LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yoshimi Sugiyama ("YS") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

YS : I Studied Fine Art Photography and Commercial Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

YS : I love to create things. I feel the joy when I could cast my idea into a formalized shape.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

YS : I chose to be a designer, but I did not need to think hard to become a designer. Art has been, and continues to be, part of my daily life. I always enjoyed seeing the greatest works of art from contemporary art to a classic masterpiece. I was inspired to create my own unique works.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

YS : I wish to create an art work which communicates a message and a story. The audience does not need to agree with my message, but I wish they enjoy thinking about the message they each get. The greatest art takes a lifetime to understand. I also wish to design more of things I find in my everyday life.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

YS : Establish a concept of your art and obtain advanced skills to transform the concept into reality.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

YS : A good designer creates a design which is generally accepted. A great designer creates a design which is loved by many timelessly and continuously.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

YS : A good design creates value.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

YS : A good interior design creates attractive and successful working environment. A good product design creates economical value by increasing marketability and prestige. A good fine art and photographic design attract people and raise people’s spirits and lift confidence.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

YS : I desire to create a design for a bigger scale objects, such as a huge wallpaper for home or office. I hope to create a design which will provide a peace of mind, enrich the existing environment, and create a higher qualify of life for people inside the building. The wallpaper will be part of people’s daily life. I also want to create a photographic design for an automobile.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

YS : I would like to challenge the integration of fine art and commercial art. I need to develop a good concept but hope to incorporate fine art elements in advertisement design.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

YS : Japanese legendary painter, Korin Ogata and a fine art photographer, Michael Kenna.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

YS : Fashion Designers, Automobile Design Firms, Furniture Designers, Architect such as, Alexander McQueen, John Richmond, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Pininfarina, Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Joseph Eishler. Their designs have concepts and are aggressive yet beautiful.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

YS : My greatest designs are my representative works of “Animism 1 Sacred trees” The design theme is Animism, which is ancient mythology. It makes it great and unique because the works mirror the timeless natural beauty and ancient people’s spirit and consciousness that “nature is sacred.”

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

YS : Movie Director

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

YS : I consider design as a form of art. I design to create an artwork, whether it be a commercial product image or a fine art book. Art has been part of my daily life and tries to express myself in the form of art. My design and work of art stem from a view or opinion or feeling that I hold within myself. Design is a communication tool between me and my audience.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

YS : My spouse.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

YS : When people or clients provide suggestions or opinions regarding the details of the design concept.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

YS : Full frame DSLR, Adobe Photoshop, i-mac,

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS, I TRY TO CONVEY TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE THOSE THOUGHTS THAT CANNOT BE CONVEYED BY MERE WORDS. RATHER, THE PRINTS THEMSELVES ARE MY WORDS, AS WELL AS PHYSICAL PROOF OF MY BEING. MUCH OF MY WORK IS CONCERNED WITH LANDSCAPES, WHICH WIELD A GREAT DEAL OF SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE OVER ME.


Sacred trees Photograph

Sacred trees Photograph by Yoshimi Sugiyama


Animism 2 - Natural Architect Photography

Animism 2 - Natural Architect Photography by Yoshimi Sugiyama

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