Although self-portrait artists are rising by the dozen, Izumi Miyazaki’s quirky aesthetic, unexpected use of props, and downright masochistic dramatizations clearly distinguish her from the pack. Whether decapitated, dismembered or mutilated, one thing’s for sure, Miyazaki’s work will leave you gutted. 

Your work often juxtaposes human subjects with food. How come?

I like food, and I think we are human beings when we are alive but suddenly we can become objects, like food, at the moment of death.


If you were to be one food item, which one would it be and why?

It would be Shiso, which is a Japanese herb. It’s sometimes used as decoration to emphasize the color of the main dish. Some people hate the taste but others really like it.


Your subjects are often severed; severed heads, severed limbs… how come? 

The notion of human beings becoming objects after death is something that scares me. It’s quite hard for me to live with this fear so I decided to confront it in my work.


You are always very stoic. How come?

I think the use of facial expressions is very distracting. People start identifying and emoting with me. I want people to think about my work.


You seem to have a knack for playful optical illusions. What inspires your work? 

Thanks! Advertisements, films, series and magazines.


Does your creative process change when tackling commercial work? 

The process is slightly different. When I create for myself, sometimes there’s a message behind the work, and sometimes there isn’t. When it comes to commercial work, the message becomes the core of the thought behind my work. 


we are human beings when we are alive but suddenly we can become objects, like food, at the moment of death.

What is the best way to do commercial work while not compromising your vision?

Choosing people or clients who already like my work.


Have social media platforms had an impact on your career? 

Yes! I started showing my work on Tumblr at first. I believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without social media. It allowed me to connect with some very interesting people.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media platforms for an artist?

The main advantages are being able to showcase your work as an artist, and to keep people updated about current or upcoming projects.  The disadvantages of social media are that sometimes the artwork is not linked to the artist which could lead to some misunderstanding or misinterpretation about the work. Also, artwork has become so consumable with social media that people can get easily bored. 


Are you ever worried that your work could get plagiarized? 

Actually, it’s happened to me before. It made me very sad. 


What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring artists out there?

Although I’m not a great enough artist to give advice, I think aspiring artists should find something which they can continue enjoying on the long run, and always be brave enough to face other people’s opinions.


When did you first know you would be an artist?

I called myself a photographer for long time, but about 2 years ago I changed my title to ‘artist’ because my work isn’t only about photography.


Whats next for Izumi Miyazaki?

I’m changing my mind every day, especially recently. I constantly want to express new things. I want to do collaborations with content creators. Also, I want to start making something new, besides self-portraits, and I want to try making videos.  




ArtEli Rezkallah