Meet Raku Inoue, the master of recreating subjects from intricate compositions of natural matter. As a multidisciplinary artist born in Tokyo and now based in Montreal, Inoue first studied drawing, painting and handcrafting, and later expanded into digital photography, light studies, image composition and post-production editing. While also known for his polymer clay sculptures, his recent works are sculptures primarily composed of organic materials like flowers, leaves, vegetables, seeds and stems of various species. 

Garnering international attention, it is through his many different methods and techniques that he challenges himself to continuously evolve as an artist. We caught up with him to understand what inspired him for the cover of the third edition of Growers & Co. Magazine.

What inspired you to create this specific piece for the cover? 

The goal for the cover art was to create a landscape that would give the readers a sense of hope for a brighter future through the breathtaking, raw beauty of nature. I wanted to recreate the warmth and the inviting feeling of being in harmony with the rhythm of Mother Nature.
While in Hokkaido, Japan, I worked on a small corn and potato farm where I learned to appreciate and respect the hard work and ethics of local farmers. We got up before the sun, and went to sleep not long after the sun went down, exhausted. All through the day, we were in the field tending to the crops and making sure that everything was in good health. Every day was hard work, yet very fulfilling. This experience took place during a very difficult time in my life, where I felt very confused and lost. I had decided to travel on my own to Japan where I hoped to find my purpose and regain much needed self-confidence. 

During this trip, I ended up in Northern Japan to visit one of my mother’s friends who then introduced me to the owner of this small farm. He was looking for workers, so I applied and got the job. For months, I learned the importance of focus and hard work without any distractions. I remember standing in the middle of the field as I was working one day and looking up at the orange sunset, breathing in the fresh air of the countryside, when I felt this strong connection with nature and the visceral calmness that comes with being in touch with the basics of living a simple yet hard-earned life. This connection was everything that I was missing. This moment and feeling is what really inspired me for the cover.   




*Adapted for online, read the full article in the third edition of Growers & Co. Magazine