Since graduating from Middlesex’s Illustration BA, SACHIKO OGURI has been working on a series of illustrations celebrating the different days of celebration in Japan (plush occasional world event).
Below are just some of the illustrations from the project. Read on to learn more about it as we talk to Sachiko about her inspirations, process and where she’s going to take it from here;
1. Part of the fun of this project is learning about all the different days in Japan. Is this part of what inspired you start doing these drawings? If not, what did?
When I was a first year student, I made a calendar book that focus on Japanese national holiday for my final project. At that time, I knew that every day has a memorial day in Japan. When I finished this project, I really wanted to try to make the artwork of national holiday and memorial day again. Also, when I studied illustration at Middlesex University in the three years, I usually treated of the theme from Japanese culture, story and history. I think I wanted to know and show to people about what is there in Japan while studying in London.
After graduation Middlesex University, I started to make illustration and gif animation of memorial day in Japan. It is a challenge project for myself.
2. What do you feel is the importance of self initiated projects like this?
There are a lot of interesting memorial days in Japan. For example, July 20th is Hamburger Day because McDonald’s Japan opened in Ginza that is one of famous cities in Tokyo at the day in 1971. I find out a lot of memorial days and pick up it that I am really interested in it and I want to introduce it to people. I think it is really important in this project that people and I can enjoy same thing and theme. I attach weight to reaction of people and growing my expressiveness in this project.
3. We’ve seen a number of recurring characters feature in the series. Who are they and are we likely to see more?
Does that character have a mustache?
If you say that character, it is me but it is not me. For example, I usually use this character for my animation because my animation work shows my feeling, so she or he is a voice of me.
You will see she or he again if I want to say and show my mind.
(release day for Pokemon Go)
4. It’s been really exciting to see animation become a part of this project. What inspired you to start including this?
When I was a third year student, I made a silkscreen and animation work for my final major project. From that time, I like a combination of still image and moving image that has a same theme because it is really exciting to see my illustration and character’s action.
In this project, I think illustration make the imagination of viewer, and animation can share the story and show my mind; how I think and feel about it.
5. Do you have any plans for the series?
If I can make a lot of images of memorial day or get a lovely idea, I want to try to make a tiny zine or book for each month. I will continue to do this project, so please keep on your eye on my artwork!
Find more of Sachiko’s work online (including more from ‘What is the Day…) online;