She feels a strong connection with her sceneries and characters, and feels influenced by European culture – Nomoco, an illustrator who have recently commissioned the cover for “The Dog Who Dared To Dream” and worked with the variety of designer brands and publishers, shares her inspirations.
She is known under her nickname Nomoco, which is a step away from her real surname, Nomoto. She’s been called so since she was a girl – and her identity as an artist followed with the pseudonym; she introduced herself as Nomoco because she feels more comfortable that way. After studying art and design in Japan, she decided to move to London to explore European culture.
“I thought I had to study the same subject in Europe as art history scene and music in Europe inspired me. I have to admit, I was not aware of such a huge cultural difference within European countries at that time,” she explains. “So I chose the UK because I liked English language, and picked the capital London for my university. Actually, I only intended to study for one year as life experience at university before aiming to become an illustrator in Japan, but I ended up continuing my studies and then living as an illustrator in London for years!” she adds.
After living in London for a while, are there places that inspire her the most?
“Everyday scenery on the streets and freely grown trees in the park and woods,” she says. And you can notice that with her work: the major themes of her work include nature and soft-edged, subtle city silhouettes.
“Nature itself always inspires me for its strength and strangeness. I often imagine myself interacting with it and it sometimes leads to a new idea as well,” she describes her inspirations. “With the cityscape, I do enjoy the concept of drawing a vast city on a piece of paper. When I’m drawing the city, I feel like I’m stepping into the picture and sensing the atmosphere and hearing the noise of the city – it’s hard to describe but it’s a pure joy.”
The main characters of her works are also ethereal, delicate women – and Nomoco feels bound to the heroines she brings to life with ink and paper.
“Women, both aesthetically and emotionally, have an endless attraction for me to draw, probably because I am one,” she states simply. “I feel I can share the connection to the model whether it’s self-portrait, real person or imaginary character.”
The majority of her works is drawn or painted with these materials: ink on paper is one of the signature elements of the artist’s style. But she doesn’t stop just there: she experiments with water, acrylic paint and watercolour to complement the ink; these materials are also an essential contribution to her very own flair.
“Due to the nature of ink, each stroke often has to be done quickly and without hesitation. There are also always some accidental movements that are taken over by ink,” Nomoco says about her creative process. “That’s what I like about the material and I often feel like my creative process is a quick, haphazard journey,” she adds.
The illustrator says that she doesn’t have anybody specific she looks up to – but she appreciates strong people who stick to their opinion and beliefs. There’s something in her style that brings to your mind Japanese influences – but Nomoco doesn’t think that there’s anything that she follows deliberately.
“My Japanese roots must have influenced my work significantly but I think the majority of it comes out very much unconsciously,” she explains. “One thing I’m often commented on outside of Japan is neatness or simplicity in my work – as ‘Japaneseness’ – but I’ve been told the same also in Japan. Personally, when I look at the sense of stillness in composition in old Japanese woodprints it gives me chill in the same way as when I’m composing my work.”