The artist couple Apak creates super-charming art, and we're excited to be releasing our second Apak puzzle, Islands of Life.
ARTIFACT: What's the name Apak mean?
APAK: Apak is just our initials combined together: Aaron Piland Ayumi Kajikawa
ARTIFACT: You guys work as a couple, do you have specialities or do different parts of the art process?
APAK: Our collaboration is unique. Aaron creates a surreal background and Ayumi comes in with her playful creatures to explore. We use our strengths to create an original work of art that we couldn't create as individual artists. There is magic in collaboration.
ARTIFACT: Your works are incredibly adorable. Do you have a philosophy of what makes something cute or cute-ness design guidelines, or your work just naturally turns out that cute?
APAK: We have both lived in Japan which might have had an influence on our aesthetic preferences because cuteness is infused into everything there, but cute-ness seems to relate to purity, happiness, innocence, peace, and kindness which are all qualities that seem to come out when we make art together, it seems to happen naturally.
ARTIFACT: What's the media you guys use/paint-on, and is that affected by new technologies?
APAK: We paint with Acyla Gouache on wood or paper. Acryla is a relatively new technology.
ARTIFACT: Any artist /art that have been particular inspirations for you?
APAK: We have mostly been inspired by the art of life.
Ayumi gets inspiration from the interrelationships of living things especially the family, couples, friends, communities, and animals. Also she is interested in other worlds and dimension that we are no longer sensitive enough to notice.
Aaron gets inspiration from nature, trees, plants, colors, mountains, rivers, rocks, clouds and the infinite patterns that nature creates. Looking closely at the natural world brings him deep joy that he tries to share when painting.
ARTIFACT: Your images feel like snapshots from a story - is there a story that goes along with them, or characters in your minds?
APAK: We're not really sure where these stories come from. We just sit down to paint and they spill out. They seem to be messages that mean different things to different people.
ARTIFACT: The internet has really changed the opportunities for artists to get their art to people, any thoughts on the modern economics of being professional artists?
APAK: We are not business people. Essentially we make art together because we enjoy it. Others seem to enjoy it too, so galleries, etsy, and product licensing, are just different ways to share the art.
We really love how the Artifact puzzle turned out, it is such a fun way to interact with the art.
We are grateful to be supported by the people who resonate with our art.
ARTIFACT: Fun selection of your art as prints and notecards on Etsy. What's the best way for someone to buy an original?
APAK: Our originals are mostly available through galleries. We announce upcoming shows from our site and social medias like Facebook, twitter, tumblr, Flickr, and Instagram. We sometimes put originals up on our Etsy shop too.