Meet Kentaro Yoshida. He hails from a fishing village in Toyama, Japan and moved to Sydney when he was 18. These days he lives in Manly where he surfs, makes art, drinks beer, and sometimes combines the latter and drinks art. No wait, sorry, he draws beer sometimes. Kentaro’s been working on our latest homage to the froth in t-shirt form (watch this space). In the meantime, you can check out his work at his upcoming exhibition, RUMBLE, with Ben Brown at Goodspace on 31st May.
How would you describe your style?
Clean line drawing. All ideas (some are weird and stupid) reflect my personality, experiences and memories.
Your insta bio says ‘SURF + ART + WASTED + HAIR OF THE DOG’? Does everything fall into one of those four categories?
I think so. This is also my life routine pretty much. I go surfing, and do painting or drawing after. Then I go out and have beers at night till I get wasted. Day after, I regret, because of hangover. Then I start drinking again to fix myself (hair of the dog). When I write down, it sounds terrible, but this is how I often roll my days.
What’s your work routine like? Do you procrastinate or do you just get it done?
If there is a clear deadline, I always get stuff done on time. Besides client work, I often have some random thoughts or ideas. When it comes to my mind, I can not stop illustrating those ideas so [I] may procrastinate sometimes.
What’s your favourite medium to work in?
For hand painting, I like drawing with fine brush and ink or acrylic now although I used to draw a lot more with Posca and Copic. For digital, I like to work on iPad pro these days as I can work with it wherever I want.
What do you listen to while you work?
Since I worked on my last solo show SOLO I started listening to old songs I used to listen to while in high school again, which are old 90s Japanese Rock n’ Roll. I like the band called “Thee Michelle Gun Elephant” (I understand name doesn’t make sense to Aussies). But regardless the language, quite a lot of my Aussie friends like them too so it may be worth checking out.
Where do your influences come from (inside or outside the art world)?
I think mix of both Japanese visual culture (where I grew up till 18) and Aussie / coastal culture (where I have been spending my time since 18). I get fresh ideas or new perspective and knowledge from life in Australia. But how I execute my artwork is definitely based on what I liked when I was kid in Japan, specially Japanese comic is still big part of influence to my drawing / style. And I am still big fan of Japanese manga too.
What’s been the favourite piece/job you’ve ever worked on?
Always the latest work is the most fresh and favourite one for me. I did few jobs I really like this year so I can not choose which one is the best. But perhaps solo show I did last year was something I can not forget. I liked how all outcome was put together and concept for the show, and turn up for night was really good too. I [hope] my next show with Ben Brown will be [even] bigger!
What’s the first gig you ever went to?
I went to the gig for Japanese band BRAHMAN when I was 15. That was the the first time I experienced moshing and diving on the crowd. I did it so many times during the gig and ended up losing one of brand new Converse shoes I bought couple days before the gig.
What’s the last gig you went to?
It’s not a band gig, but I watched Underworld perform at the opera house last month. Transpotting was one of my favourite movies back in high school so it was great watching Born Slippy in live. It was really great performance. And it was the moment one of my dreams from high school came true.
You’ve got a show coming up at Goodspace with Ben Brown. What can we expect from ‘Rumble’ and how do you approach collaborating with someone on a show like that?
We have been working closely to get all artwork mixed both of our styles. Our dual art show means to be pure visual experiment sparring together on the same canvas the work merges and resists our two distinctive styles creating unexpected visual outcomes.
Personally, I am stoked working super close to make this happen with my mentor Ben. My first task at internship eight years ago was to make something like Ben creates. And now I am working with him so I can not launch our show and have heaps of Young Henrys that night!