Release Date: May 6, 2016
Vaughan: Hi Mariya!! We first met at the first ever Tokyo Coffee Festival about a year ago… I saw you drawing one of the stalls in your sketchbook and was blown away – I’m a big fan of your drawings! It’s great to be able to interview you for goodcoffee! Thanks for recommending this gem!
Mariya: Hi Vaughan! Welcome to Fat Mama.
V: Such a great place! Do you come here often?
M: Not enough!
V: For those of our readers who don’t know you, tell us about your illustrations.
M: I work for various clients, and in my free time I like to draw everyday scenes, objects, people, cityscape, buildings.. random people on trains…
V: What are the things that Mariya likes?
M: I like coffee.
V: What else?
M: I like looking. When I walk down the street, and I look at a lot of things, probably a lot of things that people miss.
V: Which came first? Cafes or drawing?
M: Drawing. I would draw as a kid.
V: And then when did you start with coffee/cafes?
M: My parents had coffee every morning. It started with me grinding beans. Yeah, they would have me do that. My mum still has it – it’s like an old school grinder. And eventually.. we just started drinking coffee together. I don’t remember exactly when, maybe around middle school. Going to cafes started when I was in college.
V: What do you like so much about cafes?
M: I guess I like the environment. I didn’t go to too many cafes in Japan at the beginning. When I was 18, I moved to California, and I was introduced to a couple of local cafes by some friends. I did my homework there. And I seem to be at cafes a lot since then.
V: Do you have a favourite cafe?
M: Favourite anythings are hard to think about… I should really write these things down…
V: hahahah i’m like that too sometimes, we’ll come back to that one! Mariya, I saw you had an event drawing guest’s faces on some take away coffee cups – can you tell us about the event?
M: Otsuki-san (The Local, Aoyama) invited me to a Glitch party to be an artist on the night. I drew guest’s faces on To-Go cups. I do it only at special occasions like coffee events and sometimes at my shows. It’s fun!
V: Can you tell us about a couple of other projects or events that you have been a part of?
M: I sometimes get invited to do live drawing at This&That Cafe, an event organized by TokyoDex. It happens every other month at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi. At the same venue, there is another cool event – PechaKuchaNight. There, participants give presentations about their passion following the special format in which 20 images are shown 20 seconds each. I did participate once to talk about my day. It was a lot of fun!
V: What advice do you have people who are terrible at drawing and want to get better?
M: Look carefully. Sometimes when people make observational drawings, they tend to draw the idea of the object rather than drawing it as seen. I think looking carefully and being honest to what your eyes are seeing is important.
V: What are you favourite drawing pens?
M: uni-ball / signo.
V: And who are the artists that really inspire you?
M: Trey Bryan… we have a similar way of drawing…
V: Besides your account, who should everyone be following on instagram?
V: Can you tell me something that’s happened to you while you’ve been drawing that you’ll never forget?
M: Once when I was drawing in Nara, sitting at the top of big stairs, this drunk guy with a can of chu-hi in his hand started talking to me. At first I was kind of warned, but soon I found him harmless. I think he just wanted to talk to someone.
V: The most recent novel you read?
M: Kusou Koubo. It’s not a novel, but there are some very cool ideas and lines.
V: Favourite movie?
M: Amelie… Visually and musically it’s very beautiful.
V: Have you got any events coming up?
M: I’m drawing on mug cups. I have an exhibition coming up at Workers (Naka- Meguro) where they will be on sale. May 12-31. Please come!
V: Where can people follow you or find out more about your events?
V: Finally, do you have any big goals?
M: Well, I want to be more flexible in regards to where I am. I want to move around more…