You have self described your art as “a pop with a pinch of poison”. What does that mean and what exactly does poison entail?
Most of my art uses pop colors and at first glance it feels cute. I like to put a sense of irony in my illustrations. I put in ironic messages in the illustrations that no one would notice and draw the character's facial expression as a mischievous face.

I describe a little bit of “irony” as "a pinch of poison".

You paint on skateboards and your personal logo is a girl skateboarding (while flipping people off). How did you first come to know skateboarding culture and how influential is it to your artistic practice? Are you a skateboarder yourself? And what do you wish for people to know about skateboarding?

I like movies and music, and from there I became interested in skateboarding culture. When I was a teenager, I used to go to a local shop to look at skateboard brands and art goods. I bought magazines at that store and fell in love with skateboarding and graffiti art. I learned a lot of art, fashion, and music from skateboard culture. For example, I discovered Barry McGee, Mark Gonzalez, and Tommy Guerrero- who are still my favorite artists.

I wanted to be a skater and practiced skateboarding. However, I didn't improve at all. I also didn't have any girl skating friends, so I stopped practicing. Thinking about it now, I wish I hadn't stopped for that reason. But I still have a strong admiration for skaters, so I often draw pictures of skater girls.

Skateboarding is still not very popular in Japan and some people don't like it. I want more people to know the wonders of skateboarding. Also, I think it would be great if there were more places in Japan where people could skateboard. 

Speaking of icons, your illustrations almost always feature animals. Most common are big cats and dogs. What is the purpose behind accompanying them with your figures? Do you personally hold any special connections to animals?

Just because I love animals, haha.

Especially cats. I like to draw big, strong, sweet cats. It's probably because I was born in the year of the tiger.

I had a cat. She passed away half a year ago. I was so sad that I couldn't be with her or touch her at the end. But she lives on in my paintings. I am currently drawing a picture of me playing with a cat.

Your works sometimes appear to be steeped in fantasy: not only in subject matter, but also in your usage of pastel colors. Pops of pinks, purples, greens and blues are boldly used to enhance this dream-like quality. Are these scenes from your imagination or are they influenced by the visible world? Also, how did you develop this personal color palette that makes your work so recognizable?

Most of the colors are my imagination. I always paint with my favorite colors, so I have a lot of similar colors. The reason why I fell in love with pink, purple, and blue may be because I like Sanrio characters. When I was a kid, I liked “LITTLE TWIN STARS”. I draw pink deserts and lakes in my imagination, but I know that there are real scenes of this in the world.

I really want to go there.

When you are not doing art, how do you like to spend your time?

I want to watch a lot of movies and animations. My watchlist is full.

Also the city is tiring, so I want to go to the countryside and feel nature. Nature is the best to recharge.

Last great piece of media (book/show/music/movie)?

I'm a big fan of TORO Y MOI and I always listen to his music while working. His music videos are always creative and I love them. It also inspires my creativity. Lately, I especially like his music video titled “Postman”.

Click Here ︎ to see Toyameg’s work.
Toyameg’s Instagram: @_toyameg_

Interview by Tiffany Kang.

Court Tree Collective was established in 2013 by a group of artists and creatives with the primary purpose of representing and supporting the work of emerging and established contemporary artists. Since its opening Court Tree Collective has been a staple to south Brooklyn’s emerging art scene and in a short time has exhibited a number of important exhibitions. In addition they have curated a number of exhibitions at satellite locations throughout the states and abroad.

We are a family-run art gallery specializing in emerging artists to offer a unique and intimate experience for art enthusiasts. Court Tree Collective showcases outsider art, which often defies traditional artistic conventions, alongside works by up-and-coming artists to add depth and diversity to the gallery's offerings. Visitors can expect to encounter raw, authentic expressions of creativity that challenge perceptions and ignite curiosity. By nurturing rising talent and championing unconventional voices, the gallery plays a vital role in fostering a vibrant and inclusive art community.

Our gallery is curated by artists for artists, which fosters a dynamic and supportive environment where creative visionaries can thrive. With firsthand understanding of the artistic process, the curators can showcase works that resonate deeply with both artists and audiences. This curated space celebrates diversity, innovation, and experimentation; it provides a platform for emerging and established artists to connect, collaborate, and showcase their talents. By upholding a community-driven approach to curation, the gallery becomes a vibrant hub for inspiration, dialogue, and artistic exchange.︎



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