My name is Toro Iroka (トロ色香), Ikebana artist with graphic design background.  

Because Ikebana is a traditional Japanese art, you might think it’s too rigid, governed by rules rather than creativity. In some ways, it can be. However, I was lucky enough to study at a modern school called Sogetsu, which is is among the most open-minded, forward-thinking Ikebana institutions. Founded by Sofu Teshigahara in 1927, it encourages students to realize individual artistic expression through their arrangements. The Sogetsu school of thought is that Ikebana can be practiced whenever and wherever, using whatever materials are available. This also makes it more affordable to practice outside of Japan.

As a graphic designer, I’m used to creating the forms, shapes and pictures necessary for my designs. When working with natural materials, however, everything changes, as the forms are already decided. Thus, the greatest challenge is relinquishing control over this part of the process and working with what Mother Nature provides. In this sense, my goal for Ikebana art is not creating beauty, but rather discovering it and finding the best possible way to showcase it.