What kind of imagination do you have before exploring an unknown city?
At first glance, Tainan is a historical city with rich cultures: historical relics, mouthwatering food, endless alleys and lanes along with warm hospitality that never ends. However, under these general impressions, there is an immense power lurking under this slow living lifestyles, from accumulation of both time and wisdom, diverse ideas are everywhere in this lifeful city.
You can enjoy the unknown scenery or even aimlessly travel around during your journey. Kindness Day Hotel is the oasis of the city, proving a place for travelers. We believe in “Everyday is a good day,” and from that we want our travelers to feel the charm of Tainan’s slow living lifestyle in every corner of the hotel. With this hotel opening opportunity, Kindness Day joins forces with the well-known Japanese illustrators Yu Nagaba, featuring a series of illustration products with “Travelers” as the main theme to guide our guest, the travelers, to quickly immerse in the local culture. Our first crossover collaboration took us twelve months of communication with the illustrator, allowing us to see Taiwan’s scenery from a foreigner’s standpoint.
Q1. This collaboration with the Kindness Day Hotel is the first time that Nagaba has launched a series of limited co-banding products with a Taiwan’s local brand. What are your thoughts and expectations for your first Taiwan and Japan’s collaboration? Do you wish to make an influence or create a topic during this collaboration?
I look forward to seeing the reaction of Taiwanese people to this joint collaboration. I will be very glad if they enjoy the work. I also wish there will be more opportunities in the future, with brands in different fields.
Q2. Have you ever visited Taiwan, and what is your imagination about Taiwan? Do these ideas influence this joint creation?
My impression of Taiwan is that the food are very tasty. The overall atmosphere is very similar to the old district of Tokyo with a sense of Showa era, which is very interesting in the way that it makes us feel like we are traveling back in time.
Q3. You have been invited to work with a lot of well-known brands in the past, so you are familiar with hotel or any space type collaboration. Comparing with your previous experience, what is the most impressive part during this collaboration with the Kindness Day hotel, or any particularly different feeling?
I believe if we overly change our style by client, we will eventually lose our characteristics and style. Therefore, after receiving the theme of the collaboration, “how I feel” is what I value the most. The communication process from draft to details and needs of the work revision, is very different from my Japanese Client. At this level I can feel the cultural difference.
Q4. The theme of this crossover collaboration is “Traveler.” We would like to know what is your main source of inspiration after knowing the theme, from different scene settings to this series of illustration?
For me, traveling is like taking a break, a time to rest in life. Being able to take a break from usual daily life, and enjoying the non-routine times, are my source of thoughts for this work.
Q5. There are three main groups of illustration in this crossover work: travel duo set, beer toast, potato chips girls. We would like to know more about the story behind this images and your thoughts when you drew them.
The scene behind Travel duo set: Couples who have just arrived at the hotel, after taking a short break at Check-in, they walk towards the small streets and alleys in Tainan to look for delicious food.
The scene behind beer toast: After walking on the streets, travelers return to the hotel bar and order a glass of wine as the end of the day. Only a little bit of tipsy, discussing tomorrow’s itinerary while toasting with travel companion.
The scene behind potato chips girls: After spending a few days in Tainan, feeling a bit tired of walking around the city, travelers choose to stay at hotel rooms during the day to rest and have some snacks.
Q6. From our observation in your previous works, the proportion of female characters is higher than male characters, is there any particular reason behind this? How do you position the characters differently during your creation?
Maybe it is because I am a guy....? I am not sure if this is the reason, I usually fall eyes on woman naturally. In addition, I am very interested in fashion, so I also want my characters to fit in my favorite clothing styles.
Q7. In the future, what kind of fields do you want to cooperate if you have the opportunity? And what kind of collaboration work?
I like to take rides recently and I love watching cars. I want to make a car and give it a try!
Q8. Being an internationally well-known illustrator, how do you receive inspiration in this high-volume of work environment? And how do you balance between your work and life?
I think maybe it is because of health! I always keep myself in the state of having interesting thoughts, and I also try my best to live a regular life. I usually manage my work time between 09:30～18:30, and prevent from working overtime. On weekends I will go out with my family. I believe that If you stay in the house all day, you will feel tired and lack of inspirations, so I prefer to go out to find new excitement and ideas.
Q9. As a full-time professional illustrator, what kind of influence do you hope the most to achieve through the power of illustration?
If everyone can gain happiness from my work, that will be all. I’ll be happy if you enjoy.
Q10. If you are not an illustrator, what do you want to do the most?
Kindness Day hotel is very keen to design and communication with the art industry. With this hotel opening opportunity, we are very pleased to invite Yu Nagaba for this co-branding work and to bring a new image to the brand with a new and interesting vision. This Kindness Day x Yu Nagaba collaboration products has been released in January this year, and can only be purchased in the hotel. We will cooperate with more artists in the future to explore the imagination of traveling from different angels.
Hotel: Kindness Day Hotel
Addr: No. 416, Sec. 2, Minsheng Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan City 700
Date: January, 2020 ~ Offer valid while stocks last