Leika Kitamura (pronounced lay-kuh) is a 23 year old mulimedia artist born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Leika dabbles in multiple mediums, including paint, paper, clay, plaster, wood, textiles, and even food. Lately, they have been rekinding their love of spontanious doodling in a sketchbook.
On getting started with creating art, “I used to stay at my grandparents’ house as a kid while my mom worked with a stack of copy paper and a box of crayons and just doodle all day, making weird comics and paper dolls. It’s always been fun to try to make something out of what I had available.”.
While creating a new piece, Leika loves to put on Japanese Funk from the 70s/80s. She likes to hear something thats not too distracting but still fills the air. Sometimes they will even put on a the TV and let it play for hours, barely paying much attention to the story.
When speaking of inspirations, Leika is very inspired by plaster artist George Segal, and also the large community of talented artists of her local Phoenix scene. “The community of artists and musicians in Phoenix really inspire me. They make me remember what’s possible and what to strive for. I feel extremely lucky to have close relationships with so many people who make the coolest shit I’ve ever seen or heard.”
Musical influences, Leika lists Sonic Youth, Nana Grizol, Amy Whinehouse, Mulatu Astatke, and Ava Rocha as huge importance to her. She also finds mathematics as a huge part of her life, being a former teacher and manager of a tutoring center for kids.
If you would like to keep up with everything Leika Kitamura is working on, be sure to follow her on Instagram, where you can commission your own piece from Leika Kitamura herself. They also have a seperate account for tailoring clothes, which you can check out HERE.
Although not really discussed, Leika also makes beautiful, dreamy music under her own name. Her Bandcamp profile is linked right here.