Chiyo Sanada was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan and has studied the art of calligraphy since the age of seven. According to Chiyo, growing up in the Japanese school system meant a frequent demand from instructors for elegant handwriting and the repetition made her fall in love with the art. Faced with the decision of a career path, Chiyo eventually chose calligraphy for her desire to teach the art around the world and her discovery of self-expression in the brush. Chiyo conveys a path of creative expression found in the tools and the various strokes of calligraphy. Chiyo specializes in Japanese and Chinese style lettering, but ever since moving to the United States in 2000, has expanded her art by experimenting with different colors, techniques and art forms. Now she frequently blends in her work with artistic drawings and painting, taking her calligraphy to a new level of uniqueness. Chiyo has also worked in conjunction with other Japanese art forms such as Taiko drumming and has creatively incorporated other arts to influence her own. She hopes to one day expand her work onto various commercial lines, such as greeting cards and t-shirts, but she says using her talents towards helping local communities still satisfies her the most.
Her advice towards aspiring artists is to be bold, daring and most importantly, open-minded. “I didn’t have any background painting, drawing or art history. I never took those kinds of classes, just calligraphy. But since I came to the US, I learned about painting, drawing, ceramics and I met a lot of good artists. That changed my ideas. That was a great influence to be a better artist. Don’t be stubborn. Keep your brain as a sponge and you can absorb all the goodies. Then you can blend it in your work, and then hopefully you can make your own.”