Noritake pares back the everyday in his simple, minimal drawings
There’s something about the simplicity of Japanese illustrator Noritake’s work that really moves us. We’d go as far as saying we’re probably the biggest, loudest colour fanatics in the sock game but Noritake’s minimal black ink on white paper drawings make us stop and go, “oh”.
Living and working in Tokyo, Noritake has been exhibiting his work around the place since the early 2000’s. He has been commissioned by a number of impressive clients in Japan, including Brutus Magazine, Arts & Science, Keibunsha Books, Beams, Japan Rail and the esteemed independent Swiss publishing house Nieves. Noritake also runs his own publication and stationery brand under his own name churning out notebooks, pens, tees, totes, badges and zines.
Noritake’s work is iconic and memorable. His stark, simple black lines suspended in blank space interpret everyday objects and scenarios in a whimsical manner. Understated and under appreciated objects like a supple loaf of bread, a good log, a ladder are instantly transformed into aesthetically pleasing lines under the master of his felt tip brush pen.
He sketches the everyday, paring back, reducing and eliminating all unnecessary lines. In an interview with CAT’S FOREHEAD journal he noted, "I pay great attention to the balance of lines in an illustration. I just want to keep the number of lines on the paper to the absolute minimum, and leave everything out that I can.”
The result is off-beat and overly simple, with a distinctive sense of space and a sense of humour. People staked into a pyramid at awkward angles, a small guy surfing the pages of a book, people sharing shirts, Noritake seems to be inspired by the weirdness of people. We get a sense that something is missing or we’ve just entered a room and missed the punchline to a joke. But we also get a sense that this is just the way Noritake intended his work to be.