Pintastic People: Satsuki Shibuya

For today's "pintastic people"post I got a chance to talk with Satsuki Shibuya, an artist and designer I have an immense amount of respect for. She's always trying something new and doing what she loves most, which isn't always easy. Her pinterest boards reflect her eye for the extraordinarily beautiful and her curatorial abilities have me constantly repinning! Below she answers my questions about pinterest, inspiration, and her many current projects.

Image of Satsuki shot by her husband Kevin Thoeng

How did you get started on pinterest?
When my husband and I closed on our house last year and were looking at how to furnish our home, we would go back and forth with emails containing a million links (or, at least, that's what it felt like). I was looking for a way to organize the links with images and then I found pinterest! It really made things easier after finding each other.

What drew you to pinterest and keeps you coming back?
I've always been a hoarder of images/clippings etc. As you can imagine, my computer was filled with all of this information, albeit in a very unorganized way. With pinterest, not only am I able to keep my eye candy organized, I'm also able to go back to where I found them originally and, even better, when I look over all the pins I've collected I begin to see connections for future projects.

What are 3 of your favorite pins from this week?
These three pins sum up what's been on my mind this past week — my grandmother, a few new pieces for the fall/winter season and interesting ways of presenting the everyday.
1 // 2 // 3

What are a few of your favorite sites to find source materiel?
I'm really all over the place and find sources in a number of ways. It usually depends on my mood and what i feel like looking at. It can be anything from googling a word that I'm thinking of, to scrolling through hundreds of sites on tumblr, to visiting my friend's blogs. The more I search, the more I realize how crazy of a universe the internet has become.

It seems like you have so much going on currently from your partnership with Koshka to your new enterprise, dreamcoop. First of all congrats! 2nd tell us a little about each of these projects?
Thank you so much! Since closing up shop in august I am now creating one-of-a-kind art objects instead. I've been able to focus my energies on designing pieces collaboratively if I want, or anything else for the matter! It's been great working with Koshka and getting a chance to make something specifically for them. I'm hoping that this is just the beginning of many more fun collaborations with different companies/individuals!

As for dreamcoop, it's a hybrid between consulting, life coaching and philanthropy. Since the beginning my focus has been to create projects that, hopefully, will connect with people on a human level. But, I also wanted to start a project where I would get the opportunity to take it a step further and interact with individuals directly. I guess, in a way, I feel like I've come full circle. I'm not sure where this new venture will take me, but, so far it's been an awesome experience!

And how did you come up with the idea for dreamcoop?
It was the cumulation of many experiences that I wanted to somehow bring together. I had run a women's entrepreneur group for 3 years where we discussed our everyday struggles, goals and visions. Through this I had the opportunity to engage with such amazing individuals who opened my eyes to different perspectives. During this time, I was also privately consulting/coaching friends and acquaintances who would kindly share their ideas with me and we would, through our conversations, find ways of bringing these thoughts to life. There was something so magical about seeing the seed of an idea blossom into something bigger than what we both had expected. Just amazing. Along with this, I became deeply engaged with the many problems that we face as a society, specifically, for myself, the many problems that northern Japan still faces after the disaster of last year. Almost everyday in the news, I hear about children committing suicide, adults displaced and depressed, and many others who still remain empty inside after losing so very much. With all that I was being exposed to, I felt that if my philosophy was to truly connect with individuals on a human level with the hope of bringing even a little bit of happiness into the lives of others, then I wanted to have a way to do it more directly. That was the beginning of dreamcoƶp

What do you like to do when not working on your various projects?
I'm beginning to like this idea of doing "nothing". I've never really understood what this meant, as I'm sure many others who's minds are continually chattering can understand. Just pure relaxing, zoning out, not really thinking about anything, but being in the moment. I think we all deserve this for ourselves.

Your boards are always so lovely and have a very clean, european aesthetic, where do you get your design inspiration from. 
Wow! Thank you so much! I don't know when it actually began, but before I knew it I was drawn to scandinavian and japanese design. Whether it's graphics, architecture, interior design, product design… I love it all! I feel like those styles have a perfect mix of simplicity and warmth, with a touch of whimsy.

As a native Angeleno what are a few of your favorite local shops and boutiques?
There are so many great shops in LA (and many that I've yet to visit). It's so hard to choose just a handful. There's this adorable fabric shop "momen+ in torrance" where they carry hard-to-find japanese fabrics and patterns. I can spend hours browsing there. I love "The Tortoise General Store" on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach too, I wish that I could purchase the entire store to furnish my home! There's a delicious vegan restaurant in little tokyo called Shojin. You know the food is good for your body because I met the owner/chef: his skin just glows!

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to go to Japan to see my grandmother. I just want to hold her hand, and let her know how much I appreciate and love her. Also, getting a chance to explore Hokkaido would be nice...or Sweden.

Image of Japan via Flickr

Do you have any hidden talents? if so what?
I can make strange sounds with my mouth that freak out our pup, Skippy, like nothing else!

And last but not least who are a few of your favorite pinners?


  1. Thanks Joy! Satsuki is such an inspiration, I loved interviewing her :)


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