Artist Stumbling Blocks

Chigirie Japanese Torn Paper Collage Art

Challenge Your Creativity

Find Harmony and Inner Peace

This week’s featured image is Little Boy at Satsu (Beach).

Little Boy at Satsu (Beach) Chigirie
The Little Boy at Satsu Beach was my first Chigirie. project. Satsu Beach is a Japanese fishing village along the Japan Sea.

What’s your hurdle?

Artists’ stumbling blocks arise at the drop of a hat.

Many artists face hurdles, particularly during the early learning stage. Not knowing what you’re capable of creating has the potential to stop you in your tracks. More often than not, we are limited by our own beliefs and fears. For example, tackling a project we believe is out of our area of expertise is a roadblock.

When I set out to learn Chigirie, Japanese Torn Paper Collage Art, in the mid-1990s, the books I found were written in Japanese. There were no how-to guides published in English. Consequently, my sense of wonderment was my guiding force. The illustrations in books I owned also helped me to learn this traditional Japanese art form. Above all, I envisioned what I wanted to create with the Impressionist period and I laid the foundation one torn piece of paper at a time.

Chigirie Japanese Torn Paper Collage Art
The series of images I created while visiting Japan carried me a year before I ran short of inspiration.

Get Ready to Create

Fortunately, this medium is extremely user-friendly and doesn’t involve mixing paints or caustic chemicals. Paper and paste are the two main tools you’ll need to get started. Make no mistake. You CAN and WILL develop the skills you need to create everything from an incredibly simple flower to a more complicated landscape.

Give Yourself Permission to Play

Allowing yourself the freedom to create art liberates you from your fear of failure. Chigirie is more about individuality and harmony with nature than expertise. Make no mistake, learning a new craft takes time but Chigirie is much more forgiving than watercolor or oil paints. With time, patience, and perseverance, you’ll see positive results.

What do you want to capture?

What attracts you to a particular subject? In my case, the little boy I saw sitting on the rocks at Satsu Beach during my 1993 Japan trip immediately caught my attention. On that particular day, the Japan Sea was unusually calm. By mid-morning, there were only a few people on the beach.

I spotted the toddler’s hat, hoodie, and sandals. They reminded me of an image I’d see in an Impressionist-style art gallery.

When is the perfect time to start?

Begin tomorrow because every day is a perfect time to capture scenes with your smartphone or DSLR. Nature abounds with possibilities. Beach scenes, gardens, city and landscapes are waiting to be photographed.

Need Help? Not sure where to begin?

Join “Learn Chigirie with Joan Mead-Matsui” today and you’ll find the support to tackle those Washi paper art projects that seem daunting and complicated. Move beyond the artist’s stumbling blocks. I guide my students along with step-by-step instructions. Get started with projects you’ll cherish for years to come.

Have questions?

Comment here. I’d love to answer your questions about Chigirie, paper, and design.

Read about Japanese culture here.

Here’s an additional Chigirie Lesson You’ll Love

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