ARTIST INTERVIEW: Natsuko Hagiwara of Me & Arrow
Me & Arrow design is simple, smart & functional, creating goods can be incorporated and blend in effortlessly to everyone’s daily life. All goods are made in Los Angeles by the hands of local skilled workmen.
We spoke with founder Natsuko Hagiwara about her inspirations and creative process.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I don’t have any formal training in art or design. I actually studied audio engineering, with a dream to become a radical female sound engineer one day! Being in the music scene, I developed my style via music and culture from the 60’s 70’s & 90’s – Some simple, some bold.
In 2010, I launched Me&Arrow with my signature arrow key fob and a single tote bag shape using bold vintage textiles and experimenting with different color combinations and textures. Over time, with hands on experience and exploration, I gradually added designs that were useful to me personally and M&A developed into an everyday lifestyle brand. I am still learning everyday.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
Yes! LA offers an abundance of resources that are available to small businesses like mine. Just making products here with the support of the people I love, like my leather guys, sewers, already makes my work distinctively Californian. They’re hard working people with big smiles on their faces, even though what they do is hard work. I’m very proud to work with them and be a part of a local makers community.
The LA Sunshine and our access to nature is also an undeniable source of inspiration for M&A! (although the beautiful weather gets in the way too- I’m tempted to go out and play in the sun!)
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Have’a corn chips
Radio, Podcast & Youtube