Tomohiro Muramatsu is an upcoming Japanese make-up artist who has cut his teeth in Tokyo and London, but he is also, a natural-born drawing artist. If you have already watched “Infinite Loop”, the 90 seconds monochromatic psychedelia by Sayaka Maruyama on our website you can certainly remember the kaleidoscopic images reflected to the model there. Those images are all created from Tomohiro's truly original hand drawings.
In his drawings, cells and lines are increased gradually and spread without any restriction, as if his own self is released little by little on the paper, then ultimately they make a peculiar form as a detailed abstract art. While working hard day by day for editorial shoots to get further experience in make-up world, he keeps on drawing, as it is probably something essential for his life, or it is even a fundamental part of himself.
I've been drawing since I can remember. Due to some family issues, I only attended the first year of primary school, so I spent a lot of my time reading manga at home or at the local book store. Drawing such manga from memory was my past time at home and before I knew it became part of my lifestyle and it continues to this day. My first step into fashion was a shop I visited during high school. The taste of the shop and the owner were so unlike anything else in Japan and I was captivated by the world of fashion. I had no specific reason for becoming a make-up artist, but I had admired something feminine since long ago and also make-up might be similar to drawing, so I guess it was the natural choice.
I always have trouble answering this. I have no formal education in the arts and my technical knowledge is limited, so it is always a challenge to explain my views. My inspiration comes from every day life. The connection between society and the individual; the relations between society, family and acquaintances. Also my position within society, for example issues with sex and sexuality. The concept of life and living also inspire me, although the notion of death is something I do not delve into. I always feel like drawing because of a strange sense, which comes from the conversions of viewpoints between something and me. Then the speed of time and sizes of things I recognise come to change, and this creates a blurring of my senses. That is a great inspiration.
For most of my personal work, concepts come later. I remember some impressive things and my theory there after drawings, and they become concepts later. In case of commissions, I certainly think about clients and try to ensure there is some sort of concept involved in the process.
Like a child interested in new challenges and opportunities, my move to London gave me fresh energy and inspiration to start something new. When I was younger, I would always draw women. I loved my mother's accessories and other feminine objects; so in that sense I've naturally come full circle with my art. But I still want to explore different ways to express myself. I'm teaching myself oil painting now and it's difficult, but fun!
At first I didn't see any connections between the two. I always saw being a make artist as a profession and drawing as a hobby.But recently I've come to see more and more similarities between the two, in terms of the way I think about and understand them. The foundations of my thinking and construction in my head are built up from drawing process, so maybe this is also the natural way to see things for make-up. In truth I think the two disciplines differ completely though.
They have been a part of my private life for many years now and I respect both of them greatly. So naturally I got very nervous when working with them, but I had lots of fun.Frequently I get inspired a lot by them for my works in London, and they are also a great motivator as I can always see creative topics with them.We also worked together in beauty editorials on Sang Bleu and Vision, which are due to be sale very soon and I can't wait. My move to London was worth it just to be able to work with them. I hope that shows how much I respect Neon O'Clock works, the group formed by the two.
Around 2007, when I was 17, the Tokyo party scene was very big and I was VJing there. Now I rarely go out, but back then I used to dress up and party every weekend with people from 'Sister' and 'Candy'. Then I was employed at 'Candy' and worked there for a year in my spare time from school and assistance work, and there was talk of collaboration work after I got to London. For now 3 designs are released every year, but as they are only sold in Japan and I have no opportunity to see them actually, so I can’t really feel the reality that people are wearing my drawings. Yet I think it would be very important to keep on doing this as I received some fan-mails and there is already a new project I started working.
Ogata Korin, Seiji Togo, Rene Lalique, Antoni Gaudi, Serge Lutens and the poet Misuzu Kaneko. Others include Japanese Manga artists such as Junichi Nakahara and Riyoko Ikeda. When drawing I listen to set songs repeatedly. Olafur Arnalds, Antony and the Johnsons, Benjamin Biolay, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lily Chou-Chou are the main artists I like to listen to.
A passage in Tsugaru, a novel by Osamu Dazai reads, 'Real class is a white chrysanthemum flower on a big black rock face'. Likewise, I find beauty in something polished over time with patience. I got deeply impressed by this passage as the great contrast in colour and the image it evokes are both beautiful and quintessentially Japanese.
For my drawings, I would like further opportunities to spread and to be seen by more people. So in 2013, I would like to put more emphasis on them including some exhibitions and collaboration works. Like I've mentioned before, drawing is part of my life style so I think my personal work would keep increasing.In terms of my work as a make-up artist, I still have a lot to learn and would like to further hone my skills. I do my own works but still need more experience, so I want to learn more from make-up artists I respect by working as their assistant. Sometimes I also do bigger shoots and assistant work at Paris fashion week when I get those opportunities, and the inspiration I get from working in such top class environment is always substantial. I really feel how important to learn day after day. Eventually though I would like to be able to establish a working base abroad.