Naoko Okabe was born in Tokyo and had a very happy childhood protected by her angelic mother. Naoko's challenging spirit was formed through the fights against her 4-year-older brother. She met a handful of excellent friends when she joined the Book Club in the fourth grade. Some of them still remain as her closest friends.
She went to Tokyo Liberal Arts College to study Science Education. Her curiosity and ambition soon took her to the U.S., where she received a B.A. in American Studies from Temple University. She left for New York City to work, where she felt at home.
She kept changing her jobs almost every year until she landed a position as a graphic designer in advertising. She enjoyed the hip creative atmosphere of advertising until she started getting laid off too often from a few different advertising agencies. She freelanced as an art director while she worked with clay intensively in her spare time. She saw the limitation of creativity in advertising and began to spend more time and energy in creating art.
When Naoko received an M.A. in Art Studio from SUNY New Paltz in 2005, she felt she needed more cultivation in order to pursue her career as an artist. She and her husband, Michael, moved from long-lived New York City to San Francisco in 2006. Naoko received an MFA from California College of the Arts in 2008.
Potteries shown on this website are all made by Naoko between 2003 to 2006.