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Artist Spotlight: Taka Sudo Interview

| July 28, 2016

Sights from the bustling Tokyo subways to the tranquil Vancouver mountaintops, inspiration comes from very different environments. Taka Sudo is a Japanese painter based out of Vancouver. The dichotomy of his influences is evident in the artwork he produces. 

Taka captures this through a mix of neon colors, paired with neutral tones on top of newspaper collages, connecting together to form organic shapes. The result is an expounding abstraction that is personified in his works. He's the creator of the piece, simply titled Face.

iEDM got to talk with Sudo himself about his art and what inspires him.

Q: What was your inspiration for this piece?

Sudo: My artwork is mixing up different elements with letter transfers, words, and bright and neutral colors all together. Those letters are inspired from the cityscape by building organic shapes with different city elements. That is some of the things I'm doing.

The reason I used the skull was because I think the skull is one of the cheesiest things in artwork. There are too many skull artworks, so I thought we could do something different with the skull theme.

Q: What medium was this originally created on?

Sudo: This is mixed media and mostly created on acrylics, spray paints and inks and letter collage transfer. The T-Shirt graphics are done on a newspaper transfer background for this piece. At first, I put some gel and transplanted the newspaper through that and kind of made a see through newspaper background.

I'm then picking up some letters that don't have strong messages. Again trying to work with the neutral concept. Also seeing the balance of the font style, some with the sharp edges and others with round edges. Then, I built up the balance from that with the letters. 

Katakana is my most favorite thing in the Japanese language, so I like to put that. It's easy to mix this Japanese script with the English alphabet. 

Q: How do you feel about your art being worn?

Sudo: The wearable artwork is closer to people than just watching it at the galleries. You don't need to spend that much money to get this artwork, it's much more affordable and available to everyone.

I've done lots of T-Shirt designs and I'm actually making T-shirts with my business partner, who is in Japan right now. We've been working on making some new graphics together. 

Q: What sorts of projects are you working on? 

Sudo: I'm working on so many different projects right now. Mostly working on many different murals. I'm supposed to paint some walls for a restaurant. I'll be painting at the Vancouver Mural Festival, that's a new festival just starting this year. It's a festival mixing music and murals. 

There's about thirty artists painting each wall for about one week. People can bike around and check out the walls as it's being worked on. The festival is in the middle of August. 

Q: How's the Vancouver art scene? 

Sudo: I came out here because I used to compete in freestyle skiing. When I went to Vancouver, I just loved it. It's got a pretty chilled and mellow vibe.

People are very friendly here; it's not the largest city, but it's close to the mountains and ocean. I'm originally from Tokyo, and compared to Tokyo, it's much more relaxed. I go back at least once a year. Vancouver is definitely a tight community where everyone knows each other and great for artists. 

You can wear 'Face'

Check out some more of Taka's artwork on his Facebook and Instagram.

And if you love his piece Face, check out the styles we offer with this sublimated printed so it'll never fade or crack right here:

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