Interview / Taku Bannai

Interview with the Japanese illustrator Taku Bannai.

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So, Taku, who are you ?

Born in Tokyo in 1972. Graduated from the Department of Graphic Design at Tama Art University in 1996.

What’s a regular day like for you ?

My occupation is an illustrator.

Who was your favorite illustrator when you were 15 ?

When I was young, I liked Japanese cartoonists. Akira Toriyama, Fujiko Fujio, Takahashi Youichi etc.

Many of your artworks somehow remind me of some chill holidays pictures. Could you tell us about that ?

My interest is not mainly on special days,
Because I am attracted by daily casual scenes and calm events,
Though it may give a cold impression.

Do you mainly get your inspiration from landscapes and from your daily life of Japan ?

Yes, I mostly paint the everyday landscapes of Japan and the daily life of people.
The influence of movies, photos, music is also important in my work.

Seems like you got more into collage than digital illustration at some point… What made you switch to that technique ?

Currently my main work is painting, with digital tools or gouache, and I am also producing collages with cutout pictures.
For painting, after deciding on the broad picture I determine the elements and positions according to my mood or how I see things at that moment.
Cutting colored paper is completely different from drawing, and in many cases I come to forms I wouldn’t have imagined,
and I enjoy producing results that are unexpected.
When comparing digital and collage,
I feel I can draw a collage with free consciousness.
Therefore, recently many of my works are collages.

How do you choose the colors and papers ?

I start with the most suitable color,
Which I decide with the feeling of the place.
When there is no right color in my papers, I paint on white paper.

How do you store all those papers sheets ?

Before working, they are organized into large color system. Red type, blue type, achromatic color, pale color and so on.
When I work, paper pieces disperse and get mixed up.
Ideal is the situation is when the inspiring color immediately comes to you.

And how do you proceed for the shapes themselves ?

I cut the papers in my head, and execute it. The color is decided at the time as the cutting.
I often roughly draw the shapes with colored pencils.

What is represented here ? (picture above)

It is an illustration that represents a scene of a Japanese era novel. In that scene, a wife sees her husband going to war.

Do you always get inspired from a picture you choose or do you sometimes do collages without any model ?

In most cases, I work without looking at pictures.
I draw people and poses like I see it in my head.

Are there other processes that you like to play with, or would like to in the future ?

With illustrations, you can connect with many people through a single picture.
In the future, while continuing my work, I want to share online designs that I’m interested in, such as animation, music, and 3D works.

Which of your illustration would you like to show to finish this interview ?

The work you choose is the best for me. Thank you.

We choose “Straight Road”. We thank you a lot, for all the time you spend on the translation, and for the poetical outcome.

 

bannaitaku.jp