Today we’d like to introduce you to Sei Shimura.
Sei, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been an artist most of my life but I got started in art and design professionally about 15 years ago back when I used to live in New York in the early 2000’s. I attended an Art School called Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where I got my degree in design. While honing my design skills during the day, I started playing around with graffiti and started bombing the streets of NY at night. This was sort of the introduction into street art and streetwear; I was surrounded by creative like-minded people and immersed in the culture. Everyone was sharing tagging, black books, printing t-shirts, inspiring, and feeding off of each other. It was a great time in my life where I was most influenced by and shaped my artistic direction.
After graduating Pratt, I left New York and moved to LA to pursue my art and design career. LA is the best place for creatives people to be free and create. Between Downtown LA and Culver City, there is so much great art galleries, studios, museums, lots of art events and pop-ups happening all the time. There are so much opportunities to network within your industry and others. Art, music, fashion, and entertainment are all very connected to each other so it’s not rare that these things often merge together. I’ve done art shows all over LA, from Downtown LA Artwalk to galleries in West Adams and Culver City. I’ve also been doing lots of murals all over LA, in public spaces and independent businesses.
LA is also a great place for me as a designer. I mostly work on streetwear and artist merch. in the recent years, LA has become the hub for streetwear brands with so much accessibility to printers, and manufacturers in DTLA. As a result, I’ve had opportunities to work on graphics and cut and sew for many streetwear brands and kids apparel.
Another passion of mine is merch design. LA is the capital of entertainment you always meet artists or people in the music industry so naturally, the demand for merch designs are always high. I’ve carved a niche in this industry with my unique graphics and sensibility for consumer products. I’m a huge fan of all types of music so this kind of design comes really natural to me.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road as I have had to pay the dues working full time for many brands and companies, corporate to the street. At the same time, I have always been working on my own art and designs. It was very challenging balancing the two, but at a certain point, my own art and design started to become more steady and lucrative that I was finally able to go independent at the end of last year.
I feel like, at the end of the day, your time is the most valuable thing and not working on your own passion full time is a waste of your life. I just don’t want to regret not living my dreams and being stuck in a job that you don’t like. All the sudden you will be 50 and realized that you have become a lifer and succumbed to the comfy 9-5 salary instead of discovering your full potential and doing what you want. Taking that leap of faith has been the best thing ever for my spirit. Even though finances will not be steady in the beginning, the longer you keep at it, the more you’ll be fine later. Just gotta keep at it.
I’d rather be broke doing what I want than to take orders from the man and be comfortable enough to be lame.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about SEY x ¥€$ – what should we know?
Overall I do anything visual and creative. To be more specific, I’m a contemporary artist and award-winning designer. I’ve won multiple design competitions in the past. I’ve had solo booth exhibitions at Scope Art Fair during Miami Art Basel week. I make art, do murals, design apparel and products.
I’ve worked on projects with many companies like Coca-cola, Pepsi, Mattel, Andy Warhol Foundation and more. I have a back for bridging the gap between the streets and the corporate. I feel like I can bring the culture to the corporate and bring order to the streets. I’m really good at thinking big picture and thinking of cool collaborations between companies, brands, and artists. I got ideas for days.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Everyone that I know deserved credit, my whole network, and the people that I have worked within the past worked for in the past. I don’t want to say anything specific because every opportunity combined together is what makes me who I am today.
- Address: 710 N El Centro Ave. Suite #406
Los Angeles, CA 90038
- Website: www.seyxyes.com
- Phone: 718-801-9084
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @SEYxYES
- Twitter: @SEYxYES