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.”
Here’s a video from a Japanese show about people repairing old things. This episode features Nobuo Okano, a man who has been restoring old books for more than 30 years, breathing new life into a customer’s old English-Japanese dictionary for his daughter.
This is so Japanese, I love it. Thanks to photographer Valerie Chiang for passing this along to me. Watch the clip below!
In my opinion, the most beautiful photography publication on the planet right now is Foam Magazine (and has been for awhile). There is no one touching them, not even close. This gorgeous issue “After Araki / Heaven and Hell” features contemporary Japanese photographers whose work has been directly influenced by Nobuyoshi Araki.
I took a whole bunch of photos of the issue, and rather than try to describe how amazing it looks I’ll just let you peek inside and make up your own mind. As far as magazines go, it ain’t cheap, but it’s less than you’d spend on any art book.
Thank you to the crew at Foam, the issues you send over are always the highlight of my week. Take a look inside “After Araki / Heaven and Hell” below.