Stones are everywhere—the Earth itself is a giant rock. This is probably why they don’t get much attention and they’re outright ignored, or thought of as dull. Akie Nakata, also known as the Stone Artist, sees an exception to this rule. She has been drawing adorable animals on stones since 2010 and over time, she has built quite a solid collection, some of which have already been featured on Bored Panda.
We got an extensive and exclusive interview from the Stone Artist and we have to tell you—she views her works in a very unique way. For her, stones are not just materials or canvases that she just draws on. First, on her usual walk along the riverbank, she finds a stone that catches her eye:
“When I find a stone, I feel that stone, too, has found me. Stones have their own intentions and I consider my encounters with them as cues they give me that it’s OK to go ahead and paint what I see on them. So the stones I decide to paint on are not arbitrary, but my significant opposites with whom I have established a connection, who inspire me to work with them.”
Some things may be as insensitive as a rock, but Akie Nakata is sensitive to rocks in particular. The artist leaves the shape of the stone untouched. She neither grinds nor smooths them, as she likes to stay true to the stone that inspired her. “In my encounters with the stones and in my art, I respect my opposites in toto, so I never process stones and would never cut off an edge to alter the shape. The art I want to create is a life newly born in my hands through my dialogue with the stone. I want to paint the life I feel inside the stone. I consider my work completed only when I see that the eyes are now alive and looking back straight at me. To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”
When encountering a unique perspective like this, one naturally wonders how this stone started rolling. She has liked collecting rocks and drawing animals since she was a child. But these interests stayed separate, like two pebbles, for a while. One day, it all clicked when she was taking a walk along a river bank and saw a stone that looked “like a rabbit and nothing else.”
The artist stressed that the stones are not for sale and she wants the viewer to just enjoy the images themselves. You can do that by following her on her social media. And for now, here it is: a pile of seemingly dull rocks that were turned into something quite remarkable and super cute. Goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in Akie’s case, hands of the craftsman. Enjoy this refreshing cocktail of adorable animals on the rocks. Cheers.
Note: this post originally had 92 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.