We had the good fortune of connecting with Keiji Ishida and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keiji, how do you think about risk?
As an Artist and a Designer, risk-taking is not a negative thing, rather it’s an opportunity to seek accidents that may grow your creative potential and perhaps educate others at the same time. It is no doubt difficult to take risks as it associates with the unknown and skepticism, yet it trains you to think about the “now” rather than the “later”. Yet in reality, every risk you take does not necessarily mean you will produce something magical. But I appreciate those who dive into a foreign territory and explore beyond their peers interests and even the current cultural standard.
From my experience, every personal work I make, I tweak the style, content, or even color palette that I never touched as a way to keep my interest in what I do. I consider this more of an experiment rather than a risk, however, this mindset does take place when collaborating with clients. I do find myself looking for opportunities to allow myself go beyond the client’s expectation to ultimately make the project fun and grow as a creative-being.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Currently, my interest has been to illustrate specifically drawings of people in crowds as a compositional structure. I have been practicing this style for almost two years now and I find it difficult to move alway as I find it to have potential for many things. I have thoughts to expand my practice from 2D to 3D because I consider sculpture to still be a foreign territory and I am curious how this could affect my work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I grew up in Culver City and if it was during the art fair, I will take them to the Galleries in La Cienega Blvd. After that I will take them to my favorite bookstore called, Arcana Bookstore in Washington Blvd. They got a great selection of books there. For lunch, I will go to the Mexican restaurant next the book store called, Pinches Tacos. There’s a lot to do in Culver City but personally, these locations I mentioned will always be my priority when staying in this city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many individuals and community that helped build the person I am today. But it is difficult to limit myself to a few people in a paragraph so I will do my best to name those who I respect. Lili Todd is a beautiful artist and a partner who has emotionally supported me and cared about my craft since we first met. My family and Lili’s family who supports my artistic career to the full extent and it will be hard to financially produce my work with out their support. My friends, Lily Wilkins, Chloe Hsu, AJ Dungo, Aika, Sara, Jesse Woods, Harry Goldstein and everyone from school who I respect deeply for their passion in art and kind support they offered me throughout my life. Mentors and teachers like Ari Brice, Jay Stuckey, Barry Markowitz, Jim Shaw, and Cleon Peterson who I deeply respect, and the education they offer helped my career path immensely. And finally, Alexis Papadopoulos and Benjamin from Nozbone Skateshop in Paris who first recognized my work and offered an opportunity to grow as an artist and I cannot ask for more.
These are just a small portion of people who gave love to my work and for those who I did not recognized, I apologize but I you are not forgotten.
Portrait Photographer: OLIVIA GHALIOUNGUI