Above Needles: Karakuri Music Box: Autumn (Copyright © Eri Harigai, 2021)
Eri Harigai, who goes by the artist name Needles, is a Japanese/Taiwanese stage visual artist experienced in live visuals for TV and concerts. She is passionate about immersive experiences and has produced projection mapping work that has been awarded internationally. Her 3D art is a mix of surrealism and Japanese aesthetics which she merges with her motion skills to produce something truly unique. Her artwork is a representation of herself, her own identity.
She explains, “My art doesn’t always have a direct meaning to it but I find that my love for a certain aesthetic or why I chose to create something always leads back to moments of contemplations about myself.” Inspiration usually comes from her own thoughts or when she’s enjoying music; and from manga, anime and games, in terms of aesthetics.
Needles creates art because she believes that “we’re here in this life to experience things even if the moment is short and fleeting”. Watching an audience react to a show that she was involved in and knowing that her art made an impact in their life and gave them a positive moment to remember bring her a lot of happiness.
Art to her is the process of creation and is not just limited to her current art; “Sometimes it’s pushing pixels, sometimes painting, sometimes it’s journaling, sometimes it’s just brainstorming with friends. I wouldn’t know what my life would be like if I couldn’t express my ideas and feelings through art. So I guess it means everything to me!”
Above Needles: Moda 1 (Copyright © Eri Harigai, 2021)
Since joining the NFT space, she has been inspired by a lot of talented artists who have been on the same journey as her, such as Dungeon Trolls, who she has gotten to know and love. Watching them navigate the NFT space, which “feels like a rollercoaster ride”, has also inspired her to put herself out there and keep improving.
She feels extremely proud of these artists in her community and looks up to all of them. It makes Needles happy to see artists just having fun with their art and she tends to love the artworks of the people she has come to know. The artworks of her friends from NFTasia and Fawkek’s “crazy wacky” animations are her favourite NFT pieces.
Like many NFT artists, Needles has had some difficulty finding “that sweet spot where you can create your own art and still be able to live comfortably through it”. She is often torn between finding more client work and investing more time into her NFT art. Some pieces have also been challenging to create, such as her most recent “Karakuri Box”, an audio-visual piece. It was Needles’s first time creating her own music which was a frustrating process at times. The piece turned out to be a beautiful demonstration of her style and skills.
Above Needles: Lucky Beads 888 (Copyright © Eri Harigai, 2021)
Needles is having a lot of fun with her creative career right now and she’s excited to see how things will evolve in the next few months. She would love to be able to collaborate with musicians and artists that she loves and to see her art develop into something much more experiential, perhaps through VR/AR.
To aspiring artists, she wants to say, “We’re really lucky to be living at a time where it’s so much easier for artists to find ways to make a living through their art and connect with the right people. I think it’s absolutely possible for a lot of aspiring artists to find success in this space but keep in mind it won’t come immediately. You’ll have to manage your expectations and be disciplined about your art career to make it happen!”