Via BoingBoing, yesterday I read an interview online at PingMag MAKE, “The Japan-based interview magazine about ‘making things’ ” with a 97-year old botanical illustrator. The man, Chikabo Kumada, sounds like the most serene and happy person on the planet. He has an exhibition planned for his hundreth birthday!

I think the interview is just fascinating to read. The first few questions set up his career, so you could skip those if you’re pressed for time, but it’s really worth a look–there are quotes like this:

I hit the renaissance of my life when I turned seventy. That was when I really bloomed. Up until then it was like I had been like living in muddy water. (laughs)…So my 80s were really like the bloom of youth for me. But when you reach such an age, you could really die at any moment. So I felt that it was important that I didn’t miss anything, and I took another close look around my garden. And that was when I realized I was able to see things in flowers and leaves that I hadn’t been able to see before, and my work got more detailed.

And this: “I believe that any living thing can be beautiful if you love it.”