• 【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2023 Judges : Tomoe Shinohara

【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2023 Judges : Tomoe Shinohara


In this second installment of our interviews with the COPIC AWARD 2023 judges, we feature Tomoe Shinohara, an illustrator and costume/textile designer who works globally.
In 2022, the leather kimono she designed and handled direction won the prestigious Tokyo and New York ADC Awards.
Shinohara, also a big Copic fan, answered our questions about how she came to know Copic and her message to COPIC AWARD applicants.

She uses Copic for sketching clothing designs.

TOMOE SHINOHARAwebsite/Instagram

Shinohara made her debut as a singer in 1995 and has had a prolific career as a television, film, and stage actress. Shinohara has also worked as an illustrator and costume/textile designer. In 2020, She founded the creative studio "STUDEO" with art director Tatsuki Ikezawa. In 2022, the leather kimono she designed and directed won the Tokyo and New York ADC Awards.

ーWere there any entries from COPIC AWARD 2022 that caught your eye?


異類」/ 張依淳

It's interesting that the artist used Copic not for illustration but to dye yarn. The soft gradient that came out is so beautiful. This lovely piece has a warm feel, and I wanted to touch it in person.


What do you usually focus on when viewing artwork? Also, what kind of entries are you looking forward to seeing at COPIC AWARD 2023?

I'm fascinated by pieces created with unique sensibilities, such as those with a fresh perspective on composition or originality in their art style. Additionally, there are works in the craft field, not just in illustration, so I'd like to judge the pieces while being inspired as I am a creator myself.


ーI heard that you have been using Copic since you were a student?

I've loved drawing since I was a child, so I went to a high school with a design department.
There I could study specialized fields such as drawing, two-dimensional composition, graphics, and photo composition.
The classrooms were full of tools for creative work, and that's where I first learned about Copic.


Do you have any memories or stories about Copic from that time?

I particularly remember working on an architectural sketch assignment. I covered a sketch of a building I had drawn with a sheet of paper and used Copic's Air Brush System to spray paint on it.This kind of process is so easy to do on a computer now, but I remember concentrating and trusting my senses to complete the piece. The gradations were also a lot of fun, and it was a valuable experience because I learned how to carefully create artwork in a one-shot challenge where you only get one chance and cannot go back.
At that time, I was a teenage student who dreamed of becoming a designer one day, and I was excited to see how professional illustrators used various tools to create their work. By the time I was 16, I had already made my debut as a pop singer, but I didn't want to skimp on my school assignments just because I didn't have time, so I worked hard, constantly thinking about how to create something eye-catching among a lot of work.
Even now, I still carefully keep my assignments and illustrations that I did with Copic markers back then.

An illustration she created with Copic when she was a teenager.


ーDo you still use Copic when you design now?

After graduating high school, I went to Bunka Women's University to study fashion design. There were a lot of illustration assignments there, and I used Copic markers a lot. I bought so many colors at that time. Another fun thing about Copic is the joy of choosing colors. Just looking at the Copic markers lined up is so satisfying! Copic has extensive bright colors that can create a delicate texture of the fabric, and it has helped me expand my range of expression. I also like the finished feel of the markers, where there is no unevenness as I layer colors. I think this feeling made me obsessed with drawing design sketches. Even now, I still have a lot of Copic markers, and I use them when I sketch to design costumes. I also like how you can intuitively choose and use colors when you have an idea.

Copic was also used in the costume design for a singer who appeared on a popular TV show in Japan.

This magnificent costume is made by combining approximately 30,000 square cloth pieces.

ーPlease share your thoughts as a COPIC AWARD 2023 judge and if you have a message for those considering applying.

Love will be found in artwork made with passion, so the artwork itself will be powerful and appealing. Trust your hands and your instincts! Immerse yourself in the creative process. I will sharpen my sensitivity as I judge the entries so that I can fully feel the passion of each one.


ーThank you for your message, Ms.Shinohara!




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