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Interview with Toshinori Mori

Home > Designer Interviews > Toshinori Mori

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Toshinori Mori (TM) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Toshinori Mori by clicking here.

Interview with Toshinori Mori at Wednesday 29th of April 2020
Toshinori Mori
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TM: When I was a junior high school student, my teacher asked me to draw a picture for a New Year's card, and I drew a picture of "the mouse family". The teacher gladly used the picture for New Year's cards. At that moment. I think I wanted to be an illustrator in the future. When I was a high school student, I posted a picture of a motorcycle in the illustration posting section of a motorcycle magazine. I was so happy that I saw that page many times. At that time I was going to be a motorcycle illustrator. After all, I am now an illustrator of cats. ^_^

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TM: My studio is on the second floor (4mx6m) of my home. There is a long table by the window with two Macs and two monitors. Next to one Mac is a Victor amp and an NHT speaker. Behind the Vitra chair are four EPSON printers PM4000-PX, two PX-SVs beside and one SC-PXSV. It's a studio like a printing workshop. The other table has a large cutter mat. This is a workbench for making calendars.

FS: What is "design" for you?
TM: Expressing the "abstract emotions deep in my heart" as forms.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TM: My favorite is "Matisse".

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TM: I like various designs. When I was a kid, I really liked Osamu Tezuka and Shinji Nagashima's comics. I also liked the tower of the sun of "Taro Okamoto seen at the Osaka Expo". When I was a high school student, I liked "Motorcycle Illustration" by Mr. Kimitoshi Honma who posted illustrations. At university, he is obsessed with "Bron Yoshimoto" and "Kazuo Kamimura". ince becoming a vocational school student, my favorite designs in graphic design, fashion design and architecture have increased. When I started working, I was influenced by cute character designs such as "Miffy", "Snoopy" and "Moomin". Also, I was greatly influenced by the movie works of "Studio Ghibli". Recently, I like Japanese painters such as "Ito jyakuchu", "Kano Eitoku" and "Ogata Korin", painters of the Edo period.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TM: It is a small clock "Hacodokei" made of cardboard. Design your own and order punching from a contractor. Doing everything from assembling the box to attaching the needle, Do the silk print on the front dial yourself, The instruction manual was printed and sold as an original design product.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TM: I like paper. Platform is Mac & EPSON printer Technology is Amazon Music

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TM: When deciding the color. I feel that my five senses are fully rotated.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TM: Is there a feeling of air you want to express? Is there love for the cats?

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TM: An uncertain anxiety about whether it will be finished well. The fun that everyone will be surprised to see this.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TM: It's a pleasure to be released from the solitary and lonely work that has been done so far.

FS: What makes a design successful?
TM: Only the obsession of the designer.^_^

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TM: Whether it has the power to change the air on the spot.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TM: Do not design for the benefit of clients. Keep in mind the earth-first design.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TM: The world will be closed due to COVID-19, and I think the next era different from the past will come. I don't know if it can be called evolution. I think that there will be a trend to cherish more human feelings rather than robots, and I think that the design orientation will go there as well. We need a design that expresses hope.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TM: The last solo exhibition was the “Tabineko Nagaoka Exhibition 2020” held in October 2019 at the soy sauce warehouse in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture. Due to COVID-19, the next date is unknown.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TM: I often get inspired when riding a bicycle in nature. Also, I often come up with ideas while bathing.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
TM: The design style is an illustration series depicting cats traveling in the four seasons. I tried to express the "feeling of happiness" I felt in a place I liked, and this was the style. It features a gentle color and the cute gestures of the cats. I use vivid colors that are not real colors to represent the wind, clouds, and light that flow in the space. We value the realities we feel, not the realities we see.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TM: I live in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Nagaoka City is one of the most heavy snowfall areas in Japan and is the largest rice producing area in Japan (Koshihikari). It is also the region with the most sake breweries in Japan. In other words, nature is rich, the four seasons are clear, the rice field landscape is wide, and there are quaint sake breweries here and there. I often see landscapes of paddy fields, satoyama plants, old sake breweries, etc. in my illustrations of Tabinneko. The landscape of this area has been very influential. The advantage of living here is that if you ride a little bike, there is a satoyama blessed with rich nature. It's a motif for my illustration and it's a peace of mind. The disadvantage is that you can see a low level of ability because it is a rural area. I think there are only great creators in Tokyo. That's not true. The real creators are in the snowy countryside, which is rich in nature.^_^

FS: How do you work with companies?
TM: We collaborate with companies that make calendars, postcards and sake. We sell the "Tabineko" illustration commercialization rights to each company for a limited time.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TM: 1. First, select the photo of the scenery that is the background key from "iphoto". 2. Open it in "photoshop" and add the necessary things (such as interesting clouds and seasonal flowers) from another photo to solidify the image. 3. Decide what kind of pose you want your cat to look for in a close-up cat picture from your stock photos. If not available, we may search online or on TV programs. 4. When you have a rough completed image, print it out, make a rough sketch on the tress, and tress it while simplifying and draw a line drawing with a pencil. 5. Scan the completed line drawing and import it into "Illustrator" to make a line drawing. Color from the rough part. 6. Once the color is decided, apply the "rough" effect to the painted parts one by one to make the edges jagged. 7. Color the cat by tressing it. Complete the entire layout. 8. Print it on the printer and recheck the colors and composition. If it is not what you expected, adjust it by adjusting the printer color. 9. If you don't get the desired color after adjusting or you don't like the layout, go back to the original data and correct it. 10. Repeat this several times to complete.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TM: I woke up around 10am, washed my face, made coffee and went to the studio (on the second floor). Confirm the ordered product that was delivered during the night and reply. Produce (print) custom products. Write the address or print the address sticker for overseas and package. lunch Also in the afternoon, production and packing of custom products (calendars, postcards, art prints) Around 3 o'clock, drive to a nearby post office and ship. After coming back and drinking coffee, I took a walk on a bicycle. Ride the satoyama near about 30 minutes (about 12 km). Return to the studio. Check the SNS page. Write a reply or post a new article. dinner Check new orders to create custom products, create new product images to update your online shop, and start your next "Tabineko Illustration". Create block copy data for alcohol labels. Consider the layout of a solo exhibition. Consider the answer to this interview. Play with cats. Watch the Prime Video. Order unsatisfactory materials from Amazon. Around 2:00, take a bath and go to bed. At 4 o'clock, the cat wakes me up. Put cat rice and clean the toilet. Bread and cafe au lait breakfast that's all

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TM: Life is shorter than you think. If I were still young, I was 60 years old. Do what you want to do now. Life is as long as you think. There are decades. How many days will there be? The day will continue to accumulate. In one day that seriously faced the design and one day that spent 40 years in the game, After 40 years there will be a big gap. If you seriously face each other for 40 years, there will be something that you can see. That is certain.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TM: Designers can own the copyright of their original work. Designers are not profitable for their working hours.^_^


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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