Yagi was raised in suburban Denver Colorado, the oldest of a typical suburban middle class family. From an early age, she loved science, especially biology, and drawing.
Yagi’s parents instilled in her an ethics of getting a “useful” education because of their concern for monetary and domestic stability, a result of their internment with other Japanese Americans during WWII. Their definition of a “useful” education, included fields such as business, engineering or science. Art and liberal arts were out of the question.
Yagi therefore put art aside, obtained a Masters in Business Administration and stepped into the corporate world, putting in 27 years at major financial institutions. However, due to the pent up need to create, she took up drawing and painting again at age 32a while still working in finance.
She relocated for her employer and moved to Los Angeles, and then San Francisco. The creative and eclectic climate in San Francisco is a catalyst for bringing about the current direction of her work. She left the corporate life behind for good in 2008 and became a full time artist. She now works out of her studio in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco.
Yagi cites the following artists and providing inspiration and influence: Titian, Vesalius, Albinus, Caravaggio, Delacroix, Goya, Jerome Witkin, Bill Viola, Annette Messager, Masami Teraoka and William Kentridge
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