Visual artist Yoshino has taken to the auditory realm of creation–exploring art with the very people that pique his interest and stretch his imagination. His podcast series, Artist Decoded, was started as a passion project in 2015 and is in its 23rd post. Artist Decoded features a wide swath of creators: directors, musicians, painters, and photographers. It is currently ranked on iTunes as one of the top three in the Visual Arts category. Yoshino carries on open and fluid conversations with every subject, continually pushing ideas and “breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds.” In every particular and peculiar conversation he has there is a new angle, a fresh vantage point in which to view the work, the process, and the life of these artists.
LF: How has photography evolved for you over the years?
Y: As I grow as a person my photography grows as well. Being a photographer, artist, creative, whatever you want to call it… I am constantly telling a personal narrative. Even if that narrative wasn’t completely matured yet. It’s still a self-narrative nevertheless.
LF: What is your personal narrative?
Y: That’s kind of hard to say. I’m constantly creating that narrative. Being able to connect with people on a personal level really appeals to me. I’m not sure if I’ve quite captured that yet in my work as a photographer. I think I’ve connected with people more so on my podcast, but they are both extensions of me.
LF: How many layers, or processes, go into a finished image?
Y: That’s hard to say exactly. The process of a finished image is the accumulation of a multitude of my experiences, experiments, internalizations. Each new image is an unfolding of all of that pent up knowledge. It constantly informs the next creation.
LF: I really love that expression, pent up knowledge. It makes it sound like the act of creation is just as physical as it is anything else. How does that feel, that unfolding?
Y: It feels liberating, natural, and synergistic. I feel like I’m going less against the grain and going more towards that path that I’m supposed to go on. Although this may sound a bit cathartic. It feels great. In my mind, we all have it within us to be able to carve our own path.
LF: What do you think the benefits are of experimenting or exploring new or different mediums? What might one hope to find?
Y: Personally I just want to do what interests me. I’m not really trying to find anything. I just want to live authentically. I try to enjoy the process of creation and not so much expecting a great result.
LF: What was the inception for the podcast?
Y: I came to the realization that I wanted to educate myself as well as educate other people. Artist Decoded is a very personal project for me because I express a lot of my personal ideologies in the program. Ideologies that I cannot currently express within a visual medium such as photography or video. I first started interviewing friends and people who I was directly in contact with then it organically fractured out to people within those circles.
LF: What are you looking for in artists you decide to feature?
Y: There are a couple different things that I look for. Generally it’s a visual aesthetic that I am personally fond of. It can also be a person I admire and find interesting or someone who I think will make a good insightful guest for my listeners. I really just go with my gut instinct on who I should or shouldn’t bring onto the program. I strive to have a well curated program in general.
LF: And you do, I found myself deep into it, hours having passed by. What might one expect when being featured? How do these podcasts come together? In my imagination is some levitating involved.
Y: Hahaha! I wish I could levitate. That would make life so much more interesting. Maybe you can teach me? The people I feature should expect to have an authentic conversation. The flow of the conversation determines how in-depth and vulnerable we want to be with each other. I generally just reach out to people I want to have on the program or I ask my team their opinion on who we should potentially bring on.
LF: What has been the most surprising or eye opening encounter in your podcast?
Y: Hmmm… that’s a good question. Every conversation I learn something new. I generally listen to each episode about 2-3 times to really soak up the information. However, one that directly comes to mind is my interview with Alex Kanevsky (painter). We had a good conversation about the difference between honesty and clarity. That episode in general was really enlightening for me. It’s hard to say! I learn something new from every guest.
LF: What do you hope others gain or learn from this project?
Y: I hope people gain an honest perspective of who I am as a person. I’m probably the most present that I’ve ever been within each conversation I have. My team and I work hard to provide good insightful interviews for people to listen to. I also hope people learn from other artists experiences and they can apply their experiences into their own artistic endeavors.
LF: Who’s up next?
Y: There are so many more guests coming up! I don’t want to give any away yet 🙂 You’ll just have to listen.
LF: In a utopian society of your making what “role” would art play?
Y: A role that inspires both scientific invention and creative freedom. A place where art and ideas move people to create freely.
LF: I’d like to live there. How large of a role does inspiration play for you? What I mean is do you believe in the muse coming to visit, or hours and hours of hard work and labor? I suppose they aren’t mutually exclusive.
Y: I think you have to have both, hard work and inspiration. There’s a good book on that by Steven Pressfield called “The War of Art”. Any creative struggling with “being inspired” should read this book.
LF: Funny, that’s actually sitting on my desk right now. My roommate just gave it to me. What is something you’ve always wanted to and haven’t yet been able to?
Y: There’s so much to life. I’d love to visit at least 100 countries before I die, write a few books, direct a few feature films… Etc.
LF: Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what’s playing?
Y: I listen to a lot of noise / ambient music when I’m working. I like Tim Hecker, Boards of Canada, Explosions in the Sky, Arca, Flying Lotus, How To Dress Well… Etc.
LF: How FAST do you live?
Y: All I have to say is… Life is short so make the most of it.