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ARYS Tokyo Talks is a monthly series that shines the spotlight on our Tokyo network of creatives, artists, friends and family. Next to our base Berlin, we proudly call Tokyo our second home since the early days of our brand. You can find ARYS in renowned shops in and outside of the Tokyo concrete jungle, and with this series, we want to represent the people that help us, inspire us, and create their own story and legacy.
For our next interview, we met up with Spain-Born, Tokyo-based creative Marta Espinosa, one of the two masterminds behind Gata Magazine, an art and subculture focused online magazine from Tokyo. Marta Espinosa is part of a new generation of creatives that balances her creative drive with commercial work and personal projects. There are no compromises in her work and visual language from Global Campaign for renowned brands or stories from deep Tokyo.
We talked to Marta to find out more about Gata and her many creative outlets and forms of expressing herself.
Hello Marta, can you please tell us more about you and your work and life in Tokyo?
Hello, my name is Marta, and I am a multitasking artist based in Tokyo. I am the head of production of the creative agency Bianco Bianco, Editor in Chief of GATA Magazine and art director of sabukaru.online.
How would you say has the city of Tokyo changed you and your creative work?
I have always been creative, but moving to Tokyo has helped me discover my main motivation: create my own stuff. Tokyo is very inspiring, the speed of the city is very fast and thanks to that I became better in everything I do because I don’t stop working hard every day. Tokyo gives me wings to create everything I always wanted because there are many creative and talented people you can link up with to do cool things. Coming to Japan helped me to level up my professional skills.
You are now living more than 3 years in Tokyo – what has changed so far and do you see the city in a new light through the years?
As I said, the speed of this city is crazy, and even though it can sometimes be overwhelming, I got the chance to grow so much because I did an incredible amount of things and projects in this period. This could have never been possible out of Tokyo.
Let’s talk about Gata. The magazine has a pretty unique viewpoint and angle! What is the idea and vision behind it?
Gata is an art platform where we share our love and passion for things. It’s unique because we are very strict and careful when it comes to sharing content. We don’t want to please the masses, and we don’t want to follow temporary trends. We want to share the things we love, regardless of when they were created. We appreciate the unnatural, the weird and the unpleasant, and we want people who don’t know the magazine to look at GATA and find beauty in the unknown. The things we share are very specific and are for a particular niche, but we are very happy because our followers are super deep and the coolest.
You feature a lot of unique and visionary artists far away from the mainstream. How would you define a typical Gata artist, and where do you find them?
This is a tricky question; I just know and see it. It needs to be very visual and stand out. Be unique and keen but strong. Does this make sense?
A strong part of the Gata universe is your editorial work and videos and shootings your team produces on your own. How important is it for you to visualise your own creativity as a director?
It’s one of the most important parts right now; GATA is not only a place where we share the things that we like but also a place to create. Everyone in the team is a creator, and for us, it is vital to produce our own projects that arise from our inspirations. It is a vicious circle; we do not stop learning, sharing and creating, and starting again.
Who are the people Gata usually works with? Where do you find them, and how does a typical Gata Production look like?
We find most people through social media, sometimes we see someone, and we say, “oh, this person is very GATA”, and somehow the coming together is mutual. It’s like a feeling “this person could work with us,” and in the end, it happens.
Your magazine builds a bridge between Japan and Spain, with many big names from the Spanish creative scene joining your articles. What are the similarities between both countries – if there are any – and what is the most interesting part of bringing both countries together?
It is very interesting because we didn’t expect this to happen. Aki Kurasaki, the other GATA founder and I, are both from Spain, and we talk about the things we always loved, including Spanish artists, of course. And unconsciously, we created a very special bond that wasn’t there before. Now Japanese people are looking at the Spanish creative scene, and Spanish people are more connected to Japan too. It’s very cool, and we want to continue doing this, so people can create here, there and get to know each other.
Your magazine is still young but already making waves in and outside of Tokyo! What are the plans for the next few years?
Most of our productions are happening in Tokyo right now, but once the borders are open again, we want to travel around and produce content worldwide. We want to use the connections and bonds we have with the creatives that we interview to create bigger things in the future. Our biggest dream is to become a printed magazine in the near future.
What advice would you give young creatives on their way of fluffing their dreams and expressing themselves?
You need to work hard to find your IKIGAI. I know it is very hard, and I am still in that process, but it is a trial and error situation, and it’s essential to be happy. Get out of your comfort zone, and don’t be scared of challenges and changes.
What are your favourite spots in Tokyo and how does a perfect day in Tokyo look like for you?
Every corner in Tokyo is very special, so my favourite thing is to discover new places rather than be back to the same spots. Every day of the week, I would like to be on a Friday, work in the morning, have a super tasty lunch, do some GATA work and go to a cosy izakaya with my friends. Drive under the neon lights with my bike and drive back home to end up in my bed reading a book.
Thanks a lot for your time