02.06.15 by Jeff

An Interview with Tokyo-Based Illustrator Wakana Yamazaki

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

 

Wakana Yamazaki on Tumblr

Wakana Yamazaki on Instagram

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