Yuko Kudo - Singer, Photographer, Founder "I AM" Series
Yuko Kudo is a singer, photographer, yoga teacher and the founder of “I AM” Series - a community for artists to come together to create, connect, celebrate and innovate, one performance at a time. Yuko is truly an artist with a passion for community building, and she uses her art to heal and connect with others to shift the conversation and the world. Her mission is to educate and empower artists to shift from “struggling” to “thriving.”
With a different theme every month, Yuko brings together spoken word artists, storytellers, musicians, filmmakers, and more to use their voice and their art to shift the world. At any “I AM” Series events, 10% of the door sales are donated towards the cause of the month. Her vision is a world where everyone says “I AM ME” unapologetically and chooses to celebrate life, every single day.
It’s been so incredible to watch Yuko grow and step into her authentic voice and mission over the last year, and I’m so excited for you all to learn more about her art, passion, and inspiration, and to follow along and learn more!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
My name is Yuko Kudo, a singer, a photographer, yoga teacher, and a founder of "I AM" Series, a community for artists. Our 3 pillars are healing, community, and social innovation through arts. We also here to educate artists to live as thriving artists rather than struggling artists. Right now, we are working on upcoming event in April, in collaboration of NYU with the theme "Crime and Punishment" , using art to start the conversation of social justice, incarceration.
How did you get started?
I was trying to do my first ever solo show but freaked out a few week prior to the day of the show. I didn't think I was able to do it. Not because I was nervous about performing, but more in a sense of "who in the right mind would wanna see me do a solo show?" . The day of the show, people from different parts of my life came to support us. It was the first time I felt my world and friends collaide, rather than having so many different communities that I didn't feel like I belong. After that, I did one more, then another... then it became a monthly event.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
Creative people with a mission. People who are all about sharing their message and vision. That inspires me. These people have told me that "I AM" Series is a safe space where they can be vulnerable and try something that I didn't think I can. When I see someone perform for the VERY FIRST TIME in their life, it makes me want to cry all the time. What an honor is that to be able to hold space like that? I want to pinch myself every time.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
My passion is people. I want people to feel seen, heard and safe so that they can do what they do the best. I want people to see how amazing and beautiful they are inside out. I love people and want to help share their story. When I hear their WHY, their vision...that's what I want to share with the world. I am also passionate about being a catalyst to break the stigmas of "Struggling artists" archetype.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
Hmmm, great question. my joy blueprint. Things that brings me up... definitely music, people, art, creativity, cooking and baking, dancing... warm hugs and cuddling are always great. I love a good bottle of red wine, and definitely CHOCOLATE! but my friends and family are such an important part of my life.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I'm still figuring that out and totally wish that there's a magic formula! Learning to listen to my body, being honest with myself those are important for me. Knowing, or rather deciding, what I want. And stick to my vision. I'm also a yoga teacher, so being in that space of mindfulness is so familiar and intellectually I understand the principal. Practicing it and being compassionate with myself... I am a student of A Course In Miracles. I meditate daily, love Essential Oils, journaling... my thing right now is that I keep video journal at the end of the day to reflect and celebrate what I accomplish each day and telling myself "I LOVE YOU".
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
You are pretty badass. Really enjoy the life and have so much more fun. Don't work all the time. lol
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
My question of 2019 is "Is this LOVE or a CALL for LOVE?". but "I LOVE YOU" or "God loves you".
What is your biggest dream?
My dream is to travel around the world. Meet more people, hear their story and connect with them. Sing with them, Dance with them. And with art, we connect and change the world.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here