Creative Inspirations: tokidoki, Character Illustrator
Illustration by John Hersey

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Video: Q&A with Simone

(Music playing.) Simone Legno: As every artist or brand, it's always very important like to put your name there, so that people recognize it. But I think it's not just the logo that gives the style or the brand. It's even like having like your own style. Like the most easy and important for a brand item is a T-shirt because a T-shirt is a great canvas and generally people are always like looking for new graphics to wear, so a T-shirt. And then even myself as an artist, even since I have like a punk rock band, the first thing you want to do is to see your design on a T-shirt and just walk around.
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Watch the Online Video Course Creative Inspirations: tokidoki, Character Illustrator
1h 1m Appropriate for all Jan 26, 2008

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The Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand tokidoki, created by Italian artist and designer Simone Legno, started as a set of characters on a personal website and has since exploded into a wildly successful, and internationally recognized collection. tokidoki, Character Illustrator, Creative Inspirations explores Simone's techniques and methods for building some of his popular tokidoki characters using Adobe Illustrator. Take a peek into his sketchbook, and learn how he creates one of his popular skatedecks from start to finish.

Topics include:
  • Lynda Weinman interviews Simone
  • Starting the process with sketches
  • Taking the character from paper to computer
  • Filling in color and shape
  • Define finishing details and production preparation
  • Applying a design to a skate deck
  • Q&A with Simone on branding, his characters, design diversity, and more!
Subject:
Design
Authors:
Simone Legno tokidoki

Q&A with Simone

(Music playing.) Simone Legno: As every artist or brand, it's always very important like to put your name there, so that people recognize it. But I think it's not just the logo that gives the style or the brand. It's even like having like your own style. Like the most easy and important for a brand item is a T-shirt because a T-shirt is a great canvas and generally people are always like looking for new graphics to wear, so a T-shirt. And then even myself as an artist, even since I have like a punk rock band, the first thing you want to do is to see your design on a T-shirt and just walk around.

It's very important for like jewelry, like for example something like this skateboard, it's impossible. So you have really to go and choose, like your icons could be your logo, it could be like the very, very simple items because the jewelry is very small and the work with a molded metal. At that dimension you have to be extremely synthetic. We still have a brand philosophy where we want to focus mostly into more mature and adult kind of fashion accessories because our goal is to make understood that the cute character, it become really like a pop icon.

It's not because it's cute it belongs to the kid's world. We have a collaboration with this company called Smashbox Cosmetics. It was a great experience for me because it's always good to learn. It was mostly like to apply the Tokidoki lifestyle concept into cosmetics. So it's not just about the packaging, but it's about like finding those colors that match with the idea of a Tokidoki girl. Shoes. We're doing a collaboration with Japanese brand, like the number one Japanese brand. It's called Asics and they have a division called Onitsuka Tiger.

So in Spring we'll come out with shoes and the experience was great because for me it's not just like to print over a shoe but I even learned how to build up a shoe and I had even like to engineer the shoe. So it's not only thejob of an illustrator. It was more or like as probably the designer. For an event, you have to design like the entrance of the event, you have to think about all the passes and all the details, like the T-shirts of the staff.

So for example, I designed, as soon as I move to the States, I designed this event called Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which is in Los Angeles, and it was a very nice experience because you can print your vectors like huge and probably like, I don't know how many feet high, but very high, and it's a very great feeling for sure for every designer to see something big. I'm sure that there is so like many more experiences that I can do, so that's why I always keep on loving my work.

And I think that I do like the best work I can do, because I could skip from one work to the other and then from the web and the technology into something like extremely creative and artistic in different mediums because animating stuff and putting them online, you know that millions of people can potentially see this. It's really the best thing. At this point, I'm really trying, first of all, of course to always keep on developing like this style.

But I'm trying to do lots of painting right now because it's like about 10 years that I spent 14 hours a day in front of the computer. So I would like to dedicate some hours from time to time for painting, which is a very cool category where I want this new challenge that I really never like could dedicate much time to because all my time was mostly like for illustrating and doing products. So I want to try properly in that field.

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