May 2024 Artist of the Month: Lauren Nishizaki

May 2024 Artist of the Month: Lauren Nishizaki

Meet Lauren Nishizaki, our May 2024 Artist of the Month at Mixed Pantry!

Lauren Nishizaki is a Seattle-based artist and printmaker who specializes in original linocut blockprints.

 As a fourth-generation Japanese American, she uses her artwork to connect with and explore her heritage. Many of her pieces draw inspiration from the traditional art forms, food, and patterns of Japan, as well as from her own childhood memories of growing up Japanese in California.

Her series of twelve zodiac animals, completed over the course of 2023 and 2024, draws inspiration from the flora and fauna of Japan. This series celebrates the zodiac animals, depicting each as strong, playful, and charismatic, as unique as the people born in their year. The trees, flowers, and grasses that fill the background of each piece grow throughout Japan and frequently appear in traditional woodblock prints and on textiles.

 Each of Lauren's blockprints is a hand-carved and hand-printed original. Every design starts as a sketch drawn on a sheet of linoleum. The design is carefully carved using a set of hand tools, leaving behind high spots on the block that will receive the ink. A thin layer of ink is rolled on, and then the paper is pressed against the block. Lauren signs and numbers each blockprint after the ink has dried.

You can find more of Lauren's work on her Instagram: @laurennishizaki and on her website:

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