Ryo Takemasa is a young illustrator from Japan. His illustrations are a fresh blend of vintage meets modern, very colourful and geometrical, still minimalistic and simple. His art goes from landscapes to groceries to city classics, always in that retro modern style.He is based in Tokyo and he was nice enough to have an interview with Why?.
Ryo Takemasa claims that he was thinking of doing creative work "from the time of junior high school". However, it was at the age of 25 when he decided to become an illustrator. He considers that his style is very difficult to define, although he says that "he regards the texture as important".
While he explains that "he would like to make a work that is simple and warm at the same time" I can't help but nodding. All his illustrations have a charming vintage vibe and his work is talented enough to be simple and still eye-catching and relevant. When he is asked for his main sources of inspiration he answers that "he gets inspired by all the things he sees". Although many of his illustrations are inspired by cities such as New York or London, he lives in Tokyo and he is not planning to move any time soon.
Ryo confesses that he hadn't studied "many works by American or European artists" during his student days at Musashino Art University, so he thinks that his work "resembles a Japanese style pattern and an ukiyo-e print".
He feels very fortunate because he is 31 and he can say he makes a living of his illustrations. You can tell by the way he creates his illustrations that Ryohei Yanagihara has been an influence for him, and indeed, he confirms that Ryohei Yanagihara is his favourite illustrator. When it comes to his own illustrations, Taxi is his favourite one.
There are many projects he is working on at the moment: books, advertisement, stationery... And of course his illustrations. If you want to follow him, you can do that on his website, via Pinterest or if you are thinking of buying his illustrations, check Etsy, he ships worldwide.