Meetings: Kei Yoshino
Meet Kei Yoshino, the set designer and prop stylist behind the captivating images for ‘Toxic Beauty’ in our latest issue. Originally from Japan, working with everyone from The New York Times and Jalouse to Not Another Bill and M&S, we caught up with the London based creative to talk obsessions, DIY furniture and plans for the year ahead.
Tell us about your journey so far, how did you end up Set Designing and Prop Styling?
I totally fell into the job. A few years ago, a friend asked me to cover her day, assisting a set designer. So I went on the set to assist the amazing Emily Pugh, making giant paper sets. I loved the work so much that I never left the job.
What are you up to work-wise this week?
Fun projects on the horizon. Planning a still life editorial with Ilka & Franz, and another one with John Gribben.
How's your work/life balance going?
Not very well balanced at the moment… I work crazy hours :-\
Do you have a favourite album/artist you're listening to right now?
Bad punk on Resonance FM. Perfect music for when you get into making things.
NPR radio podcasts. Loads of great series on politics, science, philosophy - nice brain food. I prefer silence when I’m thinking.
What was the last lesson you learnt?
Cotton Candy melts quicker than you think on a set! Also, the best temperature for turmeric dye is between 65-75 degrees (hotter than 80 degrees would make the dye rather orange…). We learn weird things everyday and we are very serious about it.
Do you have any wisdom to pass on?
Optimism and hard work definitely go well with any sort of freelancing. With set design works, no two days are the same. So I think being able to enjoy new challenges is very important. Also, if you find an amazing pair of shoes or trousers you really like, get two pairs as one will eventually end up covered in paint.
What drives you?
Curiosity and appreciation.
Do you have any current obsessions?
What are you watching?
Carpentry how to’s on youtube.
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
Going to India for a friend’s wedding, a better work / life balance and loads more fun, inspiring projects.
Best place you've travelled to this year?
Italy, I skied for the first time in my life, finally! It was so much fun.
Where do you like to hang out in London?
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell is a beautiful place. I’m totally in love with their furnitures. Their bathroom sink is the best too!
When was the last time you fucked up?
The wardrobe I bought for my room didn’t fit through the stairs leading up to it :-(
Who inspires you?
Everyone and everything around me. My studio is at Ridley Road and I am getting inspired everyday by the energy, the colours and shapes I find on this street.
What would you like to read about in the next issue of Riposte?
Really looking forward to seeing the PERSIST posters by the great designers and artists :-)