The best artists aren’t limited by traditional mediums. One of the best displays of a creative mind is being able to look at elements from real life and knowing how to use them to create something original.

Japanese artist and wedding dress designer, Hanaco Hanasakura, is an example of someone who found a unique medium for her creations. She draws images of women and adds to them touches of nature — things like dried leaves, fallen petals, or wilted flowers.

The women in her illustrations are always seen in carefree poses. Hanasakura expertly draws them using lines that are simple and uncluttered, leaving lots of breathing room for the petals and leaves to become the true centerpieces of her art.

She states that she chose to use flora in her art as a way to “bring flowers that have withered, wilted, or scattered back to life once again.” This mindset of seeing the value in things that have been left aside is reminiscent of a Japanese way of thinking called ‘mottainai’ (もったいない).

In modern times, the term mottainai has been adopted by environmentalists to promote reusing and recycling, however, it was originally defined as the expression of regret at wasting something that still has potential value. This is something that Hanasakura’s work deftly embodies; while others might not think twice about reusing withered flowers, she not only sees their value and beauty but also breathes new life into what were once fully blooming products of nature.

Hanasakura has proven that she is well and truly dedicated to her art in more ways than one. The intricacy with which she creates a piece means that often, she has to arrange hundreds of small petals just to complete an image, with many of them not being much bigger than a pinky fingernail.

She also supplements this with work extending outside of social media. In 2018 and 2019, she released two different artbooks, both with an English title of ‘Seasonal Words’. In them, images of her drawings are accompanied by thoughtful reflections that relate to life and nature.

And in September 2019, Hanasakura’s art finally came full circle: her creations were transformed into real-life dresses under a collection called ‘Flowery Fields’. Although they’re being marketed as wedding dresses, it’s satisfying to know that they’re not sacrificing Hanasakura’s designs to stick to the traditional white wedding dress color. The current lineup recreates the same vivid colors of the leaves and flowers that Hanasakura has lovingly graced her illustrations with.

You can follow more of Hanaco Hanasakura’s work on social media through her Instagram and her Twitter, or through the Instagram and Twitter accounts for the Flowery Fields wedding dresses. Both of her artbooks are also currently available on Amazon Japan.

By - Jen Laforteza.