We have an introduction to make. Meet Azusa Nakazawa, the new art director for Currey & Company. She describes herself as a creative storyteller so prepare yourself for some imaginative visuals that will raise the bar on our already high standards. A bit about her first, and then we’ll present her point of view by way of a lively Q&A.
New Art Director Azusa Nakazawa
Azusa Nakazawa is a Tokyo-raised, Chicago-based art director working across all aspects of graphic design, CGI, digital motion graphics, photography, web, branding, and video content. With over 18 years of experience in the luxury textile and home furnishing industry, she has developed and led various creative teams, and has been responsible for an in-house photo studio, and a graphic and web department that she built from the ground up. She describes herself as being comfortable working in a fast-paced and high-demand environment, and is hands-on with multiple aspects of visual content production. Her passion lies in creating a visual story behind every product to evoke an emotional connection between retailers/manufacturers and consumers. Outside of work, she keeps herself busy updating a 120-year-old brick house in Chicago while listening to jazz and Glenn Gould!
C&C: Your work ranges from soft and chic to boldly colorful. Beyond the client’s branding determining the graphic qualities of a layout, do you have certain principles to which you adhere?
AN: When I begin working on projects, I always start out thinking about what customers want to see or how I can enrich their shopping experience with the imageries I create. Another point I emphasize is product designers’ visions and intentions. I want to make what I do as authentic as possible. Those two points are prioritized over my personal visual taste.
C&C: Your talents are multi-faceted. Have you developed these slowly over time, or did you enter the workforce with all of the layers in place?
AN: I began working at Eastern Accents when both the company and I were very young. I was fortunate that the owners, Ridvan and Siw Tatagil, put faith in me, and let me lead and grow the creative department the way I envisioned. I learned all of my skills on the job with many experiments and some failures. I would not be who I am now in my career without those experiences.
C&C: Why do you see Currey & Company as a good next step in your career?
AN: I have always admired the products that Currey offers. It is a dream for a creative professional like myself to work with such beautiful, well-made products that I never grow tired of seeing. The home decor industry is moving at lightning speed, especially when it comes to utilizing CGI for imagery and the AR/VR world. It is an exciting time to be in the creative field and to experience this transition firsthand. I am excited to bring my CGI skill-set to Currey to explore this path further.
A vignette of our new furniture created by Azusa Nakazawa, which includes the Sergio Bar Cart and Chest, the Muse Large Mirror, the Ivaan Accent Table, the Kadali Accent Table, the Verona Black Large Desk, the Culture White Table Lamp, the Montenegro Floor Lamp, one of our Rame multi-drop pendants, and our Daman Brass Disc.
C&C: Is there any one project that you would say is most memorable to you?
AN: The most memorable project was printing the first large catalog on a web press. I had to do the press check by myself every three hours for two straight days.
C&C: Did you always know that you would choose a visually rich career?
AN: I always wanted to become a fine artist, but I am too pragmatic and less determined to become one.
C&C: Do you feel a Japanese upbringing influences your stylistic tendencies when you are left to your own devices?
AN: Have you seen any of those crazy Japanese TV shows? I grew up watching them every day. If I am left to my own devices, I will make everything funny and crazy, even chandeliers with crystals!
C&C: What would you say makes you want to stretch beyond any current limitations at any given time?
AN: A curious mind for sure! I am curious about everything and always want to try it out.
We thought we’d ask Azusa a few questions just for fun:
C&C: Do you work in silence or with background noise?
AN: I listen to “bad” music when I work
C&C: What would be the soundtrack of your life?
AN: Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations.
C&C: Go-to cocktail order?
AN: “Can I have what she/he is having?” (pointing at a person at the next table)
C&C: Something we’ll never catch you without?
AN: A leather planner that I purchased with my first paycheck when I was in high school.
C&C: Guilty pleasure?
AN: An excessive amount of coffee!
C&C: Style icons?
AN: I tend to like icons who do not care about their styles….
C&C: You’ll never get sick of?
C&C: Where you’d most like to live?
AN: Chicago or Tokyo
C&C: Last thing you binge-watched?
C&C: Your greatest extravagance?
AN: My children.
C&C: Most overused word or phrase?
AN: It’s not fair!
C&C: Vintage or new?
Say Hello If You Haven’t Already
We’d like to wholeheartedly welcome Azusa to the team. If you haven’t introduced yourself already, give her a shout to let her know how excited you are that she is joining us in our effort to enhance the products we make by offering beautiful visuals to tell their stories. If you’d like to see more of her visual history, you can visit her dynamic website.