In this week’s feature, we have Washio Tomoyuki, the man behind our latest range of collaborative tees. Find out a little more about this brilliant Japanese graphic designer and check out his killer t-shirt designs in our Stickerbomb store when you’re done!
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Washio Tomoyuki, I’m a graphic designer based in Japan.
When did you start illustrating?
I’ve been drawing since I was a child though recently I’ve had moments when that nostalgic feeling of drawing as a child returned when I was illustrating.
Maybe I’ve been drawing since I was born!?
What influenced your art?
I was particularly influenced by 70's Japanese graphic design and American Hip Hop culture.
What is 70s Japanese graphic like? Who are the main artists?
It was very aggressive and stimulating. You must check out the works of people like Kiyoshi Awazu, Tadanori Yokoo, Kouhei Sugiura, Akira Uno and Makoto Wada. There are so many more great artists and these are certainly the heroes of Japanese graphic design.
What is most challenging as an artist?
To continue pursuing your style and creating an original body of work.
How is it being an artist in Japan?
I find it very comfortable in a sense that I can pursue my work in my hometown.
The drawback is that there is very little foreign culture around, something which I was more present growing up. Perhaps it’s because Japan is an island nation?
It would be nice if traveling abroad becomes more mainstream here.
What artists are you looking out for?
Mainly friends that I meet along the way pursing my career.
Sawa Hiraki, Hiraku Suzuki, Souji Takahashi, Shin Sasakubo.
Which city would you like to visit next?
I’ll be in Cuba for 3 weeks in June. I hardly any knowledge of the place but I’m looking forward to seeing how I react to the experience! I’m also starting to miss the chicken rice in Singapore.
What are you doing in Cuba?
I will be exhibiting my drawings alongside the posters that Kiyoshi Awazu created in the 60s and 70s as well as a guitarist from Chichibu, Japan.
What do you think is behind Stickerbomb’s popularity?
I mean, who doesn’t like stickers, right?!
What projects would you like to collaborate with Stickerbomb on in the future?
I want Stickerbomb to release my characters in a set! And I want to give that as my gift to people this year!
Can you explain a little about the designs on the new t-shirts you are releasing with Stickerbomb?
I’ve been drawing club flyers since my teens and these 4 illustrations for Stickerbomb are a selection from my works in 2014 - 2015. I don’t design flyers as much as I used to nowadays but I still get requests from gig organisers when musicians I like are playing in my hometown of Nagoya. Each poster has a deep meaning to it. I have the freedom to visually interpret the impression I get from a musician from a very personal point of view. I try to create a story surrounding the musician and visualise it. So it makes me really happy when the musicians themselves are pleased with the work I produce.
If you can’t get enough of Washio, head over to our Stickerbomb store and grab some exclusive tees on the way out http://www.stickerbombworld.com/collections/t-shirts