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Today, we’re bringing back the amazing project focusing on animals, insects, and even some popular movie characters, created utilizing nature elements only. Yes, you read that right! The art pieces you’re about to see are inspired by the ancient and traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement—ikebana.

The last time we spoke with Raku Inoue, the artist behind this unique series of portraits, we learned about the origins of his passion for floral compositions: “It all started when one day, it was very windy and the petals of a rose bush in my backyard fell to the ground. I picked those up and made my first unique design: a rose petal beetle. I found the process to be so calming and therapeutic that I made this a creative exercise that I would do in the morning while drinking coffee. With time, these animal portraits became my artistic identity.”

More info: Instagram | reikancreations.com

Bored Panda reached out to the artist again to get even more insight into the magical world of his art. Firstly, Raku revealed how he decides on which living creatures to portray in his work: “I was always fascinated by the vast world of insects since I was a little kid. There is a huge variety of all kinds of insects in Japan, and I used to hunt and study them when I was still living there. Most of the time, I choose these subjects simply because I find that particular subject to be interesting in its shapes, colors, textures, etc. When I’m creating personal work (as opposed to commissioned work), I try not to overthink the process.”

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Inoue continued: “I make art for a living. Therefore, things can get very serious quickly and a project can stretch through many weeks, even months. So, I think it’s important to balance it out from time to time with more ‘light-hearted’ projects like those I post on Instagram.

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Most of the work that I post on there does not take long to make and I view them more like a therapeutic exercise where I get to loosen up and relax a bit. This takes me back to when I was little, when I created things purely for the fun of it, and these exercises are a reminder of that time.”

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Kevin the Manager
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was always that one "hippy" xenomorph! The others just LOVED him...

Each of Raku’s floral portraits is unique. We were wondering how the artist approaches capturing the individuality of each subject using natural materials. We learned that: “There is something that captures us when we make eye contact with any living animal. So I think that everything starts there. Animals that I made previously, such as tigers and lions, all have eyes that are ‘soulful,’ and those are the easiest to recreate with flowers and leaves. As for insects, this is a bit harder to do, so I usually focus more on the details such as textures and colors. I also think that one of the main reasons why these floral sculptures feel alive is because I use organic materials. Our brain automatically perceives flowers as a living thing and anything else that is derived from them.”

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We were also curious how Inoue sources and selects the natural materials that he uses in his work. The artist shared with us: “Most of the time, I use materials found in my surroundings. My backyard, at the park, on the street, or at the local flower shop. Regardless of where I find the flowers, I try to find things that have interesting shapes and/or colors. My intention is to highlight the beauty of the chosen materials by carefully selecting them and using them in a way that retains their unique characteristics. I also love to work with seasonal materials, such as daffodils in the early spring, roses in the summer, red and orange leaves in autumn, and withered leaves in the winter. Each season offers something unique and I love trying to capture their essence.”

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Lastly, Raku told us more about his future plans and upcoming projects that will continue to explore the intersection of nature and art: “I am and have been working on a book titled Natura Insects. It will be a compilation of most of the floral insect creations, with many that have never been published before. I am currently working on the text and this is taking a lot of time unfortunately, but I am beyond excited to one day release this book. It is a project that is very close to my heart and I am looking forward to the day I will finally get to share it with you all.”

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I haven’t gotten many floral arrangements made of potatoes, but if they look like this I’d be happy to get one 😁

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Kevin the Manager
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

🎵🎶 Why do you build me up, build me up, buttercup baby... 🎵🎶

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