Meet the artist behind our limited edition print: Naito
With international recognition throughout the art world, Naito Shinpei is a cutting edge Japanese artist and graphic designer. Based in Berlin, Naito is known for his futuristic designs and use of graphic florals which caught our eye. To celebrate collaborating with the artist for our beautiful Tokyo Blooms print which you can find on the Power Leggings, Reversible Bomber Jacket and Upbeat Bra, we caught up with the designer to talk all things art, inspiration and travel.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Art, color, print.
What is your background in art and design?
I was born in Japan, so growing up I was surrounded by a lot of traditional Japanese art. When I was 15, I began studying at a private art school, where I found a love of futuristic American and European culture. I have since moved to Berlin and fused these two styles to create my own. It's really interesting, as when I show my art to my family they say it looks European, but everyone in Europe thinks it looks Japanese.
What attracted you to collaborate with Sweaty Betty?
I always get inspiration from London culture and Sweaty Betty stood out as they create such cutting edge, unique pieces for modern women.
What was the inspiration behind the print?
I used the water lily flower, as it is such a huge part of Japanese culture. If you visit an old temple in Japan, they bloom in the ponds there and are so calm and peaceful.
How do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from nature. Our earth has so many colours, so I try to take inspiration from these and the wider universe. I have also recently developed a love for primitive art from Africa and Papua New Guinea.
What do you like to do when you’re not designing?
Fitting with your ethos, I like to go to the gym five times a week. All day, I paint, draw and think about design, so sometimes I just need think nothing and just move!
Favourite place in the world?
I love my hometown of Yokohama, which is a 30 minute train ride from Tokyo. Not to be biased, but it's so much nicer than Tokyo with more space and a nice port, plus all of my old friends and family are there.
What’s living in Berlin like? Where is your favourite place?
I love Berlin, it's really bold and fresh which inspires me a lot. Some people say Berlin is still amateur compared to other big cities like Paris, London or Tokyo, but I guess thats why I like it as they are still growing and energetic.
My favourite place in the city is Oberbaum Brueck, near where I used to live. It's a beautiful bridge which is pretty famous for its unique shape.
What’s your favourite quote?
'Take it as it comes'. My Grandpa always said it and it encourages me to be flexible, which I think is one of the most important things to survive this world.
I love old Japanese songs which aren't that famous in London, I don't know if you've heard of the Sukiyaki song?
What's next for you?
I want to come to London! Can I get an invitation Team SB!
Find out more about Naito here. Shop the exclusive limited edition print here and get ready to transform your workout wardrobe.