10 reasons why the blue period is a must for artists

Blue period was released on Netflix in 2021 and it has become very popular ever since. The anime follows the story of Yatora Yaguchi as he discovers his passion for art and devotes his time to school to pass the entrance exam for Tokyo University of the Arts.

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Yatora acknowledges his love for art, although he realizes that doing what you love isn’t always fun. Although the emphasis of Blue period is about fine art, the anime contains quite a lot of wisdom that is very useful for all artists and creatives of all mediums as they move forward.

ten The blue period reminds artists that everyone starts somewhere


Yatora in Netflix's Blue Period anime

Yatora didn’t know what to do after high school when he stumbled into the art club one day and found a painting that inspired him to buy some art supplies and create something of his own. His painting is inspired by the nocturnal landscape of Shibuya. With this creation, he recognizes that his strong point lies in the fine arts.

It’s a powerful reminder for all artists that everyone starts somewhere. Whether they started making art at a young age or started on a whim later in life, all artists pick up a pencil or brush for the very first time and create something thing.

9 The blue period recognizes the difference between hard work and talent


Yatora's Blue Painting in the Blue Period

Technically speaking, “talent” refers to a skill that a person is naturally born with. It’s a common compliment to artists, but it can feel disabling. Many artists cannot simply fall back on natural talent. They work hard to hone their skills and constantly fight against themselves to improve. This divide is recognized in Blue period.

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When Yatora expresses his admiration for Mori’s painting, he calls her “talented”. Although she appreciates it, she explains that receiving praise for her talent invalidates the hard work she put in to paint well. There is an implication with the word “talent” that gives the impression that no hard work has been put into the art and that all artists are born with the inherent ability to create well. Blue period admits that is not true.


8 “Starting too late” is a myth


Blue Period: Yatora's Art Makes Him a Better Son

At the start of the story, Yatora says he wishes he had started earlier. He started making art in his second year of high school. Compared to its peers, it is little time. Yatora feels insecure about this lack of time, especially since he wants to hone his skills successfully to pass the art school entrance exam.

Blue period proves that the idea that “starting too late” is a myth. Yatora had a call to art that he just couldn’t ignore, so he picked up some art supplies and changed his life forever. Anyone can start making art at any time if they feel called to do so.


seven The blue period forces artists to rethink their relationship to art


Yatora's sketch of his mother in Blue Period.

As Yatora practices his art, he realizes that he must analyze it while creating it. He learns how many components go into making art: color, composition, anatomy, etc. And it’s only the concrete pieces that go into the art. Audiences should remember that there is also an emotional aspect. Blue period recognizes that there is more to art than simply picking up a brush and creating a scene on paper. The relationship between the artist and what he puts on the canvas is ultimately an essential part.


6 The Blue Period reminds artists of the first time they created art


Smiling Blue Period Yatora Art,

Yatora realized there was a world of possibilities when he came across this painting in art class that day. When he created his first painting of Shibuya at night, covering the entire landscape in blue, he realized the potential for expression through art. Yatora had no technical artistic skills at that time. Yatora only painted the landscape of Shibuya according to how he saw it and how he felt.

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When many artists started making art, they had no technical skills to fall back on either. They only had their creativity to go and all the art supplies that were available to them at the time.


5 The Blue Period recognizes that art requires endurance


Yatora of Blue Period Painting

Doing what you love isn’t always fun, and art is certainly no different from this harsh reality. Blue period recognizes that art requires endurance – that it can be exhausting and emotionally draining. As the entrance exams drew closer, Yatora became so stressed and exhausted that he developed rashes all over his arms. He was also often confused.

Yatora expresses that he feels overwhelmed. After all, he has to work overtime to meet everyone’s expectations because he started many steps behind everyone else. He is barely able to compare to the rest of the competition. It’s not too often that the darker side of artistic creation is exposed, but artists will find this depiction cathartic.


4 The effort makes the difference


Blue Period Yatora Yaguchi

One of the critical moments of Blue period occurs when Yatora drew 30 still lifes, despite his teacher only saying to do a fraction of that. Yatora’s skills increased exponentially in such a short time due to the extra effort he put in. He recognized that he had to make up for the lack of artistic experience if he was to survive the entrance exams.

Effort is what is essential, not just time. You can have all the time in the world, but if no effort is made, then time doesn’t matter. When effort is put on a work of art, artists also have time to analyze the creation they have just made and think about how to improve their future works.




3 The blue period emphasizes self-expression through art


Yaguchi Yatora from the blue period with a first PIcasso.

Mayu Oba often takes her students aside one by one to talk about their art with them. In one episode, she tells Yatora that his art seems too impersonal – that he feels like he’s trying to please everyone but hiding how he really feels about his art.

Another character then tells Yatora that he reads between the lines of art too often, and it’s because of his insecurity. Art requires references, and a challenge for all artists is to turn that reference into something ultimately unique to themselves.


2 Thinking critically about art is essential


blue period girl with a pearl earring

Critical reflection on art is often overlooked. However, this is also presented in the blue period. When students go on a field trip to the museum exhibit, they are asked to recreate what is in front of them through their individual interpretations.

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Some are very literal, drawing the exact thing in front of them. Others are more imaginative, drawing their classmates into the environment. Artists need to think critically about what they are trying to express and present in their works.


1 The blue period humanizes artists


Yatora Self-Portrait Blue Period

Perhaps the best wisdom conferred on the artists of Blue period is that all artists are human. Everyone compares their art to that of others. When Yatora discovered Mori’s painting and fell in love with the art, he placed Mori on a pedestal. However, he discovered that there are artists who make even more amazing art and that Mori compares himself to other artists.

In addition to comparing art, Blue period makes artists realize that everyone relates to art differently. Each artist has a different relationship with color, each applying it differently in their art. Each artist also relates to certain art mediums differently. Blue period humanizes artists by showing the complexities and dichotomies between one artist and the next.

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