PEOPLEText: Sachiko Kurashina

Shift asked you to create a cover design for this latest issue. What did you image and how did you create this design?

The initial spark came from seeing an television programme about antique toys. The older I get, the more I find myself interested in the eras where entertainment was more simple. No Game Cubes or Playstations or mobile phones to play with. So the cover comes from that desire to recreate a child’s way of viewing something, plus also revisit some of the things that interested me as a child. The scene’s inhabitants were decided upon from a very long list of things that also included a Punch & Judy puppet show, a kite flyer, sailors, ET, King Kong, fairground games, a weather vane and someone chopping wood. The process was exactly as described above. Lots of pencil drawings, planning and composing where the various elements should go. For me, there’s an excitement I get from making something where lots of details are on display. And I like to create things that have a slowness to them, too. And I like the nature of web animation, especially GIF animation, where loops are a major device. There is something mechanical and wooden toy-like about looping, I think.

You are also holding an exhibition at “Soso“, Sapporo, Japan at the moment. Please tell us the concept of this exhibition.

I think it must be something to do with missing dogs. When I was a teenager, my family had 4 or 5 dogs, and since I live alone in a flat, it’s not really fair to keep a dog when I don’t have a garden or time to give it the exercise it would need. I’d also been looking at photos of old British paintings of upper class folk with their dogs, and I liked the austere posing there. So the idea expanded in a Flip Flop way from there, really.

I would like to ask you about Berlin, Germany where you live. Are there any interesting movements there? What do you think about working in this city?

There seems to be a movement towards unemployment in the economy here, but the city also seems very alive with interesting little shops and galleries selling self made T-shirts and stuff. Berlin is a very DIY city, I think, cos it’s not so expensive compared to London or Paris to live and make art here.

Please tell us your views about Japan.

Well, I’ve not been to Japan, so the only views I have are from books, magazines, TV and films. Like us Brits, you drive on the left, don’t you? That’s gotta be a good thing!

What are your favourite visuals?

I tend to like stuff that looks like a person has been involved in the process, rather than stuff that is specifically cutting edge. I’m not really bothered what process or styles are used, I just think it is obvious when someone puts their heart and soul into their work, rather than just their talent for Flash or Photoshop.

Please tell us your plan from now on. Have you got any ambitions in the future?

Apart from playing as centre forward for Liverpool FC, which I’ve got to accept is an unrealistic goal, I’d love to make some more nice things, on and off the web. Toys, children’s books, adult’s books, exhibitions, T-shirts, snowglobes… I have this whole universe in my head that is quite detailed and growing daily, I’d be happy to just keep on documenting it. Thank you.

Flip Flop Flyin’
Address: 64a Engeldamm, Berlin 10179

Text: Sachiko Kurashina

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