INTERVIEW | 2022.05.12
Illustrator of the Stars and Tarot
We interviewed Mr. Izmo Alita about how he started his creative activities and what he felt through the creation of tarot cards.
1. About yourself
── Could you tell us when and how you started your creative activities?
I have loved the world of stars and mythology since I was a child, and I used to make notebooks with pictures and words.
During my adolescence, I drew a lot of fashionable illustrations, and I started my creative activities in earnest when I was 29 years old.
The Saturn Return in Astrology! It was my debut as a self-taught artist.
── Till now, what has your career been like?
At first, I was helping my father with his law practice, but after his death, I started searching for myself… I entered a period of almost daily spiritual practice!
I helped out at an alternative café, held meditation events that focused on a core selection of music, and even designed displays for Tower Records.
Eventually, postcards I designed as a hobby began appearing in major stores such as BEAMS, and I did artwork for restaurants and select stores. I set up an office in Minami-Aoyama and began to receive large orders, and in 2001 I launched my own textile brand.
Since then, I had opportunities to work with IDEE, CIBONE, Converse, Jacobsen, and others.
After such development as a textile designer, I was based in the principal’s studio at Setagaya Monozukuri School, Joshibi University of Art and Design, where I still teach today, and occasionally at Nagoya University of Art and Design, and Kuwasawa Design School.
2. About your relationship with Tarot
── Please tell us about your first encounter with the Tarot.
When I was 9 years old, I was a shy, nerdy, lonely, dreamy Pisces boy who spent his days looking at the rider’s edition at home and entering into the “fantasies” behind the pictures (laughs).
I think it was the winter of 1981. I remember being fascinated by Visconti and Marseille in a glass case at Nichiyu’s exhibition booth with my whole soul.
Since then, the magma of exploration of Kabbalah, transpersonal, theosophy-anthroposophy, etc., has been rising from the depths of my heart (laugh).
── What does Tarot mean to you?
It is a mirror!
It is a moving mandala that reflects the depths of our psyche. Or a lie detector.
It vividly reveals clever lies and unconscious shifting of responsibility in the depths of the mind, so I can heal the wounds in the mind like guilt and inferiority complexes hidden in the depths of the mind, while setting up the flow of future creation.
During the session, I also encourage homeostasis by re-sensing the source of the other person’s pain in the spread.
It is a partner that creates and nurtures a new sense of healing.
3. About the Tarot “ALRESCHA 22”
released this time
── What kind of tarot is it?
The Tarot has various paths of transmission of ancient wisdom, but I put aside the traditional attributes and meanings of colors and drew this Tarot as a pop-up of the “Age of the Winds” from my Akashic memory.
I let my intuitive mind take over and I painted it.
The cards do not have magical powers, but rather, they are more in tune with your hidden creativity, sensitivity, and sense of language.
There are no interpretations in outside texts, no hard-and-fast correct answers and guidance for the future descends in your intuitive pictorial interpretation!”
I painted with such inspiration.
── ALRESCHA 22″ is an impressive title. Is there a meaning or origin?
It means “the knot” of a rising fish and a fish swimming sideways, and was inspired by the astrological mythology of the Incarnation of Christ.
“the Logos of the Spirit within, and the remembrance of the pre-redeemed dimension.”
It is an image that connects the guidance of the 22 to everyday life.
── Did you encounter any difficulties in the production process?
I spent about three months looking at each piece of my collection again and going through a large number of books and texts, and I was buried in thick technical books that I had been collecting and reading since I was an adolescent.
Then, I spent a little less than two months making drawings as the inspiration struck me and working on the composition.
I tried to hang my soul upside down or feel into memento mori (thoughts of death).
Sometimes I recalled images of a fallen archangel and salvation from Paradise Lost (= Resurrection) in the hypnotic state.
The fool’s journey of “drawing the Tarot” was a pilgrimage experience like Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The work of drawing itself was just fun, free from heavy vibes.
I was excited from start to finish and was able to draw as I was inspired.
── What advice can you give us on how to enjoy “ALRESCHA 22” in a unique way?
In recent years, the trend for tarot decks is to be light and airy or simple.
My pictorial cards are very intense in tone and elements (laughs).
I think they have an intensity like candies from concentrated and are easily linked to the deeper layers, for better or worse.
For that reason, I hope you will enjoy the positive translation rather than being bound by the old interpretation of positive/reverse positions and spreads.
The past and future created by the here and now can always be re-edited, so I hope you will shuffle them around with a flexible and playful mind.
4. About “Dialogue with the Self”
── The concept of the Tokyo Tarot Museum is “dialogue with the self.”
What is your way of “dialogue with the self?”
Whenever I feel like criticizing the people around me, I look at the source of my own “no” projection and carefully despair.
It may be a sense of inferiority for fear of comparison, aggression for defensiveness, or the temptation to shift the blame, or what is called a diffuse reflection of guilt.
We can face it neatly by first not blaming ourselves and then offering ourselves to forgiveness.
Because you are lightly released from the victim consciousness that makes you want to blame someone else, your natural gift becomes clear and the realization of your excitement spreads crisply.
Just as Nichiyu gave me a special offer.
What are your future activities?
── Please tell us about any plans you have in mind for the future.
I would like to put my passion into producing new tarot creators.
I am excited to produce such future creators whose sense of expression is comfortable while being rooted in deep essence.
── How about your own activities?
The rental period of my body expires in the blink of an eye, so I want to make sure I don’t have any regrets.
I would like to use myself as a medium of expression to convey my message through pictures and words.
Rather than communicating from the outside, I would like to continue to offer sessions and expressions that help people to remember more clearly the creative abundance that is within them!
The tarot is the best tool for this.
It would be nice to have a Japanese style that is completely different from this one.
Yes, I would like to try a 78-card deck.
- Izumo Arita
Astrologer and illustrator who sketches unexplored folklore contexts.
He studies the relationship between celestial rhythms and creative recall.
He also teaches plastic arts at an art college.