Mike Yokotake, is a recently retired professional graphic artist in Los Angeles, California. Mike has had over 40 years of experience as an advertising art director and graphic design professional. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from California State University, Long Beach.
Mike is a self-taught wood sculptor. For him woodworking and carving started as a hobby and a way to share his creativity. With the encouragement of his wife, family and friends woodcarving became a passion.
Mike has always enjoyed art and design. He works in many mediums including sculpture, digital graphic illustration, drawing and photography. From an early age he was always amazed at how his dad built things that were unique and reflected out-of-the-box thinking. Mike draws his own inspiration from nature and loves to create beautiful things out of wood and metal. His work is often colorful, energetic and includes strong graphic elements, influenced by his background as an art director and graphic designer.
Mike is inspired by many things in nature and things around him. In nature, the animals (and sometimes people), have a way of visually expressing themselves through actions that can be understood universally. Capturing that moment of expression in his work is a goal he aspires to and tries to achieve it in every piece that he creates.
He primarily works with a wide variety of exotic woods and combines them with different kinds of other materials. He designs graphically with a subjects anatomy in mind and develops sculptures in his own way by building and shaping the sculptures in parts, then building up the pieces into a whole. He enjoys creating and developing a subject that visually expresses an action, sometimes with humor or tells a story that viewers can relate and connect to.
He extensively researches, explores and experiments with many different themes while focusing on the next project’s subject. His deep respect and appreciation of all living things, as well as his attention to detail, adds texture and spirit into his sculptures that bring his subjects to life.
Mike states; “In my work I try to capture the spirit of a subject frozen in a moment of time in a graphic stylistic way rather than a “lifeless static snapshot.” My goal with each sculpture is for the viewer to form an emotional connection and an appreciation of the subject’s importance.”