1 . Hi Kenichiro, can you firstly introduce yourself and gives us a little introduction to your background?
After I graduated in Industrial Design from Musashino Art University, Department of Industrial, Interior and Craft Design in 1997, I worked for Namco as a designer, then became a freelancer. I have created so many designs and compositions for various media including games, movies, advertisements, TV and events since then.
In 2007, I established STUDIO TOMIYASU as a specialist for concept art and matte painting. Then, as an environment for creatives to concentrate more freely. I started INEI Inc. and have created a lot of concept art with the title of AAA class.
2 . What is the word that defines you?
I haven’t defined myself with some specific words so I don’t know what to say, but it can be a chubby, charming, middle-age gentleman, maybe.
3 . How would you define your style?
I do my best for what I can do, I don’t really think about style.
4 . What are your influences?
Beautiful things in the world, beautiful shapes that I can touch, movies, vehicles, designs, music, friends, etc.
5 . Have your origin and the culture of your country influenced you? How?
People say my works become more Japanese in style and coloration, when I paint seriously. Unconsciously, I think I receive the benefit that I was born and raised in Japan.
6 . In your opinion, what are the qualities required for a photographer / designer?
“Bold and delicate”, “doesn’t stick to one thing but is persistent”, “having masculine and feminine senses”, “a unique personality which has two different sides like head and tail”.
7 . Why did you join the TEN project?
I wanted to give myself stimulation by doing totally different work.
8 . Do you usually work in pairs, as in this project?
9 . How did the collaboration with the other artist go (reflection, brief, organization, communication …)?
I learned a lot from this collaboration. It was a good experience for me. Although I usually work with a lot of people to do a project, concept art is lonely work since I draw alone. This time there was some phases which I have not experienced before and also there was communication in the process to create one work with the photographer. I made some interesting discoveries. Some parts, we understood each other without making verbal communication since we’re both artists and simultaneously I found that ways of thinking are different in photography and concept art.
I thank my partner, Mi Kyung. When I asked her what is a tip to take great photos, she answered, ”No technique. What you feel is the most important”. It was great experience for me.
10 . What did the set theme inspire you?
“Future” is the most familiar theme for concept art. There are a lot of movies and games based on the future world. When I heard about this theme, future city like “Science Fiction World” popped in to my head. But Mi Kyung, who is my partner for this collaboration, had a different image of “future”. So I abandoned my image of “future” and decided to enjoy this partnership.
To collaborate with other artists was everything for my intuition.
11 . What messages, emotions or ideas did you intend to convey through your creation? And what was the motivation behind this choice?
I don’t have any big message conveyed in my creation. Please just enjoy it, feel the beauty, or imagine how it was made. Then it will be nice to contact my company 🙂
12 . What are your preferred or required tools or equipment (devices, software …)?
Photoshop, Wacom Intuos and PC.
13 . Can you describe your usual work methods in a few lines?
Meet with client and narrow down the concept. Bring it back home and draw it as concept art. As far as time permits, I try to raise the degree of perfection.
14 . Have your tools and work method been different for TEN ? If so, how?
First of all, I absolutely do not use other people’s photo material for my work.
Because concept art is to visualize an idea, and it is usually used for internal uses and not open to the public. Since this TEN work is open to the public, it’s got completely different reason for existence.
15 . Can you tell us a few ” tricks ” on your work and the techniques you used for this creation ?
I give you some tips how to edit photos:
- Adjust brightness exactly. Use level to adjust brightness, and if necessary check the value of RGB
- When you want to pull a photograph to the outside of the picture, it is convenient to choose the range and [Fill] → [Content-Aware Fill]
- For the design that is not able to be expressed only with a photograph, pick up a color with the Eyedropper tool and add.
Thanks to Kenichiro for taking the time t speak with us. To discover ore of hid work check out his Facebook and Twitter page and you can also find more of his tutorial videos, full of useful tips here