Studio Tours Tokyo Special: Bunny Bissoux
This week one of our favorite features; Studio Tours returns to the Lazy Oaf blog and following on from our Japanese SS14 invasion we've got a Tokyo special with artist and illustrator Bunny Bissoux. We were lucky enough to be invited into the home, work space and Kawaii paradise of Bunny Bissoux. A UK born artist now a resident of Tokyo,Â we spoke with Bunny about her influences, obsessions and work life while looking around the space she now calls home... -------------------------------- Who are you, where are you from and what do you do? Hello, I'm Bunny Bissoux, I'm from England but I currently live in Japan. I'm an artist and I work freelance as an artist and illustrator and occasionally other things. What is it that led you to Tokyo? I was very inspired and fascinated by Japanese pop culture for a long time, fashion, subcultures, music, cinema, lifestyle â¦ all kinds of things! I always dreamed of living in Japan at some point and after I visited on holiday I knew for sure that I just wanted go back straight away! Finally, when the time was right I moved to Tokyo, that's was about 2 and a half years ago and I'm still here. What is keeping you busy at the moment? My work and life are pretty intertwined so I always have things to do or things I want to be doing. I had a lot of commercial projects at the start of the year so at the moment I'm trying to focus a bit more on my personal work and trying to make progress on things I've been thinking about for a while. I never know how much or what kind of freelance work I'm going to get and I have a part time job too, so my schedule is flexible but constantly making me feel busy. Equipment wise what do you like to work with when illustrating? Nice smooth paper and a cheap black nylon tip pen, that's basically what I start drawing with every time. Depending on the work I use a variety of markers, my computer, sometimes paints or pencils. Where do you see your work developing? I'd be happy if I can continue to work as an illustrator, I think it would be nice to be able to produce more functional, usable items with my work on, like clothing and other goods, either for other companies or myself. I would like to continue to connect my other personal work with my illustrations and drawings, that's one of the reasons I started producing fanzines again recently. I consider myself and my personality, image etc as a major part of all of my work, including commercial projects so I'd like to reinforce this and ultimately find a way to express myself completely without having to separate my commercial work from my self portraits, or paintings or music or anything else. Generally as an artist it would be nice to have another solo exhibition in Japan and just continue to develop naturally. Are there any particular projects you would love to get involved with? I describe myself as an "obsessive fanatic" so it would make to really happy to do some work connected to people I'm a big fan of, for example, I'd really like to draw a t-shirt design for a pro-wrestler or some merchandise for idol groups! I'm also obsessed with Japanese Purikura photo booths where you draw and put stamps and symbols on the photos, I'd love to design things for that too. I'd like to collaborate more particularly with photographers and musicians. What inspires you? Real life, day dreams, fantasy, obsessions, nature, romance, pro wrestling, pop idols, teen angst, boys, girls, animals, heavy metal, the internet, things from the past, old magazines, music, films, pornography. whatever I think is interesting. Who are some of your influences in your work? In terms of my illustration I think I was influenced a lot by the comics, books, films and tv shows in my childhood. The following people have had a big influence on my life and work in general : John Waters, Andy Warhol, Frank Zappa, Jayne Mansfield, The Undertaker, Larry Clark, Vincent Gallo, Pee Wee Herman, Georgina Starr, Crispin Hellion Glover, Motley Crue, Malice Mizer, SHINee. What is your most treasured possession? I think if my house was on fire the thing I want to save the most is my diary, but as for something I didn't create myself then I'm not sureâ¦ my computer, hard drives, photographsâ¦ I'm trying to think of something more interesting, well maybe like a Polaroid of me and John Waters (actually I don't know where that it, it's somewhere in a box in Englandâ¦) or my vintage wrestling t-shirts, my collections ... I have too many possessions and treasure them all!! How have you found the cultural changes from living and working in England to Japan? I knew quite a lot about Japanese culture before I moved here so there weren't too many culture shocks. I guess it can be frustrating and isolating at times to live in a country where you can't always communicate fluently or understand everything. It's also hard being a vegetarian in a country that loves putting little bits of meat in everything and its weird that I have to consider whether or not I might have to take my shoes off somewhere on a daily basis, that can make a big difference to sock choices. As for working here, aside from the language issues there is a lot more formal etiquette, even in creative industries and personally I've found my work can be interpreted and appreciated in a very different way. If you could be anywhere in the world right now you would be... TOKYO! I love it â¡â¡ (specifically I would like be at watching a wrestling death match at Shin Kiba 1st ring dojo, I think that's one of the happiest places on earth for me!) Three of your favourite things that aren't friends or family? I have a lot of favourite things but today I'll say : pro wrestling, k-pop and Purikura !!! -------------------------------- You can find out more about Bunny by visiting her Website, Twitter and Instagram.