Thanks for clicking. Welcome to our new interview series where we spend some time with the creatives that inspire us. I’m Bernard Antolin, Editor-in-Chief at ACQUIRE, a site dedicated to curating the best in cars, design, technology, and fashion.
We’re kicking off the series with artist, entrepreneur, and filmmaker, Kent Yoshimura. Kent’s vibrant art pieces can be seen throughout Los Angeles and when he’s not painting murals, he’s busy creating immersive experiences with some of the biggest brands in the world and running Neuro, a science-focused confectionary company. Oh, and did we mention he’s a decorated martial artist too? Without further ado, here’s our conversation with the ever-prolific, Kent Yoshimura.
You've got quite an extensive body of work, how would you describe what you do?
Well, I want to believe I'm just an artist that dove into all these different interests from business to murals to design. There's a consistent thought process and approach to everything I do, and I feel that it all stems from creativity
You've worn CLAEs for years, what drew you to the brand and what style is in your rotation these days?
It's funny - my dad used to be in the shoe distribution business, but I've always worn shoes more for utility than looks. As I got older, I began appreciating the aesthetics much more and CLAEs have always balanced that with comfort and class. I'm in a "white" phase so my rotations are the Joshua and the Deane right now.
Everyone's got their own creative process, what's a key element in your workflow?
The hardest part of anything is starting so I try to focus all my energy into making the start as easy as possible. In my old studio (before it burned down), I had all the necessary tools organized in a way where I could get going the second I stepped into the space. All of my digital interfaces are organized similarly so all the things that can be automated are set and I can just focus on what I need to do.
Let's rewind a bit, what was your earliest influence that put you on your path to become a creative?
This feels like a “nature vs nurture” question, haha! When I look back, video games have always had such a tremendous impact on my life. There are distinct memories of playing JRPGs like Final Fantasy with my cousins or staying up all night playing Metroid, being enthralled by the art, immersiveness, and storytelling - all elements that continue to be a driving force in a lot of the work I do.
Whether it's murals, building experiences, or filmmaking, is there any one thing you look forward to the most?
I'm always looking to expand my creative capabilities and push beyond what I can do. Creation excites me, in whatever format it may be, but making something larger than myself excites me even more. What I look forward to is what hasn't been created yet.
There seems to be no limit to where you find yourself creatively, what do you hope people take away from your career?
Like any artist, I hope people remember me more for the things I've created than myself. Don't get me wrong, like anyone, I appreciate positive attention, but we create because it extends beyond who we are as individuals. If there's any inspiration to be gathered from the spaces we transform or the stories we tell, then those will inevitably get passed down to future generations.
Lastly, tell us about your LA. What's a must-see/eat/drink in your city?
It's almost a running joke amongst my friends but I'm the largest supporter of LA. We used to do this thing called the world tour near my place in the Arts District where we grab a pint of beer at each of the local breweries (Arts District Brewery, Angel City, Wurstkuche) and then go do karaoke in Little Tokyo before ending the night with a bowl of ramen at Suehiro. Since quarantine, we've made a karaoke setup at my home so we can continue the festivities without interruption!
…BONUS QUESTION: Feel free to briefly ’shout-out’ anything you’re working on next and what websites/social media handles we can find you at.
I'm working on a multimedia project called Oki's World right now that incorporates my love for storytelling, animation, murals, and community that I can't wait to launch. You can check out more of me on Instagram @kentaro or my website kents.world.