Masaki Hirokawa on his graphic design work

Masaki Hirokawa became a freelancer in 2005. In 2006, received award for excellence in the Web Screensaver category of the MTV SO-ZO Competition. Currently continuing freelance activities developing iPhone/Android apps and creating CG.

Masaki Hirokawa

There is a saying: 'eyes are the window to the soul'. Why are women in your art pieces with 'closed eyes'?

I realize that we have entered an era in which we need to look within. I am a non-denominationalist, but I believe that God exists within, not outside of man, and it is important to notice the happiness within ourselves, rather than looking for happiness outside. 

It is really painful to think of the victims of this epidemic, but I can't help but think that this is an important message for human beings. I believe that we have entered an important stage of awakening for all people, a process of introspection. 

I have also been told for a long time that my right eye sees what I cannot see. Actually seeing through people's minds often hurts me so much that my right eye is gradually not used anymore, and now I live with only my left eye. However, I try to use my right eye to look at the work objectively from a distance when I am working on it, and when I can confirm that the work is full of light when I look at it with my right eye, I consider it complete.

The fact that many women have closed eyes may reflect my subconscious based on the above. I hadn't noticed this until you pointed it out to me. 

Masaki Hirokawa

What kind of apps or in which industry is your own app development? What kind of graphics do you create?

I've released six iPhone apps and two Android apps on the App Store and Google Play Store. I have a wide range of apps, including one that lets you browse Japanese ukiyoe by age and artist, a sleep support app, and a news app. The app has been downloaded 15 million times and is still used by 3.5 million users around the world.

The graphics are mainly photo collage works. Once I have a final image for a graphic, I select the appropriate material from a selection of royalty-free photos and begin production. Even if the work is dark, I try to see a ray of gentle light somewhere.

Masaki Hirokawa
Bodhisattvas of the Earth

Could you show us your past work of interactive movies that have won MTV awards?

Screenshots and movies are available below. You need Flash Player to view the movie, which won an award of excellence at the MTV SO-ZO Competition. (Flash Player is required.)

What is your special process in creating graphics?

The graphics are processed non-destructively so that anyone can follow the creation process. I take care of the original material and don't alter it in any way, but add about 200 layers on top of it. I also distribute source files, and I see the significance of sharing and spreading the technology.

What I am concerned with is drawing the skin and layering various colors on top of each other. I layer a number of colors on top of each other to a degree that is invisible to the eye. (Perhaps it would be more appreciated if this process was left out, but it's a process of obsession.)

Masaki Hirokawa

What or who influences you to have such a deep passion in creating graphics?

When I first started creating graphics, I enjoyed the chemical reactions between materials, letting them happen by accident. Eventually I had the opportunity to write about the process for a graphic magazine and I discovered the joy of sharing my skills with others.

I'm very happy to hear people say that the creation of a graphic work not only purifies them, but also purifies their minds.

Masaki Hirokawa
The justice of equality

What do you imagine yourself as? Why. What is your true motivation?

I am aware that I am just a "tool" or a "catalyst" to give form to the images that are brought to me by inspiration. If my ego is mixed in with that, it will not make for good graphics.

App development is a very lonely job, but I don't feel lonely when I'm creating graphics. I think it's because it's an invaluable time to reconnect with yourself. I recently realized that people don't miss others, they miss themselves.

My real motivation is that my graphics can cleanse people's minds, make them happy for a moment, or pass on my skills. I want a world where everyone can be an expression.

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