Humans of Waseda: Artem Krivosheev

For this week's installment of Humans of Waseda, we caught up with the mastermind behind the short-story series called 'Leader', Artem Krivosheev.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to study in Japan.

My name is Artem and I came from Russia. I moved here in October 2016 to study the Japanese language. I always liked the Japanese culture; I've played Japanese games, watched Takeshi Kitano and Akira Kurosawa movies, and read Haruki Murakami books since I was a teenager. In 2014, I visited Japan as a tourist and the country left a deep impression on me. At that time I didn't think about studying here, but after two years, I got sick of my job in Russia and decided to take a new challenge. The plan was to learn the language and then look for a job in Japan, but somehow I ended up studying at the Waseda Graduate School of International Culture and Communications studies. Still don’t know how it happened.

Your short story, 'Leader', is very complex and has an element of dark humor. What inspired you to write this story?

Not sure what the word “complex” in this context means. The story is pretty simple for me :). Probably, I was inspired by the stupidity of the political system in Russia and other post-soviet countries. Some parts of the story are actually based on true events. I think, in Russia, people got used to crazy politicians and prefer to laugh at them rather than cry; hence the dark humor in the story.

Do you have plans to continue the story?

I had some ideas about the story set in the same universe, but with different characters; but I don’t know if I’ll ever write it. At the moment I am too busy with my research and job hunting. Maybe in the second half of the year,I’ll try to do something.

What's the best advice you have ever received about life, writing, etc.?

Nothing I can actually think of. Maybe I just have a bad memory, haha. To be honest, I don’t believe in the “power of advice.” The best way to learn something is to do something. Most of the things I learned in my life were from the mistakes. So here’s advice from the person who doesn’t believe in the value of advice: go and make mistakes, they are good for you! Haha 

Do you have any advice for aspiring creative writers?

Just write what you have in mind. Feedbacks are good for you, they can make your story better. Don’t listen to any advice before you start writing process, unless it’s advice from Thomas Pynchon. Then it’s ok.