Harvester, scavenger, designer.
I discovered Raku Inoue’s Instagram page about a year ago and was completely enthralled by his Natura Insects series. He collects flowers, twigs, seeds, and leaves, and re-arranges them into beetles, butterflies, mantises, and more. The ingenuity and detail in his creations is ridiculous and I’m obsessed.
Here are some of my favourites (note that all photos of his work in this post are his photos).
You can tell why I'm obsessed right?
In his original series, the insect parts all came from plants in his backyard. Raku is out taking care of his garden on a regular basis, maintaining plants, removing weeds, harvesting flowers and fruits, etc., and it’s in his pile of plant trimmings that he discovers the plant parts that will be given a second life. For most of his creations, he needs to work slowly and meticulously, but at times, he has to race against the clock to finish his piece, as flowers wilt quickly.
Since his original series, he's done a few more series with variations. He started experimenting on the road, where the different flora provide new options. In Glen Canyon in Arizona, for example, a cactus became a tarantula’s abdomen.
For a winter series that he did, ice and snow became part of his creations.
What I admire most about Raku is that he’s constantly experimenting with personal projects. The Natura Insects are just a small part of what he does. When I visited him, he was playing around with prints of his insect series and was also working on a driftwood series. If you go through his Instagram feed, you'll witness his many creative experiments. He’s a designer, illustrator, painter, and also happens to runs his own apparel company. A super talented creative always looking to grow.
HE ALSO HAS A CUTE SHIBA NAMED MOCHIE.
Follow his Instagram page to see what he comes up with next.
Thanks for reading!