As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world.
On tap this week is Kenta Shinohara, a 30-year-old stop motion animator working with TYO Inc. dwarf studios in Japan. Back in November, he was chosen as a finalist at ADC Young Guns 17 – the only Japanese winner for the annual honor.
Name: Kenta Shinohara
Company: TYO Inc. dwarf studios
Position: Stop motion animator
Birthplace: Ehime, Japan
Current Location: Tokyo
Education: The Animation Course of the Character Creative Arts Department at the Osaka College of Art in Association with Osaka University of Arts, 2010
How did you get your first break in the industry?
I joined dwarf studios, TYO’s animation studio, as a part-time assistant animator in 2014, then became a full-time animator in 2016. I met Hirokazu Minegishi, dwarf studios’ senior animator, and learned about stop motion techniques and the way to deal with my work. Encountering him was very important in my life.
What is your personal mantra?
“Moving the heart.”
I sensitively try to feel when my heart moves, and choose the way to work that moves my heart. I think that work can also move the others’ hearts, and make the work very heartwarming and humane.
From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
I read books written by great philosophers, religious figures and artists from around the world. What is written in them is a record of the vast amount of trial-and-error of mankind, so it will be helpful when I get lost in my choices. I have read hundreds of books.
What do you love about the job?
To bring life to figures. Life can be given only by God, but animators can do something similar. Once you experience stop motion attraction, you might be crazy about it.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
When the job arrangement is not going well and my time is lost. Time is of the utmost importance to me, and it’s necessary to maintain the quality of stop motion. I always try to improve the way to work smoothly in a team.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
Stop motion animation with figures. Since figures are familiar and available to everyone, it was a good opportunity to introduce the stop motion animation techniques and its attraction to the audience. In particular, my work with Red Bull, in which figures look alive in everyday scene, turned out to be a successful social media advertising, getting a lot of shares by the audience.
— Red Bull Gaming JP (@RedBullGamingJP) October 11, 2019
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I have no music background but I’d like to be a musician. I’d like to be an entertainer anyway. I think entertainment is important to humans. Entertainment is mysterious in that only humans need.
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