[Recap: This is part 3 of a 4-part post series on my brand’s core values–community, authenticity, inspiration, and legacy.]

The third core value of this artist brand is about being an inspiration. The best way to explain what I mean by this is to retell a story by Makoto Fujimura. He’s a renowned Japanese artist who wrote a book called Culture Care, which is about how it’s the job of the creative to steward culture.

Early in his artist career, he and his wife were struggling a bit financially and lived on a tight budget. One day, his wife came home with a bouquet of flowers. He was irritated because money was tight, they could barely feed themselves, and this was an unnecessary expense. Her response to him was, “We need to feed our souls too.”

When Makoto tells that story, he says at the end, “The irony is, I’m the artist.” That was a defining moment for him. He says, “I don’t remember what we had for dinner that night, but I do remember those flowers. I painted them.” (I highly recommend Culture Care, where he explains a whole creative philosophy birthed in that moment.)

Is art unnecessary? Sure. The same way watching a movie, listening to music, playing board games, decorating a Christmas tree, and spending hours catching up with a good friend are “unnecessary.” Those are the moments that feed our souls. And that’s what I hope my work would be to others.

None of my finished work depicts anything vulgar or depressing. I see the main components of my work being stories, nature, whimsy, scenes from traveling, and visual expressions of different cultures. My target consumer is the professional millennial who owns or rents a home or apartment. They want to come home after a long day and relax in rooms which they designed to be theirs. Keeping in mind that my work will serve to inspire someone in those de-stressing moments helps me commit to always ending the art process on a hopeful, redemptive note.