New Artist Announcement: Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

We have some incredible news! After months in the making we are so excited to introduce you to the newest artist bringing her art to life as an immersive installation at Sweet Tooth Hotel.

Meet Risa Culbertson, an imaginative and versatile artist hailing from San Francisco. With a knack for infusing her creations with vibrant energy, Risa is the driving force behind Papa Llama, an exuberant stationery company. Her expertise spans across multiple mediums, from paper art and felting to sculpting, illustration, and even stop-motion animation. By embracing a whimsical and colorful approach, Risa's artwork has the power to brighten even the dreariest of days. Her creative endeavors not only recharge the spirit but also foster connections with our loved ones, promoting a playful and joyful outlook on life.


Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Risa Iwasaki Culbertson is a fiber artist, illustrator, and owner of Papa Llama; a playful stationery company based out of San Francisco. Photo Credit: Elliott Alexander

Biracial and born in Japan, she grew up creating art as a way to bridge the gap between her two worlds. Inspired by the healing and connective power of humor and play, she creates her wacky, whimsical, and colorful work as a way to process grief, deep emotions, and create a place of belonging.

Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Photo Credit: Elliott Alexander

Risa is constantly experimenting with a wide variety of mediums including paper art, felting, sculpting, illustration, stop-motion animation and more. Her artwork is all about being playful as a way to recharge the creative spirit and find ways to stay connected to those we love.

Below are some photos from her show Gather. Gather was inspired by Risa's great aunt and grandmother, both survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, where her family is from. "Growing up, I had clear memories of sitting at our family gatherings, in total amazement of these women who had seen and experienced horrific things, sitting next to me, laughing and bringing mountains of my favorite sushi onto my plate. It’s something I think of often, especially during challenging and isolating times. The hope that, no matter how difficult things are, there will be a day when we can all gather, laugh, and share a meal together."

Feast by Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Shrimp by Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Kewpie Closeup by Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Prepare to embark on an enchanting adventure as Risa unveils her extraordinary installation, "The Journey Home," set to captivate visitors at the highly anticipated Sweet Tooth Hotel this Fall of 2023. Be transported to a realm of wonder and imagination, where each intricate detail tells a unique story. As you marvel at these tantalizing photos of Risa's magnificent work, allow your imagination to soar and anticipate the awe-inspiring experience that awaits. Get ready to be inspired like never before!

You can FOLLOW Risa on Instagram as she takes you behind the scenes while she's creating her installation!

Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Photo Credit: Chloe Aftel