ARTIST OF THE WEEK: YOKO HONDAOctober 20, 2017
Inspired by classic MTV graphics and ’80s Los Angeles and Miami, Japanese artist Yoko Honda uses vibrant neons and geometrical designs to create a refreshing take on the much-loved decade. Here, we talk to her about how she got started in illustration and the importance of nostalgia.
Have you always been interested in art?
Yes, I have always been interested in art. With the internet and Instagram, I can now easily see it, and I like to visit museum a lot too.
What is your favourite material? Why?
It is very difficult to choose! I have many favourite materials. Mirror, nostalgic photos, soap, neon, radio cassettes… I have a lot of materials that I use heavily in my work, particularly the mirror. The mirror gives an accent to the picture, sometimes unstable and strange. The mirror is real, but it seems to be unreal to me, just like the ‘80s.
What sort of themes do you want to explore through your work?
The topic of my artwork is almost always the same: nostalgia. It features a lot of memories of various scenes, like of my teens, heartbreak and love. I always draw scenes of sweet and nostalgic memories.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I have received the main inspiration from classical music. From my favorite music, 70s jazz, soul, smooth music, 80s mellow songs. I get hints on colours and design themes from those good old sweet music. Music gives me colours and stories, which is important and essential.
Robertable’s work is very inspiring. When I saw his work, I was fascinated by the visual effect that cannot be seen in reality, and I felt that art and sound were not separable. Although I have few opportunities to draw visuals like Robertable in the last two years, creating the world that is not real is still my first advice.
What do you think of the Japanese art scene and how does it inspire you?
I like animation of old Japanese, 80′s children. Recently I have noticed recently that I am unconsciously influenced by Japanese animation a lot. My sensibility is mainly inspired by California and Miami, but it sometimes seems like the background of Japanese animation. It is a fresh discovery for me recently. And I really love Japanese good old animation.
Your work is incredibly impressive and powerful. How about the creative process?
First of all, I think about the situations and stories of the picture and decide the overall colour. I don’t draw sketches, but instead I draw thoughtful details while drawing to feel free and let my ideas flow. When something it completed I feel so happy.
What do you think that the Internet and platform like Instagram changed the art scene?
Instagram was a very simple and optimal wayto show off my inspiration to the world. There was no other opportunity to see artwork by people around the world as well as in Japan. With the internet I believe that many artists can share art to the world, everyday, enriching the art scene very much.