Most of you are familiar with FCS’s team of world class surfers but might not be as well acquainted with the ambassadors and friends that we work with on a regular basis.
We decided to check in with them to see what’s been happening over the last few months. The first, Kentaro Yoshida.
Originally hailing from Japan, Ken these days works and lives from his studio in Collaroy, a few streets back from the sand on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Keeping himself busy with a mixture of canvas and larger-scale murals, his work spends a diverse range of projects and influences, from illustrations for Vans to gig posters for the Pixies.
Where is home?
I am originally from Japan and a little city called Toyama, a northern part of the main island. Now I have been based in Northern beaches, Sydney since I moved to Australia in 2004. I work in a small home studio as an illustrator & artist and have been working on multiple projects with both commercial and personal.
When did you start painting/drawing?
I was a big fan of Japanese comic (manga) culture when I was a kid so I was doodling on the textbook all time at school. After a while, I started drawing & painting again in Australia and I am happy to do the same thing as my job now.
Any common themes that you explore in your work?
As mentioned before, I really like Japanese comics and that's the biggest influence for my work, such as bold & detailed line work and quirky characters. On top of it, I have been into skateboard graphic and art such as Jim Phillips and Jeremy fish, also 80s & 90s lowbrow art since teenage. I'd say I have been mixing things I liked since childhood with experiences I have done and observed in Australia to produce my own work. I also like to work with my own pastel colour palette which I have made through my lifestyle in Australia.
What sort of music do you listen to when painting?
I used to listen to 90s Japanese rock n roll a lot, but now I listen to Japanese hip hop most of the time. They are fresh and take me to the zone while working. I like the artist called "YURUFUWA GANG" the most.
Here's a taste of what Ken has on repeat at the moment:
Favourite surf spot to escape too?
I like surfing at the North corner of Palm beach just under the Barrenjoey lighthouse. I often find empty surf and good left there as I am a goofy footer. I also like surfing at North Narrabeen with local boys since I moved nearby a couple years ago.
I like Steyne hotel as it is my first pub I have been to in Australia when I was 18. I also like The Beach Club at Collaroy since I moved around that pub. So many good beers are cheap and great pub on the beach.
Do you prefer large scale works or smaller canvas?
I actually like both of them and I can not choose. Large scale murals involve more physical movement, and small canvas is similar to the process of doodling I have done in my most of life. Regardlessly I always like the moment I see the final artwork and it is a really satisfying feeling.
What are you looking forward to for the next year?
I hope next year will be a better year for all of us and I am keen to do another exhibition, which I am brainstorming now. Otherwise I would like to keep making more stuff at the studio, also painting murals anywhere. I also would like to go for a surf trip to Indo and Japan (I had to cancel it last April & September due to COVID-19). And of course, I am really excited to work with FCS too!
Stay tuned for more stories, interviews and projects from our ambassadors and friends.
Follow @KentaroYoshida on Instagram
SurFebruary is a fun annual event in February, where participants raise money for cancer research by catching a wave or getting in the water every day – rain, hail or shine.
This episode sees Rich catch up with Mick Fanning on his recent trip to the US to chat about what he’s been riding, the development of his iconic fin template and how he came to embrace the FCS II system.