【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2023 Judges : Kazutoshi Oshimoto
For the fourth installment of our mini-interview, we spoke with Kazutoshi Oshimoto, an associate professor of design at Tokyo University of the Arts who is also widely active as an artist.
Mr. Oshimoto, is continuing to serve as a judge from COPIC AWARD 2022. What kind of artwork does he expect to see based on the previous AWARD? Please read the previous interview as well.
▶︎【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2022 Judges : Kazutoshi Oshimoto
Oshimoto is an associate professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts/Department of Design, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
ーCOPIC AWARD 2022 Judges' Awards selected by Kazutoshi Oshimoto
I discovered this one after reviewing all the entries several times. At first glance, I thought it had little impact, but when I saw the original drawing in person, I was pretty surprised it was smaller than I had imagined and yet very finely rendered. When I saw the digital image, I imagined a much larger piece, so the gap between the two was so appealing to me.
ーYou were a judge for COPIC AWARD 2022. What were your thoughts on the competition?
I was grateful for the overwhelming number of entries, but it was also challenging to choose the winning works. Actually, there were so many excellent pieces among the entries that were not selected, full of uniqueness and passion. I hope all applicants will continue to draw with confidence. During the final round of judging, I was fascinated to see what the other judges had chosen. It was a fun experience to look at the pieces from a different perspective and discover their hidden charms. Perhaps this competition showed the diversity of expression that Copic makes possible, the appeal of drawing freely, and the wide range of artists from different generations and countries.
ーDid you discover anything new about Copic after judging last year's event?
As I began to use Copic markers, I realized its wide range of expression, from bold strokes to delicate details. The subtle hues unique to alcohol-based ink and the joy of layering colors were appealing, as was its transparency. Moreover, Copic's vivid and bright color rendering differs from watercolors, making it stand out.
ーWhat do you pay attention to when judging art?
At first, I value my first impression when looking at a piece. However, after looking at other works for a while and then looking again, I sometimes notice the sensitivity, skill, or passion of the artist, and the piece gradually becomes more appealing. When I come across such a piece, I get excited as if I have found a treasure, but I try to remain calm and compare it with other pieces to make a final judgment. Even then, I try to look at the drawing with an unbiased mind because I believe that art created with pure feelings has the power to move people's hearts.
ーDo you have a message for Copic fans or those considering applying for COPIC AWARD 2023?
COPIC AWARD is a one-of-a-kind, open event where applicants can casually draw and submit an entry. It is different from typical drawing contests, where large-scale masterpieces are often submitted. Art is inherently very close to everyday life and reflects the artists themselves. For me, art is life itself.
It is difficult to maintain the joy of drawing that one felt in childhood, but I think it would be wonderful if people could enjoy creating art by recalling that memory with their hands. Artwork created in this way will surely be enjoyable to viewers as well.
ーThank you for your message, Mr.Oshimoto!