We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikiko Yamabayashi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mikiko, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Never reject any creative offers no matter if they’re too small or too big. Trying to keep creating positive work that will lead me forward….to where I am now.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my experience, the process of how designers learn and grow is rarely easy. All of my friends and family are a big part of the process. Because I was an international student, the help of teachers and classmates was essential throughout my time in school. Every step of the professional growth process for me required mentorship and the advice of trusted peers. Each of these people has helped me to adapt to a new culture and I couldn’t have survived this process without their help. In the future, I hope to return this goodwill and support to the next generation of designers. We are all part of a relatively small creative community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to one of our music festivals! But I also would looooove to take them to Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree is such a magical and beautiful place to visit for camping, stargazing, observing mysterious UFO stories, and to see the distinguished geography of the Mojave desert. I find that each Joshua Tree is unique with its own character. With their outstretched arms and distinctive gestures, I feel that they are talking to me. At night, when you turn off your lights, you only hear the animals and the wind. There are infinite galaxies of amazing stars in the endless sky.
And it is an easy two hour drive from LA, and you can easily find plenty of beautiful accommodations in the area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Insomniac Events, the company who runs multiple music festivals and small music club events. Especially Rick Klotz, a legendary graphic designer who made underground music event flyers in the late 80’s and 90’s. I’m still learning many new processes of graphic design related to rave culture and at Insomniac I have had an opportunity to integrate more focused content.
Dance music culture is a major artistic influence in Southern California and is still growing in many ways including visual branding, fashion, and music. The community where I work started from an underground rave party throughout the ’90s. When I was in Japan I used to dream about being part of this scene. As a student in Tokyo I dreamt about people dancing at underground clubs, promoted with low resolution graphic flyers, posters and motion graphics. The smoke filled rooms were very different from the world around me and I loved the colors and fashion. I feel so lucky to be part of this world now!
Other: Behance: https://www.behance.net/mikikoyamabay