• 【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2022 Judges : Kota Nezu

【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2022 Judges : Kota Nezu


For the third part of our mini-interview, we spoke with designer Kota Nezu, who is involved in the design of the family-type robot LOVOT, Toyota concept cars, and many other projects.
Mr. Nezu, is continuing to serve as a judge from COPIC AWARD 2021.What kind of artwork does he expect to see based on the previous AWARD?Please read the previous interview as well.
▶︎【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2021 Judges: Kota Nezu

This is an early sketch of LOVOT, the family-type robot.
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.

KOTA NEZUwebsite/Twitter

Nezu worked for Toyota Motor Corporation as a designer before starting his own design firm Znug Design in 2005. He has been involved in the development of the zecOO electric motorcycle, LOVOT family robot, Toyota concept car, Thermos portable mug, and manyother products. Nezu is also a jury member for the Good Design Award 2014-2021 and has written many books on design and communications.

ーCOPIC AWARD 2021 Judges' Awards selected by Kota Nezu

It's okay to be different.」/内園明日美

Judge's comment
I thought it was a really interesting piece. After reading the artist's comments, I learned that it was a work about so-called "synesthesia" (a neurological condition in which characters and numbers appear to be colored). The artist has taken that worldview and turned it into a work of art. The motivation for drawing this artwork was like, "even if my world looks different from other people, that's okay. I think it is beautiful, and I want everyone to know that kind of world." I think this is a very lovely work, including that background. That is the reason why I selected this artwork.

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You served as a member of the judging panel for COPIC AWARD 2021. What were your impressions?

I was overwhelmed by the passion of each piece. It was tough to choose because each and every entry was fascinating, and I was drawn to unique worldviews. I learned a lot at the final judging session with the other judges.
It was a valuable experience to gain many perspectives and insights that I was not aware about previously.
I also vividly remember being deeply moved by the powerof the artworks when they were displayed next to each other at once.

ーWhat do you pay most attention to when judging works?

I try to look at each entry with my heart and soul so that I can sincerely respond to and honor the passion that the artists put into their works.

ーWould you please give a message to prospective artistslooking intoCOPIC AWARD 2022 and Copic fans?

I like to judge the entries by focusing on the "uniqueness and passion" of each artist. I hope you will enjoy drawing the theme you want to depict with enthusiasm and a free mind. I am looking forward a lot to seeing all the artworks. I promise that I will judge the pieces with all my heart and soul!

Thank you for your kind message, Mr. Nezu!

This is a sketch of "zecOO," a large electric motorcycle manufactured by working with Auto Staff Suehiro again. (2011)
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.


This is a sketch of a portable mug called "JMY," released by Thermos in 2008. (2007)
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.




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