TiFdyL a.k.a. Taka Sudo is a multi-talented Artist, illustrator, and Designer. Born and raised in Japan, he now resides in BC Canada. Yup, Taka, the Japanese native relocated to Canada for the skiing and stayed for the art scene. Having experienced both mountaintops with powder snow and sometimes in overcrowded subways in Tokyo, he is a well-versed creative in the arts. From a high mountain range to gassy skyscrapers. With ketchup and with soysauce. With glacier beer and with sake. These things are inspiring my creativity only a little. It’s interacting with glamourous people with amazing creativity from all over the world whom he has never met that spark his true inspiration. That is why I wanted to feature Taka and introduce him to our readers. Read below for the full interview…
How has your nerves progressed since ‘Paradox Shifts’? Are you a lot more comfortable showing your work since then? Or were you always a confident presenter?
Taka: I’m getting more and more confident to show my works and to make new works everytime I have new shows and meet new people at shows. I’m inspired and motivated by meeting new people and talking with them. ‘Paradox Shifts’ was my first show in LA. And it was absolutely one of the best experience I’ve ever had and it gave me the biggest inspiration throughout working for the show. It’s really great to work with C.A.V.E. Gallery. They always make greatest effort to understand what artists are trying to do and what our artworks are about, and they always do the best to show artists’ passion and energy to viewers. LA is such great place to show artworks, not only because there is big art market and people love art but also LA people are really keen to find out artists’ energy behind artworks. We mustn’t be any fake, must be REAL to show artworks to such cool people there.
2012 has been relatively quiet for you aside from a few shows such as the CAVE gallery, are you preparing for another show soon?
Taka: I’m planning a few shows (solo and featured shows) in Vancouver BC this summer. Since I had 2 shows in February 2012 at C.A.V.E. Gallery (LA) and evo Timesinfinity Gallery (Seattle), my studio was so empty. So I’d been busy to make new works this year so far. I’ve not had a show for a year in my home Vancouver, as I’ve been showing mostly in US cities in 2011. So I’m now so excited about showing new works to my hometown friends.
How did you find the courage to switch from Law to art? Obviously the money between the two careers can be drastically different. Or…was courage not even a factor in your decision?
Taka: Art is obviously not for money. That’s why I love it. When I was studying Law in university, I couldn’t find any justice or equity in Law. Law seems to me more about just keeping order from the top rather than finding justice and equity from the bottom. The worst thing was I couldn’t find any student who pursue justice or equity, most of them were studying Law only to get better job and to make more money. Though I understand there are so many great lawyers who work for justice and equity not for money, and there are so many cool people with Law knowledge who make great effort for something they believe.
Just I could find that cool cultural things (like music, film, literature, art and extreme sports etc) have strong power to create new value coming up from the bottom. So I started studying filmmaking while studying Law. And when I’m practicing making storyboard, I thought one cool artwork might be able to tell whole 2 hours story in just one canvas. Then I got to love making art more and more.
As a former student of film-making, give us some of your favorite Asian films from a technical aspect.
Taka: ‘Made in Hong Kong’ ‘The Longest Summer’ ‘Little Cheung’ by Fruit Chan. Fruit Chan’s Hong Kong handover themed trilogy. I love Fruit Chan’s films as in his films I can always see strong energy of people struggling to get through tough pessimistic situation.
‘After Life’ by Hirokazu Koreeda. This is my favourite film by Koreeda. Portraying people on the way between life and death by documentary-taste technique is very surprising and this film is absolutely beautiful.
‘Suzaku’ by Naomi Kawase. Rough texture of 8mm film and very personal story make this film unforgettable. This film reminds us something warm which everybody owns in each hearts.
‘The River’ by Tsai Ming-Liang. Very powerful film with rough-texture and quiet screen.
‘Spring in My Hometown’ by Lee Kwangmo. Figuring very well about finding hope and something positive from very pessimistic situation by beautiful screen and third party view.
