Feature above: Treasury Hotel and Casino in Brisbane, the location of the photo shoot where I met Shinji Ogata. His post about this drawing is here.
I first met Shinji Ogata on a corporate branding photoshoot for Treasury Casino in Brisbane. While the make-up and hair people worked on us, I heard someone ask him what he did when not doing this kind of work.
“I’m a painter,” he said.
I heard him say this to a couple of people and each time the response was something like:
“Oh really? What do you paint? Pictures or fences?”
Shinji is an artist. I decided to blog about him because while we were on set pretending to be a family having a flash dinner I asked him what he listens to when he paints, he said. “I love to listen to Bill Evans. Have you ever heard of him?”
Bill Evans? Only my most favourite jazz pianist ever!
Better still, he said he likes to do one-take drawings, which is basically like improvisation! And his blog is called Acoustic Drawings! Enough.
Shinji grew up on Kyushu Island in Japan.
“It’s a very rural area, with a lot of farmers. The area is very famous for making tatami mats. When I was very little, I used to like to draw on everything. My mother was worried I would damage the house by drawing on the walls. My father used to work for a paper company, and we had a lot of odd rolls of paper in our house, so my mother put up these rolls on the walls and windows. So I would draw all over that!”
Shinji has been in Australia for 10 years. He lived with his Australian wife in Tokyo for four years before coming to Australia, to be near his Australian in-laws, who live on the Sunshine Coast.
“Since being in Brisbane, I have enjoyed drawing portraits, and also landscapes. People really love that, and contact me to do work for them. I like to do twenty minute paintings of people, it’s good training for me. I do that with a lot of people, just for free, for the experience.”
Thank you for painting me while we spoke, Shinji.
Shinji Ogata’s blog is here: gatashan48.blogspot.com.au. Maybe he can paint something for you.
Update: Since the original post, I’ve met Shinji on film set several times, and expect to write more about him when the productions are released.