Cheapshot: What inspired you to draw this year’s awesome art?
Kenji: Well, the characters’ faces up until now have been straight on, surprised and smiling. I wanted to do something that looked a little more “serious” this year so I’ve drawn the character with a little spark in her eyes.✨The background and geometrical patterns were inspired by PETSCII art and other game art. However, I wanted to infuse the background with a sense of the music so that as soon as you look at it you get a feeling for the sound. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I think I got it..! The logo is directly inspired by Raquel Meyers amazing work for the SSM logo.
Cheapshot: It’s only four colours, right?
Kenji: Yep, just four colours (not including the back background). I use four colours so that I can directly translate the work into the t-shirt design. Again, because it’s square it can also be printed straight onto a canvas (something that I really want!!).
Cheapshot: Every year you draw a character. Some people have asked me if it is the same character each year. If it is, can we consider her the SST mascot character? And if so, what is her name?
Kenji: Ah… Unfortunately, I never go into planning the design with a particular character in mind. It’s different every time. It’s more of a pictogram describing the music, and event. Please give her the name that you hear in your heart when you see her. Haha.
Cheapshot: What are your plans for VJing this year? Any particular style or effect you are planning on using?
Kenji: Actually, I’m not sure how well it will go, but I’m planning on changing up some of my hardware (I’ll still be VJing from my laptop, but I’ll change some of the peripherals). Regarding the materials that I art I use as part of my set up, I haven’t really been adding anything new for a while so I’d like to add some more creatures and things like that. Whatever happens, I’d like it to be flexible and fun..!
Cheapshot: Are there any particular artists you are excited to be seeing this year?
Kenji: Bit Shifter!! Actually, I found out before the official announcement, when I was making this art and was like “Wow!” It’s been a long while since he has performed in Tokyo, so I’m super excited.
Cheapshot: Finally, are there anything other projects that you are involved with that you’d like to talk about?
Kenji: Yes. I’m working on a kind of mobile zine which features written word and pictures/art. It’s taking a lot of time but I’ve been diligent, working on it day by day so hopefully, I can release it before the end of the year.
Cheapshot: Thanks kenji!