Vol.003 Rebecca U

ーWhat is involved in the work of an creative director?

In most of my projects I work as a creative director, creative direction is when art direction, design & strategy intersect.

The process usually goes like this, I create the concept and mood boards and open it up to my team for collaboration. I select my team or some team members and work out the location, plan the shoot and create the schedule. I sometimes take up the role of the stylist because I find it easier to form the concept if I am able to immediately access the styling component of the project. I make sure sustenance is provided for my team and that their schedule is respected by trying our best to not go overtime; so another job I take up is timekeeping.

I select the photos with the photographer and sometimes edit the photos when needed.

Some projects I have collaborated further with the photographer by adding graphical elements to the work.

When the photos are ready to publish, I liaison with the magazine to start the process of publishing the project.

This is the usual development of a project where I’ve invited creatives to join, the process differs of course with each project.


ーWhen did you start working in the creative world / industry?

My entry to the creative world started as an artist 11 years ago in Melbourne, Australia.

Between graduating high-school and starting University, I spent my time hanging out with artist types in their warehouse studios/homes, painting/live painting in exhibitions or in the streets, meeting other artists in coffee shops or bars to draw. My time in Australia also involved being a design student and making music (9/10 years ago).

In Tokyo, I started working as an illustrator and graphic designer, I was also taking photos as a hobby. I’ve had one solo exhibition of my photo work in 2015 (‘Silver Screen’, 0fr gallery, Nakameguro) and was involved in two group exhibitions since then.

In 2015, someone asked me to model for their project and I thought, why not make it our project, so I decided to art direct and style our shoot; that is when I started to take up the role of creative director.

Recently (2017), I was invited to take up the role of fashion editor for Mother Magazine’s digital platform, MOTHER Digital (mother-magazine.com). Its been refreshing to exercise a different part of my brain, interviewing creatives, editing text and researching while commissioning work from creatives in and outside of Japan.
今年、マザー・マガジンのデジタル・プラットフォームであるMOTHER Digital(mother-magazine.com)のファッション・エディターになりました。

ーWhere do you usually get inspiration from?

My day-to-day living, films, music, publications, news.. and so on.

I haven’t had​ ​full working internet on my iPhone for years, it’s been nice to pay more attention to the world, I find inspiration from watching other peoples day-to-day living.


ーWhich project was the most pressure?

I was given a project by a well-known label and magazine to be shot in another country. The project was given to me five days before the deadline and four days before I had to fly out of Japan for the job.
ある有名な雑誌から海外で撮影するプロジェクトを頼まれた時ですかね。 締め切りの5日前に仕事を受けたため、飛行機で出発するまでに実質4日しかありませんでした。

I didn’t know any creatives in this country and we had zero budget, I had to plan the whole shoot, research and select the team on my own.

I spent three days and three nights planning and researching while also organizing the delivery of the clothes to another country (this was a problem because some of the clothes were not available by the brand and we were worried about the clothes not arriving in time for the shoot).

When I arrived at the airport, I went straight to work.

We did not have much time to shoot, timekeeping was very important and the photographer had to shoot fast to make it to the film processing shop before it closed so we could make it for the deadline.

He picked up the photos from the one-hour film processing shop and we worked until 4 am/5am selecting photos/editing photos. The project was submitted that same day.

I am super grateful the team members were happy to work with me with no budget in that short amount of time, the project looked good for the fast deadline and no budget that was given, in my opinion, if we had more time and a budget, it would have looked much better, but I’m happy we were able to create something.


ーWhat has been the most inspiring thing or friend /person to you lately? What has been influencing you recently?

Inoue Tsuguya’s graphic works and YMO’S propaganda tour video fills me with enthusiasm and I love the sense of calm and silence in Peter De Potter’s collages.
井上嗣也の作品と、YMOの『プロパガンダ』に感激しました。Peter De Potterの落ち着きと静寂を感じさせるコラージュも大好きです。

The opportunity for anyone to show their artistic outputs to a wider audience via the web instead of relying on conventional methods of presenting your work and gaining work is a motivator.

In the past, I would have had to contact various agents or a friend of a friend where finally the work would be publicized in one corner of the earth for a short time it feels to a smaller audience.

For example, I wouldn’t have had my solo exhibition in Tokyo if the curator didn’t take notice of my photos online.

ーWhat kind of concept or theme do you think only you can create?

These ideas are not unique but some of my projects have used characters that look like twins, they have contrasting or similar personalities and/or looks.

The bond between twins is curious and mysterious to me, twin sets have a special relationship that no one on the outside can truly understand or enter. Identical twins will embrace their similarities, while some other twins will strive for individuality.

I also like to involve myself as various characters in some of my projects; my day-to-day look is consistent so I enjoy transforming myself when I can.


ーWho is your muse? and why?
あなたのミューズは誰ですか? またその理由は?

I sometimes work in sales during Paris fashion week, involving myself in some aspects of the business of fashion has heightened my admiration for Jenny Meirens for her good sense and drive in the creative and business fields.
パリ・ファッションウィークの最中、時々セールスとして働く事があります。ファッションビジネスの中に身を置くという事は敬愛するJenny Meirensのセンスと、クリエイティブとビジネスの両分野での功績をより強く感じる事が出来るからです。

The design of the collections, graphics, packaging, and philosophy to do with the Margiela world is inspiring.


ーWhat is your goal as an art director/ creator? What would you like to try?
アートディレクターとしての今後のあなたの目標は? 挑戦してみたいことなど。

Keep encouraging progression and avoid creative inertia.


ーWhere can we see your work?

You can follow me on instagram @bec_u It’s a mixture of my work, inspiration and some insight into my life.

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