You may have heard of a documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” which explores not just delicious raw fish, but more about the care and obsessive detail that goes into craftwork for Japanese artists (in food as in fashion, natch). I have met one such genius man, Jumpei Kawamura, whose minute attention to detail is astounding. And even better, he uses his incredible talent to create illustrations of the seasons’ best designer shoes and other accessories.
He is an artist commanding a myriad of medias since 2000, and one that he is especially know for is cutout illustrations. He cuts and pastes parts on top of each other which makes for an uncanny illusion of 3D realism.
I kind of have been stalking his Instagram for a while now, especially with my sight set on his series of 3D fashion shoe illustrations. When he hit the 100th, I asked if I could do a small interview and Jumpei-sama not only obliged, but he DREW me my favorite shoes from this season! I have them in my hands and they are so astounding in detail! Look at them!
I’ve only been doing it for about a year now. One of the reasons is that I personally just really like shoes, but as an artist I’ve been making model cutouts and shoes were always a part of the look but weren’t the main focus. As I was making them, I wondered if it wouldn’t be cool to make the shoes the entire picture and that’s where it started. Shoes are different from clothing in that they can stand alone without a body in them, kind of like a decorative object. And it looks really neat when there’s a bunch of them lined up.
-Where do you look to get the inspiration for your next drawing? Like magazines or online sites?
I usually watch the runway shows. Nowadays we can see the shows real time and it’s really nice because the still photographs appear on sites like style.com andnowfashion.com just minutes after it’s done. So when something grabs at my attention I decide to draw it.
Shoes：00108 “Riccardo Tisci” Nike+RT Air Force 1 Mid
Shoes：00105 “RAF SIMONS × adidas” Sneaker（SS2014)
Shoes：00098 “adidas” Stan Smith
Shoes：00031 “GIVENCHY” sneaker
-Out if all of the drawings you’ve done so far, is there one which is your favorite?
I love them all and it’s so hard to play favorites but… As for the quality of my work my favorite has to be the D SQUARED2 Ice Skate Low Boots (AW2011) . It looked so nice when I replicated it, and in terms of how I could express the texture of the materials and how well I could cut it out is why I love it.
Shoes：00095 “miu miu” Lace-up long boots of Jeanne Detallante’s illustration（SS2014）
“DSQUARED2” ice skate low boots（AW2011）
– do you draw these with any particular message in mind?
Well when you think of “fashion illustration” an image of a few harried strokes of the pen and colored pencils comes to mind right? And that’s cool for what it is, but I don’t want to do something that has already been done before. I think of mine as being more “couture” in the sense that it’s so detailed and minute in the process. It’s maybe a Japanese obsessive kind of thing (laugh)
-What do you feel is the relationship between fashion and art?
Well neither art nor fashion are necessary to be alive as a human being but they sure make life a lot better. I feel that fashion and art are basically on equal terms, but fashion has that special characteristic in that it can be worn on the body. And who wouldn’t call it “art” when artisans are making new textiles and discovering new technologies? It is art.
-How long does it take you to make one piece of cutout artwork?
It depends on the size and the details but it can take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day for a shoe. For my full body pieces, it can take 2-3 days. If I add in background and other things it will be at least a week or two more. There are times where I try things over and over again as I go along as well as times where I love what I make right away.