‘DumBeast’ by Hideaki Hosono. Very stylish mix of super fantastic characters and animations. And this film is LMFAO.
People looking at abstract expressionist paintings think that it must be very easy. Well, anybody who’s really tried it knows it is the most difficult form of painting there is. How do you start the beginning stages of your pieces?
Taka: I agree that abstract is the most difficult form even it looks easy. I really love strong power of paint splashes, but they are very difficult to control. Paint splash is just like out-of-control beautiful beast. That’s why strong paint splash attracts me. Before starting pieces I figure out how summarizing the energy of the object in the chaotic abstract form. Trying to find good balance between abstract form and still being able to make sense what it is, with keeping the energy of the object popping up. I start my pieces with big paint strokes and paint splashes on background, then make rough outlines/sketches, and apply pieces of newspapers and photographs along the outlines. After the collage process, color it with neon bright colors and neutral colors, then draw detailed lines with pens, markers and inks, then add contrast with more inks. And add more paint splashes again at the end.
Residing in a cooler environment, does your location influence your work directly? I noticed a lot of your pieces include animals and the part of Canada you reside in is famous for their wild bears roaming around.
Taka: I often see wild bears passing through out of my studio window. Always so adorable! I was born and grown up in Tokyo, and now being surrounded by beautiful nature in BC Canada. I love both environment. My works are influenced by those two totally different life-style. I’m trying to mix up both urban element and natural organic element on one piece. So two different environment of Tokyo and Canada is the big influence to my art. If ‘cooler’ environment influences my art, it’s about cold and wet weather in BC makes me spending more times in the studio rather than going out.
You also consider yourself a designer as well. Do you incorporate alot of design aspects within your illustrations?
Taka: I like trying to mix different concepts, elements, aspects on one artwork. So I’m always trying to make something between design and art, between abstract and representational, between bold and subtle. I’d like to go through borders in the aspect of visual beauty. Beautiful is beautiful no matter design or art, commercial or personal, or anything.
When you create a piece, you have a clear image and message on the statement you want to make with this piece. Does it not concern you when your audience draws their own conclusion from you pieces?
Taka: I really would like audience to draw their own conclusion from my pieces. Through my art I’m trying to find neutral point in the chaos of scattered conflicting concept in our daily life. Neutral point should be different for each person. So I don’t have just one clear message on my artworks. I’m trying to figure beautiful chaos of energy of people.
As a contributor to snow sports brands do you ever fear you can become pigeon-holed into only creating art for cooler global demographics? In other words, no matter how good of an artist you are, do you feel a place like Hawaii or Texas, wouldn’t embrace your art from a corporate standpoint?
Taka: Skiing is my first love. And skiing taught me how to push myself and still motivates me. So it’s great pleasure to work for ski and snowboard brands. All of extreme sports world have no borders. People in extreme sports world easily cross and go beyond any borders. They are always interested in other fields and they make really cool culture by mixing up sports, music, film, art etc. So I’ve never felt being pigeon-holed. I love skiing and love living in BC Canada, But I won’t stick to live in cooler land. I also love surfing, love living big city like Tokyo and also would be so excited living in warm place like Hawaii or Texas. I think I can enjoy anywhere as long as being artist. I’m having shows in U.S. west coast like L.A., Portland, Seattle or in Tokyo while living in Canada. I even live in two hours away from Vancouver where I do shows mostly, but it’s not barrier against being artist at all. So where to live is not big issue to make and to show art. And also we are such lucky generation we can easily reach and find great creativity even from the other side of the world through the internet.
Lastly, what advice can you offer up for a creative looking to make their mark in the world?
Taka: I’m just making best effort for something which I believe it’s worth (not about money at all). Let’s keep working for somebody else. We are always building great value anytime we create something even if nobody sees it, as long as we make something REAL.
Want to keep up with Taka’s ongoing projects or perhaps want some skiiing tips? Make sure you swing by his official site below: