My name is Guillaume Kashima. For two decades, I've freelanced in illustration and graphic design. This website showcases my work in ceramics and print. Despite their differences, my approach to both is the same. I draw inspiration from their essence – their unique traits and even the limitations

about prints

I use a lot of colors in my commercial work, but when it comes to personal projects, it mostly ends up in black and white. Out of necessity: for a fanzine printed on a copier, a one-color print... because these were the most affordable choices. Then I developed a liking for it. It reminded me of the joy I experienced as a kid, working with cheap materials like white A4 paper sheets, pencils, worn-out markers, or a photocopy machine. My creativity came from those limitations. Make beauty happen out of cheap material is still to this day my biggest motivation.

I began exploring screenprinting with the 'Alright' series. Since I aimed to print them myself, I started with one color to keep it simple. Alongside sleek black surfaces, I experimented with patterns like lines, squares, and dots. These patterns are what you get when you use Photoshop to turn grey areas into bitmaps. And that's how these elements found their way into my graphic style.

After that, I tried risoprinting, and my style evolved again, this time by incorporating gradients. Riso offers incredibly smooth and sensuous gradients, along with a limited yet rich range of colors. There's a nice blue and a shiny gold. One downside of offset printing is how dull the blue(s) are, so adding this strong 'ultramarine blue' to my palette was great. Also, Riso is affordable and unlike screen printing, not messy or time-consuming. By far my favorite printing technique. My illustrations changed in style and also became quieter due to the softness of the medium itself.

Because I was spending a lot of time designing on a computer, when a friend asked if I would join him for life-drawing sessions, I said yes.These sessions were laid-back gatherings in Berlin's bars, all about fun, with no pressure. I stuck to markers on A4 paper. It was fast. I drew a lot. Every week. Making a fanzine let me pause, review, and pick the best. I aimed for bold, unique, and loud ideas. Markers made it easy – scan, contrast boost, find a local printer. The first was 'Clown', followed by an extended version for '100 for 10'.

When Covid came and sessions ended, I kept drawing by asking folks online for pictures. I'd ask on Fridays and show the results the next Friday, hence 'Friday' series. In year one, I stuck to paper and a marker, sketching the same picture up to ten times to choose the best. My lines grew crisper and confident. Before sharing, I'd tweak slightly in Photoshop, to keep the energy. I thought of punk or DIY recordings, guiding a balance between liveliness and 'accuracy'. First 'Friday' fanzine came out July 2021.

The next year, I switched to Procreate, an iPad drawing app. With a stylus, you draw like on paper but with full control. You can sketch a line. You can sketch a perfectly straight line – something I can't do in real life. It's like drawing autotune. It wasn't punk anymore; it turned into pure pop: a lot of work to appear effortless and cool. I learned to draw with purpose, be accurate, and not overdo it – skills that would come in handy for ceramics. A second fanzine was published.

about ceramics

When I began with ceramics in 2008, I wanted to explore new territories, away from the computer. I wanted to try a different path, to freely let creativity flow without pressure, putting aside goals and expectations. I aimed to follow clay's lead, letting it express itself, understanding and respecting its limits. Embracing accidents and the unexpected was also part of the plan.

My first ceramic production were planters. I intentionally left aside plans and designs. I took a certain amount of clay and worked through it without a set idea. As a designer, I usually begin with a plan, but "No-Plan" made me focus on the material's possibilities. Planters were a clear choice – clay naturally holds plants. My planters look like a handful of mud burned in the oven. It gave plants their wildness back. Even today, it's still one of my favorite thing to produce.

Next came the plates. I treat each plate like a sheet of paper. It's a clear space to put down ideas and try out techniques for later exploration. Some showed promise right away, while others led to new paths or dead ends. This process helped me settle on a color palette and a style. I narrowed down my colors to cobalt blue, black, porcelain white, and terracotta. As for the design, it naturally echoed to how I work in illustration and design: cut and paste. The first plates were small, but as I gained confidence, they grew larger. Nowadays, I focus on two series: 'Birds' and 'Broken Plate'.

My work with masks is the closest to what I do in illustration: the face is round, a geometric nose and patterns for hair. Unlike illustration where everything is just a click away, it took quite a while to find the right approach and design in ceramics. I aimed to discover the best design and stick to it because numerous random factors can either make or ruin a piece. Nothing is more frustrating than a terrible glaze combination. Yet, nothing is more beautiful than an unexpected glaze combo either. That’s why sometimes I play it safe and keep things raw, or other times, I collaborate with teacher Evelyn Klam, whose glaze work is impeccable.

Tuesday Oct 5 2021