Artist Interview: Mitsu

by | Feb 10, 2024

Welcome to Cafe Euphoria’s vibrant space, where creativity thrives and diversity is celebrated. Each month, we offer a place for local queer artists to sell their creations and shine a spotlight on their unique perspectives and passions to life. This month, we are delighted to introduce you to the captivating world of Mitsu. Hailing from our very own community, Mitsu’s artistry is a fusion of imagination, anime, and identity. 

Join us as we delve into Mitsu’s artistic journey and discover the depth and brilliance of their work

A ghostly dog smiling at a bright yellow bird. The background is a dreamy green and blue, with white text reading: "Calling Feather" behind the animals.

Tell us about yourself – what pieces of yourself do you include in your art?

Hello! I’m Mitsu (she/they), a nonbinary demi-romantic/ace artist who loves creating whimsical stories! I’ve always been curious and wanted to tell stories, so I try to be intentional with the compositions, colors, and imagery I incorporate into all of my art. Art is always something I like to put my imagination, interests, thoughts, and emotions into, and it comes back around too! I used to be vehemently against using certain colors in anything I drew, but through art and slowly being able to explore color theory, I have learnt to love and appreciate every color as they each have their own emotion that they can carry which is something I try to express through my art.

Can you share with us the story of how you discovered your passion for art and what motivated you to start creating?

I always loved to doodle anything and everything that caught my attention. Anime was a huge inspiration for me — whether it was Studio Ghibli films, Pokemon games, etc. — the characters, creatures, and unique locations always caught my attention. Animals and general landscapes also played a huge role — when I wanted a dog and was told no, I drew so many of them (various different breeds depending on which one had caught my attention at the time too) to fill that void…I guess that’s a good way to put it. Drawing had also become a way to fill a void sometimes when there were also things I dreamt or wished for. And when I wanted to start creating my own stories, well, art naturally started to fill that dream too!

When you’re feeling lost, what helps you get back into a creative headspace?

There are a few things I try to do to get back. The first thing I try to do is to just stop creating and do something else instead. Whether it’s a walk or watering the plants, playing video games, watching videos etc. Sometimes doing something mundane and then coming back to whatever I was working on helps a lot.

Because I listen to music a lot when creating, I try to switch up the song. Sometimes something as simple as that also helps bring back my creative juices. Finally, if all else fails, I just start over on a blank slate.

I love the coloring stage, but it’s also the stage I sometimes get stuck on because I feel like the colors have just become too muddied and have lost meaning. If you see any piece of mine, know that I have probably redone the background or some other part of the coloring at least three times before getting to where it looks now.

A bright yellow bird on a blue circular background.
A cute little yellow snake in the sky, wearing a mail hat and surrounded by packages and letter envelopes
A couple are floating in the sky, a masculine person in orange clothes and a feminine appearing person wearing a flowing blue dress.

How does your LGBTQIA+ identity influence your artistic process and the themes you explore in your work?

My identity I think shines the most in the character creation for me. I’m demi-romantic, ace, non-binary and each plays their own role in shaping characters. For the first two, it made it so a lot of characters already are or will very quickly be in relationships already by the beginning of a story. Reason for this is that I just always found the relationship part of things more interesting than the “will they, won’t they,” especially as a demi person. For my own relationship, it wasn’t how it came about or the confession that was interesting, it was how it grew and blossomed afterward, and I hope other people find the characters’ relationships just as interesting! Then, I think my art helped me both understand who I was being non-binary, and helped me see that gender didn’t have to be so cut and dry. So, needless to say, you can assume the beautiful characters you see in any illustration are just ambiguously queer in some way or another!

A group of brightly colored children playing in a green field. The bright blue cloudy sky has red and yellow balloons.

What advice would you give to aspiring LGBTQIA+ artists who are just starting to explore their identity through their art?

Art can be inspired from anything and everything, including your dreams and inspirations. While I didn’t start art to explore my identity it quickly became that as time went on and I grew up. I think there’s a lot of value in creating your own characters! They don’t have to be like you, and I think starting out with an idealized version of yourself can be comforting. If it’s not really safe or comfortable for you to adopt your desired or chosen or questioned identity in real life, art is a safe and freeing place to do just that. It’s a bit of a slow process but I think seeing it happen in real time or in front of your eyes can be helpful.

We thank Mitsu for sharing their talent and vision with us, as well as their creations on our shelves. Their creations have added vibrancy and depth to our space, enriching our community with their unique perspective. Remember, the journey doesn’t end here. Continue to support local queer artists like Mitsu, as they continue to inspire, provoke thought, and spark joy through their art. Until next time, stay curious, stay creative, and keep celebrating diversity in all its forms.

Follow Mitsu on social media!


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