Saturday, 23 January 2010

JUNKO MIZUNO interview

Interview by smoky man. Completed in May 2009.
Originally printed in Italy on Bang Art magazine (N. 4, Sept-Nov 2009, Coniglio Editore).
Presented here in English for the first time with the artist's permission.
Junk Mizuno site:

What do you think about the scene of art toys and collectable vinyls? When and how did you start? What's your current involvement?
I'm just surprised at how the scene has grown so big.
I started designing toys in 2002 by request of a Japanese toy company Art Storm. As for current involvement, some characters from my graphic novel Pure Trance will be released as a series of mini figures from Kidrobot in June [2009. Editor's note: The figures are sold out now.].

In the past you worked for important art toys companies like Toy2r and Kidrobot. What can you tell us about those experiences?
It's been challenging for me. At first, I was nervous as it seemed to be very difficult to work on 3D objects with people who I can't meet and communicate in person like I used to do with Japanese companies. But they were very professional and I'm happy with the products I made with them. There are a lot to learn from them and it's been a rewarding experience.

Do you think that toys are a good way to express your Art vision or what? I mean, in respect to comics and illustration...
That's a difficult question as I'm doing it just because it's fun...
What I like about a toy is that it has a different impression from 2D work. It feels fresh and inspiring to see my characters in 3D.

Also, which you consider the best toy you created or the one you are most attached to?
It's too hard to choose. They are all my babies.

You created and still create toys. I am curious to know are you a collector too? And if you are (and I am pretty sure you are or at least you had been one), what do you collect?
I used be a collector of girl's toys from 60's to 80's but I've slowed down now...
I have no more room in my place. I still like going to check toy stores and toy events for inspiration, though.

Recently you have started a collaboration with Japanese company "GARDEN" creating a new line of products under the label Mizuno Garden. The concept says: Mizuno Garden is a paradise of erotic fantasy where the fruits of love are always ripe. The crops include beautiful lingerie, costumes, condoms, lotions, vibrators, and more!” Till now you created the gorgeous package for condoms and lotions, but I suppose there are plans for some toys. Can you reveal anything about it?
We've been planning to do some massagers, lingerie and costumes but the project is going very slowly due to both my and their schedules. So unfortunately, there's nothing I can reveal to you at this point...

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