【COPIC CLASSIC Interview】COPIC AWARD 2022 Judges : Kota Nezu
Nezu worked for Toyota Motor Corporation as a designer before starting his own design firm Znug Design in 2005.
ーWhen did you start thinking about becoming a designer?
I have always loved to draw since I was a kid, and in my second year of high school, I became very conscious about a career as a designer. At the time, the world was beginning to become more aware of things about "design."
ーWhat do you care about when you receive a design order?
I get in the mindset that I needto create something that everyone, including myself, the client, and the end-users, can get excited about. For that reason, I place great importance on communication within the team. On a more technical level, I am particularly conscious of understanding the reasons behind a design, how a design looks and feels from a distance, and its iconic presence.
ーWhat is your favorite process in designing? Also, what is the most difficult part?
I get very excited when I draw sketches one after another while facilitating a team in meetings. I also love to immerse myself in sketching and modeling all by myself. The process of productization is always challenging because unexpected things happen, but I try to enjoy those kinds of situations.
ーWhat kind of product do you want to design in the future?
I want to design everything! I have had the opportunity to design various things, like cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles, as well as robots, models, furniture, small accessories, household goods, even items that appear in anime. Each project has its own difficulties, and there is joy in overcoming them. I would like to continue to take on challenges.
I gave it an iconic look in the button to open the lid and the lock ring so that the mug could be immediately recognizable as a Thermos product. This sketch was the source of my idea. Originally it was a pretty small drawing. I made an enlarged copy and then colored it using Copic markers. This design has inherited to "JNL" released in 2012, and "JNR" released in 2017.
I sketched various trial-and-error, so more lines became necessary, and they became rough, but I could complete the drawing by organizing everything with Copic in the end. While drawing the sketch, I decided to compose the design with concentric circles and radial lines.
Encounter with copic.
ーHow did you first find out about Copic?
I first used Copic in sketching and rendering classes when I was a college student. Since then, I have been using Copic throughout my entire career. I heard that this year is the 35th anniversary of Copic marker (congrats!). It makes me pretty emotional because I have been with Copic almost all my life as a designer (laughs).
ーHow did you learn to use Copic? What was difficult at first?
Starting from college and up to now, I have been learning continuously. In particular, when I was at Toyota, many of my colleagues around me were good at using Copic, so I learned a lot there. In automotive design, I have to draw a large-sized picture often, and to color evenly, it is necessary to work quickly while seeing how ink dries. It took some practice before I felt really comfortable with Copic and could use big strokes in my drawings.
ーWhat is your favorite Copic color? Also, please let us know if you have any color recommendations for Copic beginners.
I use gray colors a lot. I always carry around Cool Gray No.2, No.4, No.6, No.8, and Black and Carmine (red). When doing a rough sketch, I often draw with rough lines focusing on the momentum. I then use Copic making the color gradation from light gray to dark gray, and the form gets organized little by little. Drawing with Copic makes me feel like I can organize my thoughts in my head. So Copic is an essential tool for me. For beginners, I think it's best to choose colors that lifts your feelings. But having a few light and dark colors of Gray (Cool, Warm, and Neutral types) would give you a wider range of expression.
I drew the sketch in about five minutes, but I remember feeling very confident that this would work! This car was exhibited at the INTERNATIONAL TOKYO TOY SHOW, where children were actually able to ride it.
parts are all made of wood. It embodies the idea of taking care of this car with love and passing it on to the next generation. Here is another sketch I drew in about 5 minutes, but it reflects not only the design with a boat motif but also ideas about family relationships.
"Camatte 57s Sport."
It's based on the concept of a "warm and soft robot," and I was exploring various possibilities for its structure. As you can see, some are hairy, and some have a sensor on their chests. The grassy thing in the lower-left sketch is actually a charger, and I drew it with the idea that I didn't want it to look like a typical, boring charger.
I'm sketching at my favorite place in my house, which is separate from my PC desk. The picture is me with my LOVOT named "Hachimaru" at my home.