SEVEN ON SET is a twice-monthly interview series that takes a closer look at creative individuals. In this installation, we interviewed NYC-based illustrator and graphic designer Naomi Otsu.

1. What made you want to become an illustrator/graphic designer?

My mother was an artist so I grew up surrounded by a lot of arts & crafts. I’m not sure if it’s because of that or if it’s because it’s in my blood (maybe both) but as far as I can remember I was always creating, drawing and planning my next project…but it wasn’t until college that I learned what graphic design was. Needless to say, I was so relieved and happy to have finally put a name to all the things I wanted to do! So here I am today, 10 years later in New York.

2. What has been the most memorable moment of your career?

I’ve had so many memorable moments. I really appreciate and cherish every time the work I do comes to life. I think the most exciting moment for me recently was when I got to create some posters with Lauryn Hill for her summer tour .

3. If you did something different for a living, what would it be?

My side passion is taking care of my plants. So I think I would be very happy being a florist or plant/flower shop owner.

4. What is your personal mantra?

If you want to do something, do it, and do it well. Also very important one I’m learning recently: Be kind to yourself.

5. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I’ve had people say how surprised they were when they realized how much of a dork I am  or the fact that I am an avid Star Trek fan.

6. Ideal Dinner party? Dead or Alive.

Anthony Bourdain, Patrick Stewart and Cher.

7. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This one is so hard! Probably “Honey” by Mariah Carey.


Photography by Peggy Gertner