It seems that many artists in Japan work both with fine art and commissioned commercial art. Is it difficult to make a living as an artist in Japan?
I think I’m one of those people who go back and forth between art and commercial work.
I’ve been working for over 30 years now, so I’ve had my fair share of conflicts, but I enjoy drawing and designing on commission. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big company or a private person. I like to surprise my clients by going above and beyond what they think they can expect from me.
I want to surprise my clients with something that is so much more than what they think they will get from me. It’s a big motivation for me to make people happy.
Advertisements, illustrations, jackets... each of them has its theme and its constraints, but I don’t think of those constraints as something that takes away my freedom. I’ve always enjoyed trying to see how much I can play within those constraints, and I think that’s why I’ve been able to be creative in my commissioned projects.
I can’t say that this is the case for all artists, but many successful artists are excellent business people too, and I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way. I don’t really think that has changed since the days of Picasso or Marcel Duchamp.