Visual Arts — February 16, 2015 13:24 — 0 Comments

Yoko Feinman

Yoko Feinman (perhaps the best name in all of art) has a warm, loving and cute aesthetic that can melt a frozen heart or stoke an already warm one. She is blessed with a keen sense of curiosity and a bubbly personality on the page. I am happy here to display some of Yoko’s new pieces and to chat with her about her inspirations, how she works and what’s next for the D.C.ian turned Canadian.


Jake Uitti: You sit down, pencils and water colors and paper in front of you. You look at the blank page. What are your first few thoughts?

Yoko Feinman: I rarely sit down without an idea already simmering. Often times I’ll see something on a walk, an animal or kitchen appliance or pattern and wonder how it would translate to watercolor. Also, because a lot of my work is made with the intention to be gifted to another person, I’m usually thinking of objects that remind me of them, or that I know they have a relationship with.

When I play or practice techniques, I take the most mundane things and see if they can’t come alive somehow. Watercolor naturally expresses so much movement and personality, and continues to shift even after I lift up my brush due to bleeding and drying. I like that I make executive choices but that the paints have a mind of their own, often creating outcomes beyond what I could have conjured.


JU: How do you know when you’ve achieved something successful?

YF: That’s a tough one. I usually don’t know until it’s too late and it feels like there’s too much happening. These days I practice restraint and use “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” as my axiom (thanks Leo.) That said, I’m not going for sophisticated. Just clear.

JU: Are you the type of person to clear hours out and go to work painting, or do you drop everything when inspiration finds you? Or is it some other way?

YF: Usually I will paint when I feel compelled by an image or occasion but sometimes I realize it’s been a while and I just need a good doodle and paint sesh. I’ll turn on a movie I’ve seen a dozen times (so I can ignore it and enjoy it simultaneously) and paint because I need to keep practicing, keep playing.


JU: Are you working on anything new right now?

YF: I recently applied to a crafts fair called Urban Market in Ottawa. I’m hoping to see my cards and prints there come spring. In terms of the selection I offer, I feel like there are a couple essentials that are missing and I’m working on those designs. I’m also focusing on the business aspect which is something I’ve avoided for a while: card sleeves, logo stamp, business cards, update website, pricing, product description….it’s a never ending list of details that ultimately lead to a better customer experience, and that’s important to me.




Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

Leave a Reply

The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney