Nara Yoshitomo: A bit like you and me…


I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with illustration. I go through intense periods of drawing a lot, or absolutely nothing at all. It’s frustrating. Right now I’m in the nothing-at-all stage – but the last few days I’ve had recoccuring ideas which usually means a month-long burst of creativity is on its way.

For me one of the best things about my life right now is that I’m able to write what I want and draw what I want. I don’t have a brief and I don’t have deadlines. I don’t have clients to answer to. Yes it’s true that working in advertising keeps you sharp, but it also means your creativity is often channeled in directions that it wouldn’t normally be. I often see art and think to myself “Jesus, I could have done that”. But I never act on it. Which is why over the next few months I intend to really focus on what I want to do.

Luckily, Tokyo is an endless source of inspiration. A few weeks ago I saw a great exhibition by the godfather of kawaii, Rune Naito. And I’m excited about the upcoming Nara Yoshimoto exhibition at the Yokohoma Museum of Art. His work falls firmly into the “Jesus I could have done that” category. Not that I’m saying I can draw like Nara Yoshitomo, but his style is similar to mine: wide-eyed, surreal characters and animals that reflect the artist’s inner child.

I have purposely ‘saved up’ all the museums in the city for rainy season. So over the next few months I’ll be pottering around a number of exhibitions, dreaming about my first one…

Nara Yoshitomo’s exhibition, A bit like you and me, opens at the Yokohama Museum of Art on 14 July.


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