An Interview with Canadian Artist Liene Haruta

Progeny by Liene Haruta

Liene Haruta is a classical artist in the Kitchener-Waterloo area in Souther Ontaria, Canada. For many years she has been developing her skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture, participating in numerous exhibitions and studio tours. She had the privilege of designing for well respected names such as Disney and Avon for ten years collectively.

On the occasion of her participation to the Art Exhibition VERSE organized by RAW:Kitchener-Waterloo, I have the pleasure to interview Liene Haruta.

Liene Haruta interview:

“It doesn’t matter what genre of art you choose to do, just learn classical skills first.”

Liene Haruta, please tell us a bit about yourself and your universe?

I was born and raised in K-W (Kitchener-Waterloo).

I worked for a decade for a company (Chelsea International) designing and sculpting jewelry, mostly geared to the souvenir market. Through that I had the opportunity to help develop lines for Walt Disney and Avon. Four years ago I decided to focus my own art career.

Were you always interested in drawing and painting growing up? How did you come to art?

I was always drawing as a child. My parents said I would always encourage my neighbor to view my newest pictures when he came to visit. Engagement with the public as an artist has always been important to me.


Where do you derive your influence? Do you have a favorite place or technique that helps you find inspiration?

The beauty of nature is unsurpassed in its influence.

I also love history and have always been interested in the reality of what it would have been like for those who came before us. I try to imagine their feelings as they tried to navigate through life in the world at that time.


Do you have or have had a mentor or other special person to guide you?

I studied under classical artist Jon Tobin. The masters often worked as understudies of established artists, I decided to follow this process of learning in a studio environment. Jon has been instrumental in my development as an artist.

I would like to nurture talent in the same way.


Your artworks seem focused on Humanity and Nature. What message do you want to deliver?

I am very interested in the moments that become so important in our lives but that are mostly perceived subconsciously (feelings of nostalgia, the feeling of warmth on our skin from a ray of sun….). I would like to introduce them into our conscious minds so we can fully appreciate their significance in how they shape our lives and connect us to our environment. I think that makes my arts message seem very subtle, but I hope people will really stop and try to read the feeling of the pieces.


How has your style changed over the years? If yes, could you explain why?

I have always admired classical art. I did dabble a little in my high school years and earlier 20’s doing more abstract pieces but have returned to the classical techniques.

What are you currently working on?

I am developing an interesting book suitable for children. It got put on the back burner due to other commissions. The style will still reflect some classical techniques.

I enjoy working from live models and am pursuing a series on the figure.


What is your dream project?

Probably to paint wildlife in the landscapes of Scotland, my favorite place. The atmosphere there is ethereal.


Is artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

As far as getting inspiration I would say no because I find it all around me. Conversely, translating that inspiration into something visual usually means I have to retreat inside myself which can isolate me, but together I think the two balance each other so that I have just the right amount of involvement in the world and seclusion.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My high school art teacher told me that it doesn’t matter what genre of art you choose to do, just learn classical skills first. It is a crucial foundation for a good artist. I always took that to heart and have since endeavored to develop my skills to the level any of the masters would have in the mediums they would have used (painting, drawing, sculpture etc).


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