Today we’d like to introduce you to Keiji Ishida.
Hi Keiji, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My first introduction to art was in preschool. I grew up in an immigrant family and our level of English wasn’t the best, and because of this, I had issues communicating with people around me so I decided to draw by myself. Fortunately, looking back now, I was a pretty good drawer and my drawing attracted other kids around me and that’s how I made friends. Subconsciously, I think at an early age I learned that making art could become a device to connect, communicate, and express your feelings. Fast forward to high school, I attended LACHSA (Los Angeles H.S. for the Arts) where I got to take art more seriously. I got to build my portfolio and work with other students who carry the same passion that I have so it was magical. After High School, I moved to Paris, France to study Graphic Design at Paris College of Art. During this time, I began to work on more editorial illustrations and skateboard graphics in my personal time. But two years into this college, I decided to pursue illustration for my education so I moved back to Los Angeles to attend ArtCenter College of Design to study illustration design. And that’s where I am today.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a windy road for sure, probably because I moved all over the place and for some personal reasons. But I don’t want to take this experience for granted. Every experience happened for a reason, and I hope to document this in my art literally and figuratively. I believe this is my way of looking back to my past positively.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Currently, my work is geared towards editorial illustration but I’ve been working on a series of paintings about crowd behavior combined with typography. This idea came into mind when I took a typography 2 class in France. This class was very experimental and I loved the teacher a lot because he always inspired and pushed us to do interesting things with type. But with my skills in illustration, I decided to merge these two elements to create almost my own font but I additionally used it as a storytelling device. So far, I’ve been doing this style for four years now and I’ve done collaboration work with clients like Converse, HUF, Apple, etc. which made it become my signature style and I’m very proud of that.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up, I played ice hockey and hanged out with my buddies– Harry and Jesse. But around middle school, I got myself into skateboarding, specifically the graphics. This drove me to do skateboard graphics as a kid and it was always my dream to become a designer for some skate company. Fortunately, this became true when I turned 19 when I first produced my own skateboard graphic for my personal project, and later I began to design boards for stores like Nozbone Skateshop in Paris so that’s really amazing. In addition, I collect skate decks a lot. I consider them as art but I collect mostly brands like FA or Hockey Skateboards.
- Apparel Graphic: $200-$500
- Skateboard deck design: $200-$500
- Editorial Illustration: $200-$500
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://keiji.myportfolio.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/im_keiji/
Portrait Photo by, Randy Nakajima.