimenting with new mediums and styles.

Mizuki art piece girl surfing her waves

What inspires the art that you create?

One of my big inspirations on the art that I create is my dad. He’s a surfer since he was a teenager and hearing his surf travels and experiences make me want to be better and surfing and to do my art more.

And also surfing with my friends is my inspiration too. Just the simple things like waking up in the morning to the sound of the waves, prepare and grab my board, paddling out and meet some of my friends on the lineup, chilling at the beach after surfing with them are the happiest moments of my life. I'm so thankful that I have them in my life.

Mizuki art piece lady lying on beach her waves

What is your favorite part of the process when creating something?

Actually, my favorite part is BEFORE I work on my art! I go to the beach and I just listen to the sound of the waves while watching the waves crashing to the shore. If the weather is good, I grab on my biggest board and paddle out just to sit and appreciate the beauty of the ocean. After that, I go back to my room, play on some good music and work on my art for hours.

Mizuki art woman flower head piece her waves

What plans do you have for the next year? What do you hope to accomplish with your art?

Big steps as I say. Since I started creating my art, I never showed anybody my art until 3 months ago (which is around December 2018) when I opened an Instagram account for my art. My plans are to know well the surfing community itself and art hoping that the little things I do give smiles and happiness to the people who see my art.

Mizuki art woman lying in ocean with surfboard her waves

What is the surf like in Japan? Where is your favorite place to surf?

Luckily, Japan is in the Pacific ocean so we have the good swells all year round! From north to south and east to west, we have hundreds of surf points that you can surf.

I have two places that I love going on surfing. First is the place that I live Izu. we have the white sand beaches and crystal clear water. It so clear that you can even see the manta rays chilling on the ocean floor while you’re waiting in the lineup! It's a popular diving spot and hiking spot because we have the mountains also. Its almost a paradise on earth.

My second favorite spot is in Canggu Bali, Indonesia. As all of the surfers know that Bali has unbelievably perfect waves, I found my perfect mellow waves in Canggu. And I travel to Bali every winter to escape the cold waters of Japan.

I plan to travel more too to find a place that I can list on my favorite places to surf!

Mizuki surfing her waves

Follow Mizuki on Instagram: @mizukichiba_arts

Mizuki photo of herself her waves

I’m inspired by the water, the sun, the moon, and the stars. My countless wipeouts, my dreams of noseriding, and the feeling I get when sliding across the face of a wave.

Meg Jacovino