Junichi Tsuneoka (JPN/US)

Junichi Tsuneoka (JPN/US)

I was once talking with Stephane Minier, a french poster collector working in the music industry for a rap label, and was wondering why rap scene was not into silkscreen posters as graphic is a huge part of hip hop culture if you think about tags and graphs. He agreed that hip hop culture was not mixing that much with rock culture but noticed that bands such as 311 or Cypress Hill had posters done for their shows. It seems that the work of Junichi Tsuneoka is representing a step forward ...

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

classic music, opera

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I am originally from Japan and came to USA to study graphic design. I have been working as graphic designer at Modern Dog Design Co. (moderndog.com) for a while and they taught me very well so I became confident to be independent.

Then I started focus my business more on illustration side and I started my own design business as Stubborn Sideburn and still surviving.

When did you start drawing?

As early as I remember. I have a photograph of myself probably about 2 years or so playing with LEGO blocks but I wasn't building anything except I was using blocks to lay it on the floor making faces. That could be the earliest drawing.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

I graduated from graphic design program and what I learned during Modern Dog days really shapes how I draw right now.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

I make my living by doing art, design, illustration and I also teach design classes as a part time instructor.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

not regularly. whenever editorial commission work happens, I would take that opportunity.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

Probably the biggest influence is from Ukiyo-e, the Japanese old wood block prints. Also manga, Japanese comics. Other than that, I try to take a lot of different source of influences. For example, I sometimes look at women's fashion magazine. Since I am not familiar with that area, sometimes I find it very inspirational.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

It depends on the type of the project but one thing that is common, I do a lot of quick sketches on post-it type of notes first.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

sketch by hand first then computer to finish.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

If I have a whole week, it's safe to say that is enough time for me to finish one.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

I probably try oil painting but I also try to reflect my style with whatever the media I am using.

For which band have you already worked for?

Citizen Cope, Mos Def, Kid Cudi, MIA, etc. (most of them were for Sasquatch Music festival in WA. USA)

For which band would you love to work?

I think I am more into Hip Hop, R&B so that type of band would be great but also at this point, I don't mind doing any band if I have a lot of freedom on my design. Also, shorter name band is a plus because it's easy to design.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

mostly assigned.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

using type.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

I am not sure but my work is vector heavy right now so that could be the part of the scene.

Vector ? Can you telml us a little bit more about this technique ?

as far as vector technique, I do stuff very basic. (as far as digital technique wise) but Computer Arts magazine just did feature on my step by step tutorial where you can see more details.

You told me you left Japan to study graphic design, do you know anything about a japanese poster scene ?

I don't think Rock posters especially screen printed posters are big in Japan.I heard underground rock scene, they are probably close to what we have here.I started my design career here in US so I am not familiar with the scene there. Sorry I am not so much of your help.
No problem! A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?

stubbornsideburn.com for design and stbnsdbn.com for apparel

The best praise you received lately?

Computer Arts Magazine #190 feature

What can we wish you for the future?

I am mainly active in commercial art field right now but I am hoping to expand my range of work to gallery showings too.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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