Interview: Geri Draws Japan!
UPDATE: Giveaway now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered, and to Geri for the wonderful prizes. Our winner is Tania Denyer. Read on for an interview with Geri and for details about how you can get your paws on her illustrative designs.
We are always on the lookout for talented artists to collaborate with, and as soon as we set eyes on the wonderful creations that Geri Draws Japan produces, we knew we had to share them with you!
Geri Coady is an illustrator and designer with a passion for Japanese travel, food, and culture and we're very excited to be able to run a giveaway to win these fab items - a set of 5 Japanese sweets art prints and a hanami dango sew-on patch. Don't say we don't spoil you!!
All you need to do to enter is listed below (and you can do one of these, or all for more chances to win!)
Enter via our Blog:
Comment on this blog post telling us what you love about Geri's artwork and share the post via the social media links below
Enter via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts:
Instagram - Follow Love Japan Magazine & Geri Draws Japan on Instagram. Like our post about this giveaway and for bonus entries, regram the giveaway and tag a friend who you think would love Geri's work.
This giveaway will run until Wednesday 6th September with the winner (chosen at random) being announced shortly after. It's also open to everyone across the globe!
We've also done a little interview with Geri to find out a bit more about the lady behind the art. Do make sure you check out her website at www.geridrawsjapan.com
Hi Geri - first up, how did you become an illustrator?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child, but getting my first computer in 1998 really opened the door to my illustration and design career. I started out like many other digital illustrators my age—drawing plenty of fan art and learning how Paint Shop Pro worked. After graduating high school, I was headed down the path of computer and network support until I realized I enjoyed design and illustration much more and enrolled in a graphic design program at my local college. Eventually, I started freelancing in web design and illustration on the side, and landed a job at an advertising agency after college. Although I do illustration, graphic design, and web design, these days I focus on illustration as it’s definitely the closest to my heart.
What are your favourite aspects of Japanese culture?
I fell in love with Japan when I was just twelve years old, after meeting two Japanese sisters who attended my elementary school for a year. Although they couldn’t speak English at all, they taught me how to fold origami paper cranes and how to write their names in hiragana. I thought it was completely fascinating and as I grew older, I found myself discovering more and more about a country that could not have been further from my hometown in Canada. Since my love for Japan is such a part of me, I find it difficult to pick and choose favourite things about the country, but Japanese design aesthetics are certainly high up there. As a designer and illustrator myself, each trip to Japan is a total non-stop geek-out session over fashion, packaging design, architecture, interior design, traditional design, and so much more. The inspiration is endless.
Who/what inspires your work? What are your favourite things to illustrate?
Needless to say with a blog name like Geri Draws Japan, Japan is my primary source of inspiration, which I’m grateful for as the possibilities to explore the culture through illustration is endless! Other than Japan-related subjects, I really love working with clients in the web design industry. A lot of my client work is illustration and design for websites and apps.
Is there anything you’d love to draw? Or any product you would love to make?
I have a few new illustration ideas coming up for my Geri Draws Japan project, but as far as products go, I’m hoping to expand into stationery when I’m able. Washi tape, notepads, stickers—they’re all on my wish list!
Besides that, I’d love to design more textiles. I currently have a tenugui for sale on my shop, but I have my eye on a company in Japan that does traditional dyeing methods. I’d love to have made in Japan products, including tenugui and furoshiki, too. Of course, I’ve also caught the pin and patch designing bug, so I can’t wait to make more additions to my collection!
You appeared on the Japanese TV show 世界！ニッポン行きたい人応援団 (or “Who Wants to Come to Japan?”) Can you tell us a bit about your experience?
I could talk about it forever, but I can sum it up as being one of the best experiences of my life! The purpose of the show is to bring foreigners with special, niche interests in Japanese culture to Japan. My interest was the dish okonomiyaki, which is my favourite Japanese food. I wanted to visit Osaka and Hiroshima where the dish has important roots, and I wanted to learn how to make Hiroshima okonomiyaki which I’d never attempted before at home. The TV crew arranged a tour of both cities for me where we visited ten different restaurants (and ate ten different okonomiyaki!) as well as a visit to meet a Japanese family. It was so special to be granted access to film in so many different restaurants and even be invited into a family home. I had so many behind-the-scenes experiences that even Japanese people wouldn’t normally get to do, including my dream of learning how to make Hiroshima okonomiyaki from a professional. The Japanese people are so kind and will bend over backwards to make you feel at home, and I felt it on that trip more than ever. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.
A huge thanks to Geri for this interview and the fantastic giveaway goodies! Don't forget to connect with Geri @GeriDrawsJapan on social media!