PEOPLEText: Sachiko Kurashina
Please explain your exhibition “PRT regeneration” that is on at Soso Cafe at the moment. What does the theme “PRT=PhotoRetouch” mean?
This is a traveling exhibition of “PRT” that was held at “Sign” in Gaienmae, Tokyo last year. I retouched photos in Mac and make them as painting works. I found this way from my idea that creating something in a way that everybody can do. Basically, I am not interested in styles of painting that are made in later stages or characters that can be found from styles of works. So this is a kind of experimental exhibition to show the works that are without these points. I chose simple motifs, such as “hair only”, “a close-up photo of a lace part of a underwear” or “a close-up photo of a groove of a tire” unlike making one work with many motifs.
I will have a live painting at the opening party. It might make visitors bored if I just show them how to retouch photos, so I will present them how I usually draw illustrations with paint softwear, called “Painter” in this event. I don’t think many people have seen the progress of work of drawing illustrations with Painter. Also, Painter works in various ways depend on how you draw, so if you are interested in that kind of thing, it would be a good opportunity.
© Yutanpo Shirane
Can you explain the progress of photo-retouched works?
I download photos, which I get somewhere or I took them by a digital camera, into a Mac. Then, I trimmed parts I want to use by PhotoShop and retouch them by Painter. It’s a simple and repeating process because I just get colours from a photo and paint a work with them. Just simply tracing a screen is a knack of this process. I call it “the process that is worth about a 820 yen per hour part-time job”.
What are you careful at when you choose the photos? What is your favourite?
I try to choose the photos that can be interesting ones after I retouch them. Since I wanted to show my works in big-sized papers, I chose photos that look like patterns if I look at them closely but if I take about 2-meter-distance, I can see what they are.
My favourite is sexy pinup photos, no matter if the girls are Japanese or foreigner (laugh). I buy magazines “FHM” and “MAXIM” frequently. The feature article about swimsuits in “Sports Illustrated” is my annual enjoyable event. Photos that I can feel tastes of photographer are fine but I prefer photos with unnatural universality and scenery photos that are taken randomly.
Where do you get ideas and inspirations when you draw something?
Works of modern artists, films, music and scenery of towns… All of them are really usual things but I get ideas and inspirations from daily life. My tension tend to be high after I traveled somewhere, so I often use photos I took there or put atmosphere there into my works.
As for the illustrations, I think it’s important to have many interests or going out to know new things (i.e. what types of fashion are popular with girls in their twenties? How do I draw the different atmospheres in Shibuya and Omotesando? Or interiors of popular bars and how do young people have parties?) because I sometimes have to draw today’s manners or situations. It sounds like I have fun more than working but I want to note here that I am collecting ideas or information through them (laugh).
Please explain about the cover design you made for this issue. What did you image and how did you make it?
Since I present the photo retouch works in the exhibition, I wanted to recompose them and make animation with them. I put an effect that the images are drawn in papers. It might be just my imagination “I actually don’t it but it must be really exciting if I could tear my works” but I tried to expressed this in this work.
What are you recently interested in the most?
It seems to be too late but I now found TIKI is interesting. Also, it’s definitely too late but I found a VJ play is great fun. I notice that when I was researching software that is able to show films. I am playing with my desktop at my place as if I were a VJ sometimes. I have seen Matrix Reloaded twice because it’s pretty fun and I think I will go to a theatre at least once more.
Please tell us your future plans.
Illustrations, but also I want to make more things that I can send messages. They will be DVDS or books. Not so many people know this but I draw the visual for the event of Sourthern All Starts (a famous Japanese band) that will be held in Odaiba, Tokyo in this summer. This work is also a photo retouched one. I want to make more photo retouched works as well.
Please leave a message to SHIFT readers.
I continue to draw many things from easy things to serious things. Illustrators are happy if you try to remember their names when you find their works in magazines or books and check credits. Please do so when you have a chance.
Text: Sachiko Kurashina