title: Wanderer & Places (artbook collections)
pages: 31 & 39
Having been following koyamori’s art for some time, I was excited to see she was compiling some of her illustrations into artbooks. I never tire of seeing her watercolors, old or new—and have secretly coveted all her work. But not having a wallet that will allow such gluttony, an artbook seemed excitingly close.
The title of each artbook describes the majority of subjects and themes in not only these collections but also in her cumulative work overall. However different the pieces, there is always a distinct quality of a vagabond existence present in her characters and subjects that meander through surreal landscapes and moods.
In Wanderer, solitary characters traverse strange milieus in rich, evocative colors, always exploring and embracing the surroundings. Strangely, they never appear lonely as they are often accompanied by vegetation, clustered with growths, or watched over by creatures and beings from within the lush backgrounds. Places is still about exploration and wandering, with characters inquisitive and observant about their surroundings. They pass through, observe, and become part of settings and environments. Even thoughts and worries seem to become atmospheres of place in her paintings.
Somehow, koyamori’s watercolors are engrossing and nostalgic. She creates places I want to visit or return to, ones that seem distantly familiar and somehow forgotten from the recesses of childhood memory. And yet they’re vivid and bold while also delicate and fluid. But I’ll save you the imagination and direct you instead to explore her deviantART gallery or her Tumblr when pictures are so often clearer than words.
sipping & chewing: chicken orzo soup