Our first-ever Booooooom t-shirt is for sale until Thursday! 3 more days and then it’s gone forever! Purchase it here.
The artist behind the design is Tokyo-based illustrator Wakana Yamazaki. We commissioned her to create a graphic in her wildly original style, and this junk food man was exactly what we were hoping for! Below is a short interview with Wakana.
Jeff Hamada: Where are you living right now, and what’s your favourite thing about living there?
Wakana Yamazaki: I live in Chiba Prefecture. Favourite thing is a lot of friends are living near and easy to commute to the workplace in Tokyo.
JH: Do you like natto? I love it, but lots of my Japanese friends hate it.
WY: It has strong unique smell, but I love it! I buy natto rolls for lunch as well.
JH: Have you traveled much outside of Japan?
WY: I sometimes go for a trip to Asia because the travel expenses are low. I plan to go to Vietnam with a friend next year.
JH: Vietnam is amazing I was there a year ago! What do you and your friends do for fun in Chiba?
WY: I envy you! Did you go to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Vietnam? I really want to go there. In Chiba, I go to music festivals and Disneyland, and the big flea market is fun. And it’s fun to create together at friend’s house.
JH: I didn’t go to the theme park – next time! Can you describe the last dream you had?
WY: I could not remember it well, but I often have dreams that usually mix B movies.
JH: What’s your favourite B movie?
WY: “Terror Vision” “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” Both movies I like are silly.
JH: You have a very unique illustrative style! Something about it reminds me of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine animation (which was done by a Canadian animator, George Dunning). What things are influencing your work?
WY: I was influenced by Seymour Chwast of the push pin studios. His old picture book is colorful and graphical, and it’s really great. I like psychedelic illustrations of the 70’s and 60’s, and comics of Guy Peellaert. Of course I also love Yellow Submarine animation.
JH: I would love to see your work animated, is this something you’ve ever though about?
WY: Of course, I’d be really glad if it comes true. When drawing the work, it seems that it’s moving in my head. I’d like to visualize it.
JH: What are some Tokyo-based bands I should check out?
WY: Well, I don’t hear so much Japanese music. A metal band I like is “Ningen Isu”. I recommend it to heavy metal fans.
JH: Do you do illustration as a full-time job? Or you have another job too?
WY: I work as a freelance illustrator while doing the work of the design in a company.
JH: Can we end this interview with a quote that you like?
WY: A Japanese proverb “好きこそ物の上手なれ”. “Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.”
There’s a short story by Madeleine Thien called “A Map of the City.” In that story the narrator talks about a furniture shop her father owned when she was growing up. She loved going there so much she used to pretend to be sick in order to stay home from school and be taken to the store instead. She would lounge on a plastic lawn chair in a doorless storage closet with a little curtain pulled closed for privacy. During one of those times a customer stumbles upon her:
Skillshare has just released this terrific 16-minute tutorial video with celebrated New York-based graphic designer Jon Contino. This is a must-watch for any aspiring illustrators or designers out there. Jon is a great teacher, and here he walks you through creating a graphic for a bandana from start to finish in a single afternoon.
Art and design school’s really have to step up their technical teaching with great content like this available online for free. Watch “Inside The Studio with Jon Contino” below.