Before Taro Takizawa’s Summer Artist Residency at GoggleWorks came to a close, we were happy to have the chance to chat with him and debrief on his experience. Learn what Taro took from his residency and about his next adventure by reading the full Q&A!
Taro Takizawa took in and used everything around him in his art practice this summer, from the shadows cast on the floor in his studio, to artisan paper he had collected. He made sure to see the sights and even take a GoggleWorks class while he was here. Taro challenged himself to create in ways he hadn’t tried before and to take risks in his approach, all while creating a cohesive body of work that you can see in the Artist-In-Residence Exhibition until August 29th.
- Tell me about your most recent creative experience. What did you do, see, or experience and how did it impact you?
I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn spoon carving at the woodshop from Luke. The linear process of carving out a three-dimensional form showed me a glimpse of its depth in the process and craft.
- How have you adapted your process to working out of GoggleWorks studios? What kind of creative problem solving did this allow you to do?
Every studio is different, and especially for facility-dependent disciplines like printmaking, it’s always a challenge to adapt to a new working environment. I personally haven’t experienced walking into a new studio that felt “the same” compared to what I am used to. From the basic materials, tools and equipment, even the layout can throw you off your flow in the studio. Hence there was a lot of adjusting in the first couple weeks but at the end I was able to manage to work with the studio.
- What objective have you worked towards during this residency? What steps have you taken this summer to fulfill that objective?
As I mentioned in the first Q&A, on top of being productive I was aiming to take risks and try new methods, or materials, and different approaches in my studio practice. I ended up trying different approaches on drawing, including one where I did several drawings of cast shadows in the studio space, then turned them into a relief print. I also tried collagraph which I’ve never done before. This technique turned out to be a very affordable and efficient way of producing prints, the only downside is that I cannot consistently produce an edition larger than 5 prints.
Has your time here spurred any new objectives or avenues you’d like to explore?
The collagraph technique I mentioned in Q3 would be a new avenue for me to keep exploring. I enjoy relief printing and the carving process but often it is time consuming. I was able to produce as complex images as I can do in collagraphs, but faster and easier on my body, and I am interested to see what else I can do in this process.
- How did you spend your free time during the residency?
I went up to the Pagoda multiple times on my road bike but wish I had done it more. The temperature made it challenging to go out during my stay.
- Where have you found the most inspiration during your residency?
In the studio, and my cohort Colby and Dan, who were super dedicated. Being in the studio all the time made me get up and make work in the studio. I was also inspired by some of the GoggleWorks team members: Luke who taught me spoon carving, and Kristen, Scott, and Ben who were all dedicated to their own practices.
- In what ways do you believe this residency has impacted you, your creative process, and/or your artistic journey?
My creative process evolved in a small way, the time and space GoggleWorks offered the resident artist was unbeatable, and I really enjoyed my time in the studio here. But the biggest impact is probably the people I met during my stay. I am an introvert, but the art world I belong to is relatively small, and I am always grateful for all the interactions I had with artists and art supporters in the community.
- What was your favorite experience or thing to do while you were here in Reading/Berks County and why?
Colby and I did a hike earlier in the residency and went to the Pulpit Rock/Pinnacle Loop. It was a good long hike and an amazing view. I really enjoyed looking at hawks cruising in the valley.
- What is your favorite piece that you created during the residency and why? If you don’t have a favorite, why not?
The series of collagraphs are my favorite. It’s new, and most of them are printed on Bunkoshi, or Kitakata select paper from Awagami Paper, which are some of the leftover premium Japanese papers I had from my award a couple years ago. The paper made a huge difference in my opinion. They are not cheap, but I’m hoping to continue to use them in my works.
- What’s your next adventure?
I’m moving to Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of this summer. I’m looking forward to this big change in my life.
Keep up with Taro’s work and Copenhagen adventures on his website and on Instagram @tarotakizawart.
It was a pleasure having Taro’s presence in the Printmaking Studio this summer at GoggleWorks and we are wishing him all the best on his big move to Copenhagen. We can’t wait to see what great opportunities and inspiration he finds there!