• COPIC AWARD 2024 Short Interview with KOTA NEZU

COPIC AWARD 2024 Short Interview with KOTA NEZU


Our second interview is with designer Kota Nezu, who is serving as a COPIC AWARD judge for the third time. Nezu has designed a wide range of products including cars and robots and has also been a judge for the Good Design Award. Here is a message from Nezu, who always judges with an excellent aesthetic eye and a passionate heart.

Please click on the link below to read past interviews with Nezu san:
*Interview about Copic Classic (2022)
*Interview for 2022 AWARD (2022)
*Interview for 2021 AWARD (2021)

(c) GROOVE X, inc.

This is an early sketch of the family robot "LOVOT." While envisioning the structure of a "warm and gentle robot," I experimented with various designs. For instance, furry exteriors and designs with sensors attached to the chest. The object in the bottom left corner, resembling grass, is actually a charger. I chose to depict it differently from a typical charger design.


Industrial Designer

Nezu worked as a designer for Toyota Motor Corporation before founding his own design firm, Znug Design, in 2005.
He has been involved in the development of the zecOO electric motorcycle, the LOVOT family robot, the Toyota concept car, the Thermos portable mug, and many other products.
Nezu is also a jury member for the Good Design Award 2014-2024 and has written many books on design and communication.

ーWe're delighted to have you join us for the third consecutive year as a judge, following COPIC AWARD 2021 and 2022. Please share your thoughts.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the first person selected to serve as a judge for three consecutive years! It's a great honor, and at the same time, I feel a sense of duty when evaluating each entry—pieces that are filled with the passion of the respective artists. I will try to feel the passion poured into each piece to give my sincere evaluations in the judging process.

ーCould you please let us know again what aspects of COPIC AWARD you find appealing?

It's great because the artwork allows me to connect with the thoughts and personalities of the artists. In particular, during the final round of judging, I get to see the original pieces in person, and I can sense the vibrant energy emanating from the brush strokes and pressures applied. Maybe you can say it's the unique charm of analog art.

ーMr. Nezu, as you have been using Copic for some time, has your experience as a judge influenced your own creation in any way?

 In my recent work, I have been utilizing grayscale a lot to precisely convey the shape of a subject, and I have also started using colors that I didn't use previously. I recently drew a portrait as a gift for a friend, and it turned out to be quite colorful. Maybe my mind has become a little more colorful. (laughs)

ーWere there any pieces from COPIC AWARD 2023 that caught your eye?



There were too many! (laughs) It's hard to pick just one, but I always get drawn to pieces with intricate details that depict a unique world. One piece that caught my eye was "Nyoropon," by Poco, the Grand Prize winner in the Future Generation Art Prize category. I could look at that piece for a long time and imagine the stories of the characters portrayed in it. I find the piece to be deeply compelling as the overall story of the artwork overlaps with the small stories portrayed in each part.


This is a sketch of "Ouroboros," a reverse trike (a tricycle vehicle with two wheels in the front and one in the back) developed by "Auto Staff Suehiro," a motorcycle store in Chiba Prefecture. The unique form is drawn dynamically.

Photo of actual "Ouroboros".


ーDo you have a message for those who are planning to submit an entry for COPIC AWARD 2024 or for Copic fans?

I see art as a pathway to personal liberation, allowing one to freely express their innermost thoughts. I am really looking forward to seeing the pieces created by the strong passion and emotion of all of you!

ーThank you for your message, Mr.Nezu.


Nezu's comments on the sketch images

These images here were selected based on the "key sketches" theme.
I drew these quick sketches in the conception phase of an idea, not time-consuming work. The sketches often set the direction for the design itself. *The sketches without actual product images are just studies of ideas.

This is a sketch on the concept of personal mobility. It is a study that explores organic structures.

These sketches depict wheels and sprockets, I drew them while riding on a train. Cross-sectional images are included, keeping in mind the process of 3D modeling.




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