For Ladysmith’s Akiko Miyamoto, creating and selling art was never a goal.
“I’ve always enjoyed art but [I’ve] never been tempted to be like a professional artist,” said Miyamoto.
So that makes it all the more surprising that Miyamoto fell in love with needle felting. Starting with a kit she bought from a local market, she quickly discovered her hidden talent.
“I made my very first sheep and then it turned out really well and when I was making the sheep I right away got it, like oh this is easy!,” exclaimed Miyamoto.
From that first simple sheep Miyamoto transitioned to crafting intricate 3D cat portraits. Her lifelike captures of various felines for pet owners across the island have been drawing rave reviews on social media.
“People’s reactions, they are just really impressed and then since I haven’t done really any art they’re just like almost shocked,” said Miyamoto.
“They really gave me a lot of confidence, I get a lot of compliments.”
While the work can at times be tedious, the smiles and joy that each felt creation brings makes all the effort worthwhile.
“I felt like my art makes some people very happy and then my art can be very special for someone,” said Miyamoto.
To find more examples of Akiko’s work, search Island Needle Felting on Instagram.