PEOPLEText: Mayumi Kaneko

This month’s cover design was produced by Imaitoonz as known for his works of MTV “Top of Japan” and the charactor design for CC.Lemon in Japan. He has developed many projects including the charactor design for Fighting Bipers and the exhibition at BEAMS. The most attractive thing about his work is his own illustration, which create the world intertwining its cuteness with the complex forms.

First of all, please tell us who you are.

Imaitoonz. Born in Aichi Prefecture in 1971. Completed the Department of Arts Graduate Course, Tama University of Arts. I’m working mainly on illustration and character design.

How did you step into the illustration world?

I have been in illustrated works since when I showed my scribbling of green caterpillar to an editor of a publishing company in Japan by chance. But I couldn’t be satisfied with only illustrated works, and submitted my works to various contests, from visual to manga. Then I received recognition by a director at ‘MTV Station ID Contest’ organized by MTV Japan (the present VIBE) and did character design for the opening animation program for ‘TOP OF JAPAN’. After that, my design was widely recognized and fortunately, now I’m working as a illustrator.

Is there any artists/illustrators who influenced you most?

From overseas, the Viennese fantasists, Bacon, Kenny Sharf, Mobius, Twist, Jamie Hewlett, Delta, George Lucas, distorted pictures of Japanese animation characters made by people in other countries, just to name a few.

In Japan, Osamu Tezuka, Shigeru Sugiura, Katsuhiro Ohtomo, Teruhiko Yumira, Yoshitomo Nara, just to name a few.

Please tell us about your recent work.

*1999/12/3-30 I exhibited my works as a guest at “done;did”, a oneman exhibition of Yoshitomo Nara at Nagoya Parco.
*2000/1/11-30 I will hold a oneman exhibition of my works entitled ‘WEARSWEAPONS’ at a gallery ‘C.A.I‘ in Sapporo. (This exhibition is connected with the advertisements and commercials for the promotion of New Year’s sales of a fashion building called 4 Cho-me Plaza in Sapporo)
*2000/1/13-30 My works included in a work collection titled ‘Devil Man Illustration’ published from Kodansha will be exhibited at Shibuya Parco.
*2000/1/26- I was invited to the International film festival in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and will exhibit the animation version of ‘SPIDEAD‘. (Gasbook5 includes the sound-toy version of it. Check it out)
*I’m contributing a serial manga titled ‘SPIDEAD bootleg to a comic magazine ‘Nounouhau‘, published 1000 limited run in alternate months. The latest issue will be published late in January, 2000.

You are working on various fields from print and television to t-shirt and games. Is there any difference in working in each medium?

There’s no difference in my basic stance, it’s just a difference in output of myself. But I sometimes direct my work intentionally on some media by changing the patterns and designs.

Have you had any particularly impressive works you have been created?

The most impressive work is ‘SPIDEAD’ series starting from the exhibition in Beams Tokyo. It enabled me to develop many things including wear, animation, sound-toy, font, manga, etc. It was good to meet lots of works and people in domestic and foreign areas through this series.

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