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HAJIME SORAYAMA

HAJIME SORAYAMA

September 17, 2016

I only draw appealing things. I wonder, would this be appealing and cast it out there

It’s like I’m searching around with a lure and if I get some kind of reaction, I just go with that I only draw appealing things. I wonder, would this be appealing and cast it out there. It’s like I’m searching around with a lure and if I get some kind of reaction, I just go with that. I don’t know, I had confidence until I was 30 or 40 years old, I had a good stance, but the world’s had a bad economy these past 10 years or so. So of course it’s the collectors; I have to sell original stuff if I want to eat, because an original work is only worth a hundredth of what it used to be. In the old days you could do one book and you’d be guaranteed about 5 times what a normal worker makes today; it was a weird time. More than just conveying my self qualities through my work, it’s to entertain my fans.

I kept doing what I like even though I knew it would be difficult for it to see the light of day. I’ve just kept going since I realized what I wanted to do

Thinking about going for it, if you don’t have talent, you may as well stop. Don’t put yourself through the pain; it’s okay not to go through that. It’s not tough for me to draw pictures, I like it and I think I have the talent for it. About 40 years ago, it was when the ban on porn still hadn’t been lifted, but I was interested in it so I kept drawing even though I knew it would be difficult for it to see the light of day. But the ban gradually thawed and we started having full nudes and dirty magazines, for everybody else that time was their start line. But for me it was natural and I already had hundreds of works so I had won from the start. Then Penthouse came, I had hundreds of works ready to go, and they were shocked. So I was a shoe-in to become a 10 year regular. I’ve just kept going since then; I just kept doing what I like so I found my place. If I started doing stuff I wasn’t into it would be tough for me too.

When it comes to people like teachers or officials, they say nothing but PC stuff

When it comes to people like teachers or officials, they say nothing but PC stuff. When I was in that association, in order to help out illustrators, they say said, “Let’s have an illustration competition in every prefecture to help find good people that are stuck out in the country.” What I said was, it’s not like some talented person is stuck up in the countryside in Hokkaido; if he’s talented he’d be out here already. But they said, well let’s try to give them a hand and help out, and I said, “You idiots are the ones that need help.” [Laughs] And then one time at the association, they said let’s put out a yearbook and give each person one page to be fair, then Katsu Yoshida said…. “One page per person isn’t fair! I’ll take 10 pages and they can have the size of a business card, that’s fair!” I said, “That’s wonderful. Those business card-size guys, they don’t have a chance, there’s no telling what they’ll wanna do anyway, so it’s perfect for them!” [Laughs]

*Katsu Yoshida (November, 1939 – December 18, 2011)
A Japanese illustrator. He produced works such as the A Taxing Woman’s Return movie poster (directed by Juzo Itami) and the Fuji Senkei Group’s logo (the eyeball logo).

 

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