SCOUT INTERVIEW: Five Minutes With Artist And BOOOOOOOM! Creator Jeff Hamada

Jeff Hamada is a Japanese Canadian artist living and working in Vancouver. He has created things for Native Shoes, Oakley, Converse, Electronic Arts, and many others. In 2008 he launched, which has since become one of the highest-traffic art blogs on the internet. Say hello…

The first three things that you do every morning? Hit the snooze button, check my email, eat lunch.

The three things about Mount Pleasant that make you want to live there: Budgies, Congee Noodle House, and the luxury of being able to walk to both trains.

Name the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? The battered baja fish taco at Chronic Tacos.

Default drink/cocktail of choice? Crown and Ginger.

The Vancouverite that you admire most and why? Garret Louie is a huge inspiration to me. He is a humble guy who works hard. He’s also very generous. The first time we met he bought me a Sponge Bob ice cream bar.

Your role models? In terms of my career: Jim Henson. For everything else: my father.

Where is your favourite local patio? Barbecuing on my parent’s deck.

What trend have you followed that you now regret? 1) Owning a pager. 2) Wearing overalls with one strap hanging down.

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? One summer I bleached it repeatedly. I was going to say my mushroom cut but I’m still kinda proud of that.

Your go to, no-frills place for dinner? Hawker’s Delight, Deer Garden.

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? St. Barth’s.

The strangest place you’ve ever been to? I was in Sri Lanka building houses a few months after the tsunami. It is a beautiful place, it was just a strange situation because the government there is corrupt so a lot of the aid they received went straight into rebuilding resorts. European tourists were lounging around on deck chairs a stones throw from families still living in tents.

The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years? I’m not exactly sure when your formative years begin or end but I really like puzzles and I attribute that to: “The Eleventh Hour” by Graeme Base, “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, and the “Encyclopedia Brown” series.

Who’s style do you covet? George Costanza’s.

Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure? I was in Israel in November for work (and by work I mean I was invited out there to meet some designers and eat amazing food).

What is your biggest phobia? Swimming in deep open water.

Where did you go to school? Langara and Emily Carr.

The different career path that you could have gone on? Definitely modelling.

Your ancestry? Japanese.

Your three favourite films? A Prophet, Brazil, Top Secret.

Television show that you could tolerate re-runs of? Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

What was the luckiest moment in your life? When I was a kid I tried to ride my bike all the way home with my eyes closed. I pedalled for awhile and started to wonder when I would feel my front tire hit the slope up to my driveway. I opened my eyes and rode right into the spare tire on the back of my neighbour’s Jeep. From the ground I could see that my neighbour had added a bike rack to his jeep and my face had hit the tire directly between two large metal spikes.

What are you the most proud of? I’m proud to be making a living doing what I love to do.

The biggest mistake you’ve ever made? Doing $5,000 worth of design work on good faith for an American client referred to me by a friend. The client eventually fled the States on multiple charges of fraud (unrelated to my dealings with them).

The relatively normal piece of clothing that you believe you’d look the most ridiculous in? I tried on a fake earring and I looked like a pirate.

The talent that you wish you possessed? I wish I had a photographic memory.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions? Hannah Georgas – The Deep End.

What is the game that you’re best at? Cribbage.

If you had a motto, what would it be? It’s not what you know, and it’s not even who you know. It’s what you do and how you do it.

Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? Being the last Pecha Kucha speaker of the night.

The first album that made you love music? Dance Mix ’93 cassette.

The song that you could listen to on repeat for an hour? Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack.

What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? We need more Italian restaurants, a train that runs all night, and a casual beer on a picnic blanket should be legal.


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