We're very happy to introduce for first entry in our new Spotlight series, where the Canvas Team sits down for a chat with a Canvas member to get to know more about them and their creative process.
This past week we joined the lovely Yulia Sko to talk about her craft of photography.
Who are you?
“That’s complicated....[laughs]. I’m a photographer coming from Moscow. I studied photography here in Tokyo - a fashion photography course for two years. I've been taking pictures all my life but after graduating I started working as a photographer professionally.
...Well, I’m interested in arts in general. I used to play piano. I also did some drawings, which I never published [laughs]. Yeah, all kinds of creative activities.”
What are you working on at the moment?
“I had an old project taking photos of dancers. Right now, I’m thinking of starting to continue that project, but renew it and make something different out of it. Also maybe involving not just dancers but other people working in theaters - all the performing activities. So it’s a mix between a documentary and something artistic.”
What tools do you use?
“I have a few cameras - one digital and two or three film cameras. But for work I mostly use digital. Film is more like a hobby. And I shoot everyday with my phone. I work on pictures usually on Adobe Lightroom. Those are most of the tools I’m using.”
Are there any new tools you're thinking about buying in the future?
“Right now, not really. I like it when there’s not too much stuff. At the moment it’s enough - what I have.”
What is it like, creating in Tokyo?
“It’s complicated. When you live abroad, you think, “Wow, Tokyo is amazing.” It’s probably the best place to be creative here.
But when you live here for a long time, it changes. Because, right now, it’s hard to get inspiration in Tokyo for me. And I feel more inspired when I go to different places.
I always feel the need to travel. If you stay just in Tokyo, and when you get used to it, it’s hard to find something new - everything seems similar. But at the same time, I like all the events and stuff that are going on around. There are a lot of different meetups, artist meetings, exhibitions. That’s the part I like. But right now, creating something in Tokyo is getting harder for me.”
What is the most unusual thing you do in your creative process?
“Well, for example, a couple of weeks ago I had a very unusual experience. It was the first time for me - I took part in a ballet performance. Because, as I told you, I was taking pictures of dancers before and all of a sudden I found on the internet that Stuttgart Ballet was looking for extras for their performance and I decided to apply just for fun because I thought it might bring me new inspiration.
So I applied, but I thought, “I never danced ballet. I have no idea, so I’m probably going to fail.” But I got accepted and went through three performances. It was a very interesting experience...and very unusual. I saw the stage from different angles. It was very cool. Quite helpful.”
What inspires you?
“That’s a difficult question as well.
It’s different all the time. Sometimes it can be just some shadow on the wall or even some stain, or like some random stuff. There is no particular inspiration, I would say.”
Thanks a lot to Yulia for being part of the first Canvas Spotlight! Don't forget to check out her creations!
If you would like to join us for a chat and be featured in a future Canvas Spotlight, please be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And finally, why not post a comment below to tell us what you think, or ask Yulia or the Canvas team a question?
Get to know your fellow Tokyo creatives and learn more about what and how they create!