Yoshimi Sugiyama

Professional in Photography Design.

About Yoshimi Sugiyama

Through photographic prints, I try to convey to as many people as possible those thoughts that cannot be conveyed by mere words. Rather, the prints themselves are my words, as well as physical proof of my being. Much of my work is concerned with landscapes, which wield a great deal of spiritual influence over me.

  • 2-Time Winner of Photography Design Award.
  • Specialized in Photography Design.
  • 2 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Photography
Animism 2 - Natural Architect Photography

Animism 2 - Natural Architect Photography

Photography Design

Sacred trees Photograph

Sacred trees Photograph

Photography Design


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Interview with Yoshimi Sugiyama

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I have been interested in fashion since I was a child, and I later developed an interest in design. I consider design as a form of art and consider myself as an artist. Art has been, and continues to be, the outlet for my emotion. I did not need to think hard to be an artist, art has been part of my daily life and exited in its natural state.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
It is a professional commercial photography and video production studio located in the south of San Francisco. Creating images for clients to sell and promote products sounds artificial, lifeless, and unspirited, however, I would say our studio is unique in a way. We try to create stories for every product and breathe new life into it in new and exciting ways. We try not to forget to challenge new things.
What is "design" for you?
I consider design as a form of art. I design to create an artwork, whether it be a commercial product image or a fine art book. Art has been part of my daily life and tries to express myself in the form of art. My design and work of art stem from a view or opinion or feeling that I hold within myself.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I like to create a work which communicates a message and a story, and most importantly a work which inspires the audience.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
My most favorite designs are my representative works of “sacred tree” series. The design theme is Animism, which is ancient mythology. I am trying to visualize ancient people’s consciousness that “nature is sacred.”
When do you feel the most creative?
When I was able to create an artwork employing different techniques and the image came out exactly how I envisioned it to be. Specifically, when I was able to turn the lifeless images into living beings.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
The design must be unique and influential, however, intent or purpose of the design should not be forgotten. I also consider visual design elements and principles such as color, balance, composition, direction, which I believe are the important foundational elements of art.
What makes a design successful?
A successful design begins with a good design concept with solid fundamental knowledge of art and design theory. A successful design should have all such foundational elements of art.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
I will consider a target audience and clear purpose of the design first. The good design should convey influential messages, and yet provide true value for the audience. The lack of understanding of your target audience tends to lead to distrust and disrespect towards the designer/artist himself.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
It is true that art comes in many different forms, and all artists have the right to freedom of artistic expression. It is the greatest things for the designers/artists that they are free to express their thoughts and opinions. At the same time, as a member of global society, the artists/designers are still responsible for showing respects towards different culture, opinions, thoughts, and environment, and not to convey wrong or misleading messages. We should be reminded that the art /design has been key to bringing about positive changes and has a strong power to inspire people in a good way.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
2013 May, Exhibition "Japanese Garden" at The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco The Japan Information Center, USA
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I feel lucky that I get to work on what I love most. I strongly believe that such respect for design, my culture, and nature all develop a creative mind which is becoming my sources of inspirations.

Extended Interview with Yoshimi Sugiyama

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I Studied Fine Art Photography and Commercial Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I love to create things. I feel the joy when I could cast my idea into a formalized shape.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I chose to be a designer, but I did not need to think hard to become a designer. Art has been, and continues to be, part of my daily life. I always enjoyed seeing the greatest works of art from contemporary art to a classic masterpiece. I was inspired to create my own unique works.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I wish to create an art work which communicates a message and a story. The audience does not need to agree with my message, but I wish they enjoy thinking about the message they each get. The greatest art takes a lifetime to understand. I also wish to design more of things I find in my everyday life.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Establish a concept of your art and obtain advanced skills to transform the concept into reality.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
A good designer creates a design which is generally accepted. A great designer creates a design which is loved by many timelessly and continuously.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
A good interior design creates attractive and successful working environment. A good product design creates economical value by increasing marketability and prestige. A good fine art and photographic design attract people and raise people’s spirits and lift confidence.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I desire to create a design for a bigger scale objects, such as a huge wallpaper for home or office. I hope to create a design which will provide a peace of mind, enrich the existing environment, and create a higher qualify of life for people inside the building. The wallpaper will be part of people’s daily life. I also want to create a photographic design for an automobile.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
I would like to challenge the integration of fine art and commercial art. I need to develop a good concept but hope to incorporate fine art elements in advertisement design.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Japanese legendary painter, Korin Ogata and a fine art photographer, Michael Kenna.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
Fashion Designers, Automobile Design Firms, Furniture Designers, Architect such as, Alexander McQueen, John Richmond, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Pininfarina, Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Joseph Eishler. Their designs have concepts and are aggressive yet beautiful.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
My greatest designs are my representative works of “Animism 1 Sacred trees” The design theme is Animism, which is ancient mythology. It makes it great and unique because the works mirror the timeless natural beauty and ancient people’s spirit and consciousness that “nature is sacred.”
How do you define design, what is design for you?
I consider design as a form of art. I design to create an artwork, whether it be a commercial product image or a fine art book. Art has been part of my daily life and tries to express myself in the form of art. My design and work of art stem from a view or opinion or feeling that I hold within myself. Design is a communication tool between me and my audience.
What helped you to become a great designer?
When people or clients provide suggestions or opinions regarding the details of the design concept.

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