Art is alive at The Drake! Recently, Japanese-born local artist Toko Hosoya installed a breathtaking and intricately detailed piece in our lounge at The Drake Hotel that will be ready and waiting for your viewing pleasure as soon as we are allowed to open up indoor dining in Toronto. In the meantime, we wanted you to get to know the artist, a little about her creative process, what’s inspiring her right now, and staying creative during a pandemic.
How would you describe your creative process?
My process really differs a lot depending on each project, but generally, I try to indulge in lots of experimentation and allow myself to spend time doing things I’m really drawn to – even if they seem absolutely useless at first. I collect and document everything. I’ve had a large pile of bricks in my room for months. I’m open to being surprised. I think there’s a certain productivity in being stupid if you go about it in the right ways.
What other artists are inspiring you right now?
I’ve been thinking about the Kansai-based art group from the late 60s called the Play a lot. They refuse to distinguish art from life and perform grand collective actions with no concern for the result. This kind of spirit is something that can really get muffled under the responsibilities of tying creativity to your career, so I was really excited to read about these unconventional philosophical outlooks. Other notable people include Ata Kak.
What advice would you give other artists right now for staying creative during the pandemic?
I think a lot of us are being forced to be creative about finding ways to be inspired at all. Sometimes, I do find the banality can be good to lean into. Lots of room for your mind to fill in the blanks.
I would also say not to put too much pressure on yourself. There’s an expectation to have constant productivity and output but there’s a lot of value in knowing your own pace. The world’s so cluttered already, some days it’s nice to absorb it, rather than add anything to it.
Image provided by the artist.
Obstacles for women have always existed in the art world. Are there any new obstacles you’re noticing? Or any ways the world is improving for women?
This might not just be a gendered obstacle, but something I grappled with for a while was questioning myself and the relevance/validity of what I had to say as an artist. I felt I was occupying many in-between spaces and I wasn’t sure if the things I was doing were resonating with anyone. But I’ve arrived at a place where if I feel that I should do it, that is enough.
I think generally increased awareness around issues of identity means the conversations about where we should improve are improving. There’s a better understanding of how different identities can cross-intersect and the effects that can have.
What is your favourite memory of The Drake?
The late nights spent painting this mural for sure! Sometimes I’d be perched on my ladder painting until 4am. I’d only ever come for shows and events really, so I feel like I got to experience a whole different side of this place. Everyone here was so lovely and kept me fuelled with lots of coffee and bread.