Haruko is the artist, writer, and founder of Lovetheway. Her art studio brings to life the concepts that inspire her most, such as words of wisdom that transcend time and space and the mysterious and beautiful connection between humans and nature.
Originally from Japan, the diversity of her experience includes nonprofit humanitarian aid work in developing countries, political journalism, and corporate management. She has explored her personal, professional, and spiritual life between the juncture of Eastern and Western culture, which all led the birth of a blooming art studio.
Her work has been exhibited in prominent art festivals and galleries along the West Coast in cities including San Francisco, San Diego, Saratoga, and Los Angeles.
Haruko earned a Bachelor's degree in Bioethics at Waseda University in Tokyo, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from a California State University. She is currently based out of Santa Cruz, California, where she enjoys the great outdoors and continues her own spiritual exploration.
Lovetheway, meaning "loving the way you are" is a creator of motivational and inspirational video content and a gorgeous abstract art collection that beautifully harmonize the traditional practice of Japanese calligraphy with a contemporary abstract art sensibility.
In the original artwork, the words such as Dream, Compassion, Serendipity are powerfully presented on canvas with free styled brush stroke. By using deep, rich, and earthy color palette of acrylics and mixed medium to create a rich texture, traditional calligraphy is dramatically transformed and enhanced into a modern abstract art.
Each art piece is designed to be a powerful expression of values, wisdom, or personal belief and is created to inspire the audience to embrace their unique life journey and encourage their personal growth.
Haruko was born and raised in Kofu, Japan, which is nestled amongst Japan’s wine country and is surrounded by beautiful nature at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
Growing up in a blend of unique traditional culture and economic prosperity in modern Japan, she was always interested in learning about global issues, viewed through the lens of humanitarianism, compassion, and social justice. She was always curious about the reality of the lives of others and felt a strong sense of compassion especially for those being adversely impacted by economic disparity, natural disasters, or political conflicts.
At Waseda University in Tokyo, she studied Bioethics, which is, in essence, support for human welfare and advocacy spanning areas such as law, politics, health care, science, and ethics, among others, to protect human rights and the dignity of all human life.
After graduating from college, her curiosity and passion for nonprofit humanitarian aid work took her across multiple continents including South East Asia to assist landmine victims, and in the war-torn Balkans (formerly Yugoslavia) to help Bosnian refugees. She traveled many miles before moving to the US to attend graduate school. She earned a Master’s degree in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations.
The next chapter of her life unveiled some of the most difficult challenges yet. Although the challenge for women pursuing careers while being married and raising children is not new, various hurdles forced her to face major career setbacks, and go through struggles in both personal and family life.
Experience has shown, however, that moments of crisis and significant adversity can inspire creativity and the discovery of yet-untapped personal strength which empowers people to overcome even the most demanding challenges. It allows us to attain new and completely unanticipated opportunities.
In order to cope with her personal struggles, she diffidently picked up a paint brush, which activated her artistic creativity. She quickly discovered her own unique style of art, drawing from her personal life experience, which is so powerfully expressed in uniquely aesthetic form.
Creative artistic expression provided her with the tools that she needed at that time to rebuild her self-assurance by slowly drawing upon deep inner-resources which have enabled her to overcome life’s hurdles. Although it has been a long and winding uphill climb, she embraces all stages of the path she took, since it has made her who she is today.
What helped her to keep going every day in a tunnel of darkness, in addition to the support and encouragement that she received from the people around her, was empowering herself with inspirational stories and the words of wisdom of those who had been on life’s journey before her. They gave rise to a sense of the purpose of life, self-worth, and self-belief, while helping her remain grounded and humble.
As many spiritual teachings have said, as imperfect and fragile as our existence may be, we are destined to love our own lives and live life to the fullest with a sense of dignity. Even if you are not yet where you want be, or if you are feeling fearful or uncertain, “self-belief” is the most precious possession in your life.
The beautiful and powerful message of art, and the related YouTube video, Lovetheway, speaks to your unique journey and helps you unlock your beliefs, aspirations, and mind power to keep you focused on your path toward personal happiness and fulfillment amidst life’s challenges and opportunities.
Yumi Koyanagi is the graphic artist responsible for the digital renditions of Haruko’s original pieces. She has more than 15 years of experience in graphic design including branding and content creation within the advertising world. Her aesthetic point of view comes from years of practicing photography, fashion design and Ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement).
Yumi is based in San Francisco and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from San Francisco State University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Tamagawa Gakuen University in Tokyo. She also studied photography at Northwestern University and fashion design at Bunka Fukuso Gakuen in Tokyo. You can find her previous work here: https://yumiyuuta.wixsite.com/portfolio
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