A man of many talents including sculpting drawing, illustration and writing – shimoda masakatsu has a voracious need to create. his fascination with dinosaurs caused a significant portion of his sculptural oeuvre to be inspired by their form. in a quick interview with the peacock magazine, he talks about how dinosaurs caught his attention and now, is a huge part of his imagination.
[Q] What were your growing up years like?
I liked to be alone, drawing, reading, watching movies and thinking.
[Q] When did you develop an interest in drawing and art?
All I needed to be happy was just a pencil and a piece of paper, from as early as I can remember.
[Q] Did you study drawing or are you self-taught?
I went to an art high school and a design college.
[Q] What inspired your artwork theme to be all about dinosaurs? What is it that you find special about them?
In 2011, I saw dinosaur skeletons in a museum. They were cool, beautiful and I really wanted those bones for myself. So, my first motivation was a physical desire to own them.
[Q] How do you go about creating your artwork? What is the process like?
First, I draw the dinosaur’s side elevation in 2D. Then there’s always that struggle to make it 3D, like adding a forehead, how to give thickness to that bone, and so on. That’s when it starts taking shape eventually becoming a full-fledged piece.
[Q] Where/in whom do you find your inspiration, apart from dinosaurs?
I find inspiration while travelling and going for my daily walks.
[Q] Who are your biggest influences/mentors?
Osamu Tezuka. I learned about justice and philosophy from him.
[Q] What sets your mood for creating?
I let all the materials and tools occupy my studio. Quite a mess, but that’s what gets me creating.
[Q] What are your tech tools? What software do you prominently work on?
All I need are my colour pencils and a sewing machine.
[Q] Who has been your biggest client so far?
Comme des Garçons.
[Q] You have been commissioned to create artwork for someone. How did you go about creating those signature works? Where did you find your inspiration?
I want to make something surprising, entertaining, and something that will always be remembered.
[Q] Which work of yours is your personal favourite?
The portraits I drew with colour pencils during my travels.
[Q] Which creation of yours would be the craziest, according to you?
It would definitely be the dinosaurs I started creating just for my personal desire to put on my body.
[Q] Your book Private World is quite a known one. What motivated you to document your travel stories?
It was my first overseas trip (for two years!) which gave me so much time to draw. The big stock of drawings that I had made then became a book.
[Q] You’re an illustrator, author, costume designer and set producer. Which aspect of you do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy all of those aspects which are about making things and creating.
[Q] What is the first thing you notice when you see other artists’ work?
It’s the inspiration that could have been and the sixth sense that I have then.
[Q] Who are your favourite artists? Why?
Pablo Picasso. I love his works, him and his face.
[Q] Complete the following in one sentence – ‘Art is ___’
Art is my giant hobby!
[Q] What are your future plans?
Who knows? I heard there were good fortune tellers in India during my trip. (laughs)
[Q] What is your goal as an artist?
I want to draw, keep making something until I die.
[Q] What is your personal style like?
It’s easy with no rules.
[Q] What does fashion mean to you?
Expressive, instinctive and even aggressive, sometimes.
[Q] What is your favourite perfume?
The smell of raw orange.
[Q] Which is your favourite sneaker brand?
[Q] What does your wardrobe most consist of?
[Q] Your go-to outfit?
T-shirts (of course with something else!).