a skeleton sippin’ a long black: random acts of art no 7: kentaro yoshida
Gotta love it when artist friend introduces artist friend, especially when the introduced artist friend is Kentaro Yoshida, who does kick arse skeleton and skull illustrations. (Thanks Georgia Hill for the intro, just another reason to love ya.) Below, our 7th Random Acts Of Art artist Kentaro talks motorcycle gang manga, bowling pins, his creative process and more. Have a squiz and we hope you love his art as much as we do. Keep an eye out for it this month, on bags and also on postcards in our coffee stand at Splendour In The Grass!
THIS THING YOU HAVE FOR SKELETONS, WHERE DOES IT STEM FROM?
I’ve just liked them since I was a teenager reading motorcycle gang manga. Skeletons were always on back of their riders’ jackets as a symbol of their gang and I think it’s a very popular motif in art generally as a symbol for death or danger. With skulls and skeletons being so popular though, I always make sure whatever I create is my own style and my own ideas. I try to use popular motifs in my own unique way.
WHAT’S INVOLVED IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
It all starts with pencil and pen to scribble rough sketches a lot to come up with something I like or make sense to what I aim to communicate. Then normally I start inking the sketch I picked. I recently started using iPad pro for some digital work for commissions, but pretty much doing the same thing on the tablet too. Although I just started using digital illustration tools, I really appreciate hand drawing work, therefore I still draw with posca or ink whenever I can, also always keen to paint bigger scale pieces, such as murals.
OUT OF ALL THE CARCASSES YOU’VE DRAWN, WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
It is hard to say, but I always like the latest work I am working on. I feel like I am updating myself all the time with new pieces. If I pick up one work from archive, I liked the work I did for a group show ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT GUTTER’ exhibition, curated by StupidKrap. Each artist was supplied with an old bowling pin and did whatever they wanted. It was a fun challenge to apply my illustration on a 3D surface. I used clay to add 3 dimensional snake body on it, then painted on top of it. I like it from any angle, and it was fresh experience too.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE EXHIBITION OF YOUR WORK SO FAR (GROUP OR SOLO)?
I was stoked to launch my first solo show ‘UNDULATION’ at Eye symmetry Surfboard art space. I had that concept in my mind for a while so it was good time I launched it to their space although preparation time was quite short. And I am having my second solo show in Sydney this September so hopefully it will become my new favourite exhibition!
WHAT’S YOUR REGULAR COFFEE ORDER? (IF YOU LIKE COFFEE)
Unfortunately I cannot drink coffee at all although I worked for local cafe for 4 years during university … my best mates and girlfriend love coffee so I am always jealous about finding their favourite latte in town haha.
WHAT COFFEE IS COFFEE-SKELETON DRINKING IN YOUR ART FOR US?
I think he drinks long black, as he loves straight coffee and he is such a cool Manly dude.
HOW ARE YOU CONNECTED TO GEORGIA HILL?
I knew her through Instagram for a while and met her in person at the Hurley Australian Open Of Surfing 2015, we were both there for live painting performances. Since then we’ve become friends and collaborated together on a mural last year. I love her work, she has a very distinct style. I also respect her attitude and process towards work, which gives me inspiration & motivation as an artist, such a cool girl.
HOW ARE YOU CONNECTED TO JAPAN?
It’s where I come from and where I grew up. Although I have spent more than 1/3 of my entire life in Australia, Japan and its culture means a lot to me. All my family lives there too so I always miss that place and my favourite people.
WHAT’S ON THE CREATIVE/ILLUSTRATION HORIZON?
I am going down to Splendour in the grass with MAMBO team next months to do some art jam with other artists friends which are really exciting!
Im also having solo show again this year in Sydney in September so I’m brainstorming ideas for that at the moment. It will be one night only show but I want to put a lot of work in for it so hope people will be keen to check it out.