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“Little Bits of Surprises” Interview with artist couple APAK

From a little cottage on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, the husband and wife artist duo APAK chats with us sharing their life, art, and rainbow sauce! Don’t forget to catch them at the Poketo Pop-Up Shop opening event at Royal/T.


Hi guys! How did the two of you meet?

Actually we feel like we’ve always known each other. But 12 years ago we met when Ayumi was working at a little sushi restaurant (for only 3 days!) where Aaron came in on a cold wintery Michigan day. We didn’t talk, we just secretly sensed and observed each other. Then later we met again at Kinko’s where Aaron was working. This time we talked and found out we were going to the same art school and in the same illustration major. Since then we’ve gotten to know each other well… playing, inspiring, and growing together. In school we teamed up and made a website together. And that’s the beginning of APAK!


Your work is so delicate and adorable. What do you try to communicate through your art?

There is an innocence, beauty, and harmony that radiates from nature and we are just trying to capture that. Being kind to plants, animals, and each other, living humbly, nurturing, exploring, sharing, playing, and appreciating the little things seem to be themes that emerge often. We use art to explore our fantasies, express the joy of being alive and to make our dreams real. To us making art is really about creating the reality we want to live in.


If we were staying with you for a day, what would we do?

Lets start with cinnamon french toast with nuts and fruit. Take a hike with our dogs (P-nut and Ocho) in Forest Park to breath in some juicy Northwest air while looking for mossy gnomes. If we find them they’ll take us to their secret tree where we’ll have a picnic of mushrooms and forest treats while they tell us stories. After that we’ll make some art together, take a nap, go to a playground, make a nice meal for you with good things from our garden, watch a funny 80’s show on youtube and then off to dreamy land for more adventures.


Anything that you’ve been raving about lately?

Spring, sunshine, watching plants grow, permaculture, needle felting, peeking in birds nests, and the unarians!


Many of your paintings are on wood. Why?

We like the natural wood grains to show through… It’s like collaborating with nature, the best artist of them all!


Complete the sentences please. A fantasy is something that is… It has lots of … and a little bit of …

A fantasy is something that is a nutrient for humans. It has lots of freedom and a little bit of surprises.

What are ways that your artistic styles compliment each other?

It’s kind of a reaction to what each other does. Usually Aaron sets the stage creating fantastic, strange, organic, dreamscapes for Ayumi’s curious, playful, innocent characters to inhabit. But we’re always experimenting and playing with various ways to collaborate so we never really know whats going to happen.

A perfect meal would be…

Fruits, salads, seeds, shrooms, and nuts collected from our paintings and served with side of rainbow sauce.

Thanks so much for your time, APAK! See you at our opening day event at Royal/T!”


One of the wallets in our APAK collection of shirt, wallets, and cafe mug.

Poketo Pop-Up Shop

Shop Duration: From June 27th to July 18th 2009

Opening day celebration and sale: June 27th, Saturday 11 – 4 PM

At Royal/T: 8910 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

For this and future events, please visit: or

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