Meet fiery illustrator Carolyn Suzuki
With a bright and spirited approach to illustration and storytelling, Carolyn Suzuki uses her design company’s platform to celebrate and elevate her vision of a beautiful, diverse and joyful world. Her endless summery palette and bubbly sense of character illuminate original and commissioned work across the physical, digital and commercial echelons, but she’s especially proud of her collaborations with nonprofits and brands like When We All Vote. , Times Square Arts, She Should Run , The National Resources Defense Council, Asian American Girls Club and Planned Parenthood. Most recently, she partnered with the woman-owned Kikori Whiskey campaign to celebrate and honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The brand spotlights three Asian American female designers by telling their stories, commissioning new work and donating $10,000 to the nonprofit Asian Mental Health Collective in honor of each artist – a total donation of $30,000. Suzuki is featured with comedian Atsuko Okatsuka and singer/songwriter Sasami, where she created original artwork for the campaign.
LA WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
CAROLYN SUZUKI: I don’t think the word “artist” entered my identity until many years of living from my work (see: impostor syndrome)but i figured out from preschool that i loved color, i loved making things with art supplies and things found around the house, and i sucked at math.
What is your short answer to people who ask you what your job is about?
I’m a designer and I run a stationery business.
What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
If I wasn’t drawing for a living, I think I would still have to do something creative like interior design.
Did you go to art school? Why why not?
I do not have! My parents were immigrants and even though I spent my whole life here in LA, they didn’t know about the art and creative industry, so we didn’t even know there were art schools. art. It is definitely a privilege to have information! I went to a Cal State University for 4 years.
Why do you live and work in LA, and not elsewhere?
I was born and raised here and although I had a bit of a wanderlust growing up I’ve learned to really appreciate all that LA has to offer, it’s my hometown and I don’t don’t see living anywhere else.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
Right now I am focused on growing my business to the next level, our products are in over 500 locations in the US and growing as well as Europe + Australia. I also wrote and illustrated a book called Boobs! An empowering book that invites everyone (especially those with breasts) to look at themselves through their own lens.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to show or work with?
Yayoi Kusama. Mostly to observe her process and be in the room as she works with her team and to see how she navigates her daily life in a mental health facility in Japan.
Website and social media credentials, please!