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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006

WORDS TO LIVE BY

Audrey Fondecave-Tsujimura


Audrey Fondecave-Tsujimura, 31, is an illustrator for magazines, fashion brands and musicians, as well as being the editor of bilingual culture magazine OK FRED. Born in Marseilles, France, she is a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and arrived in Japan in 2000 on a Japanese government scholarship. She met OK FRED editor in chief Yoshihito Tsujimura in 2002 and started work there several months later. They married in April 2005, and have a daughter, Liliyo, who turns 1 this month. A solo exhibition of Fondecave-Tsujimura's artwork will be shown at Tokyo's Galerie Des Nakamura this winter.

Audrey Fondecave-Tsujimura
Audrey Fondecave-Tsujimura VIRGINIE LAVEY PHOTO

Don't listen to flattery. If you're not personally satisfied with something you've done, you should work to perfect it, even when others tell you it's good.

Results count more than effort. It doesn't matter how much work has gone into something -- if it's not just right, do it again until it is.

Freedom can be learned. I was raised by my grandmother, who was a gypsy. For gypsies, kids are kings and queens and they're expected to learn by themselves. Here in Japan, the attitude toward raising kids is almost completely the opposite.

Living abroad is the best way to broaden the mind. Most of the Japanese artists and creators who are really doing something original are those who have connections to foreign countries. And living in Tokyo has definitely made me into a better, more tolerant person.

People should think more about what they really want. Too many people seem to be rushing to fill their emptiness.

Women in Japan should think less about being cute and more about being smart. Our next issue's theme is "Knowledge," so we asked dozens of well-known Japanese women for interviews or comments, but all except one (Yoshimi from Boredoms/OOIOO) refused, saying that it was "too hard."

Marriage is not medicine. If you have some unsatisfactory element in your relationship, getting married is not going to fix it.

Giving birth in Japan is an expensive business. In France, the state picks up the tab for childbirth, and even yoga classes for pregnant women are free.

Having a child changes the rhythm of your life. I was working even on the day I gave birth, but I have been forced to slow everything down a bit since my daughter was born.

Japanese women need more choices than just career or kids. All the successful females seem to be single. It's lonely at the top for women.

Stories make life better. Most of my work is inspired by stories: fairytales, novels, poems and songs.

Magazines should have meaning. Of course it's the media's duty to inform, but too many magazines have their content dictated by advertisers. They see their readers as nothing more than money.

Novelty is not enough. Many magazines feature things just because they're new, but we try to be more discerning. We're always questioning ourselves about what we're doing: What is interesting? What issues are important to cover? How can we approach the topic in the most open-minded way possible?

Not having a plan can also be a solution. Planning too much kills spontaneity. When I draw, I never do a draft.

You can't stage a revolution in just one day, but apathy will get you nowhere. People need to believe that they can make a difference.

The pure part of your soul comes back when you're with children. When we take our daughter Liliyo to parties, like the opening of an exhibition or shop, and it's full of people that are unbelievably dull, I see some of them really change when looking at Liliyo's smile. They drop their guard and show more of their character.



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