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.”
My friend Romke Hoogwaerts over at Mossless has just launched a new video series called in situ, following photographers while they work and interact with their subjects. The debut episode features one of my favourite photographers, a Vancouverite now based in New York, Jody Rogac.
Watch the first episode of in situ below – really enjoyed this.
Kory Jean Kingsley is a young photographer based in Savannah, Georgia, and one of the editors behind the contemporary photography publication, Aint-Bad Magazine. If you aren’t familiar with Aint-Bad you should bookmark it now (do people still bookmark things?) it’s become one of my favourite places to visit for photo inspiration, and the printed version is definitely worth your attention.
I’m excited to introduce Kory as a guest contributor for the next little bit, and look forward to seeing some work by people I’m not familiar with. Enjoy this brief interview and please give her a warm welcome!
Jeff Hamada: Where are you right now? What are you listening to?
Kory Jean Kingsley: I’m sitting in my apartment in Savannah, Georgia where I am residing until I finish my BFA this spring. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hurray for the Riff Raff, they played a show here in the fall and now I can’t stop listening to their music. Outside my window is a humid yet beautiful evening in the lowcountry – spring has finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier.
JH: I’m checking them out now, the girl’s voice is terrific. Are you musical at all?
KJK: I’ve never mastered an instrument although I’ve tried many. Music is very important to me and I’ve found that I’m lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by musically talented people, especially at home in Vermont.
JH: How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
KJK: My work is driven by my desire to document the places and people who have left a mark on my life.
JH: Are there any photographers in your family? Was your first camera passed down to you?
KJK: My dad was a photographer – or at least he carried a camera around with him everywhere when I was younger. Owning a restaurant and a nightclub on top of that took away his time to photograph. I like to think I picked up where he left off. My dad recently handed down a Leica M4 to me that belonged to his friend who was once a photojournalist.
JH: I think a big part of being a photographer is the commitment to carrying around a camera, at least it was, especially when everyone didn’t have a phone that could take photos. Whose photography are you looking at these days, who is influencing you?
KJK: Working as an editor for Aint-Bad Magazine, I am constantly looking at photographers and new work. Some of my biggest influences and favorite photographers include Acacia Johnson, Harry Cory Wright and Susan Worsham.
JH: And now you’re one of the head editors! How do you balance looking at so much work online and actually making your own work?
KJK: Taking classes and working can be time consuming at times but I’ve developed a way to balance my time. I’m looking forward to graduating in this spring and having even more free time for personal work.
JH: If you took a trip without a camera, would it drive you crazy to not be able to shoot?
KJK: In some situations, yes, but it’s possible to find other ways to document your travels. For example, keeping a restaurant tab in a journal can have the same significance as a photograph – it’s just another reminder of the places I’ve visited.
JH: What can you tell me about this series of Polaroid photos here?
KJK: This series consists of Polaroid emulsion lifts using Fuji’s FP100c film. I put the Polaroids in hot water and lifted off the emulsion to make transfers. Some of these images were photographed with a 4×5 large format field camera and others were shot using a Polaroid land camera. This is an on-going series that I plan on continuing in the spring.
JH: They’re really delicate, like scarves or something. It adds a layer of quietness to the images. Has taking photos taught you anything about yourself?
KJK: One of my favourite quotes is by Nan Golden “I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.” After studying photography I’ve developed a better understanding of time and the impact it has on humans. I have documented so much in the last six years of my life that I’m much more aware of the people who have come in and out my life.
Enjoyed this profile on New York’s next generation of hip hop artists. Action Bronson, The Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, and openly gay rapper Le1f are interviewed in this short, beautifully shot and directed by Robert Lopuski. Watch the film “We’re Gonna Be Lords” below.
Really enjoying this series called, California Inspires Me, a collaboration between Google Play and California Sunday. A creative person is interviewed for each episode and then an animator creates visuals to go with the person’s voice. Last time I posted about this series it was Jack Black talking about growing up in California; this time it’s Mark Mothersbaugh animated by Barcelona-based studio, Manson. Watch the animation below.
When I first stumbled across Rich Oglesby’s blog, Prosthetic Knowledge, it was like discovering a wormhole in the Internet. I’ve always liked reading about people experimenting with next-level technologies, but I really never knew where to look. His site became my little window into the world of what’s next: Future technologies, virtual art experiences, experimental apps and installations.
Rich is particularly interested in the intersection of art and technology; forward-thinking new media projects, on both the art and design sides of the spectrum. I’m really excited he’s agreed to be a guest contributor here; hopefully he’ll turn you onto some things that I would never have been able to show you. Keep an eye out for his posts (you can follow them all here), and bookmark his blog. Below is a short conversation I had with him.