WHOSE THAT ARTIST: SHOZUMI
Art means different things to different people; some may imagine beautiful paintings, while others think of film photography, or still images of marble sculptures that come to mind. It takes a true visionary to embrace a non traditional form, specifically modern electronics, in their repertoire. This visionary is Shozumi.
Growing up he would take apart his toys, figure out the machinery, and either fix them or turn them into something brand new. Though he uses artist in the modest of ways, and creates as a hobby, the range of his work is captivating. One memorable contemporary piece he built was a Gameboy using a Raspberry Pi. This is an emulator that people can play retro games on. Many might not consider this art, until they begin to look at the genius, coupled with the imagination needed, to create a functional art form that literally transports an individual to their childhood. Any piece that can evoke such a response deserves the title of art.
Currently residing in San Jose, California, Shozumi moved to the United States from Japan as a young boy. Often these two worlds would meld together in his work, through the passion of fandom that crosses many cultural barriers. This self-described maker has mastered crochet, creates expressive paintings, built featured props for his cosplay friends, and for personal pleasure tackled videography with his GoPro.
Materials in his arsenal include all forms of paint, Copic multiliners and markers, a thread size 10 crochet hook, and an assortment of foams, resins, and glues. Shozumi noted that he hopes to build his own vacuum former so he mold objects out of plastic sheets. This will help develop even more realistic, yet lightweight, cosplay props.
People of Con discovered his work at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. He crocheted mini critters, each developed after loveable characters from vast classes of franchises and featured these adorable creations in the annual #critterdrop. Author of Literacy Yarns, Cindy Wang, creates a yearly critter-drop which she started back in 2011. Essentially it’s a scavenger hunt during the convention which allows attendees to snag her charming buddies. Shozumi heard about the drops and found his first in 2016, which inspired him to pick up crocheting. During SDCC 2017 Wang sought out artist who would be willing to offer-up their work and time, as she hurt her hand and wouldn’t be able to make as many critters. Upon hearing this call, he volunteered his works as tributes, bringing joy to hunting attendees.
Though Shozumi doesn’t accept commissions, or sells his work online, fans can find him at a variety of conventions. Some but not all include Fanime, Anime Expo, and more local conventions, including Sacanime, Kraken Con, Big Wow, and Crunchyroll Expo. Others may also find him as goalie for a local recreational ice hockey league, or online playing Call of Duty.
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