Illustration We Love: Taro Oono

Lion gif by Taro Oono

Hi friends! Here’s a nice quick interview with Taro Oono, who has one of our favourite Twitter accounts of all time. He is an illustrator and animator from Tokyo and he creates hilarious GIFGAMES and animations. We’ve featured our favourite GIFGAMES here – just click on them to start and then pause the action! Find out about your afterlife, what you hair will look like in the morning and much much more!

We had to use Google Translate to conduct the interview so we have included the answers in Japanese too. If there are any translators out there who spot any terrible mistakes, get in touch!

1. Tell us about yourself

My name is Taro Oono. Taro is the first name and Oono is the last name. I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid and currently enjoy making GIFGAMES. I like to draw and invent original mascot characters. One of my recent projects was to draw 100 people I met as mascot characters which I completed in a week. I am an illustrator and gif animation is my main focus.

私の名前はTARO OONO。taroがファーストネーム、oonoが苗字です。子供の頃から絵を描くのが大好きで、最近ではGIFGAME作りを楽しんでいます。オリジナルのマスコットキャラクターを考えて描くのが好きで出会った100人の人をマスコットキャラクターにするというイベントを一週間のうちにやり遂げました。

2. How do you make your work?

I create a lot of work every day. Recently, I have been working in a digital environment but I want to make more hand drawn works. The method of making GIFGAME is mainly painting with Adobe Photoshop and finishing it with Aftereffects. Sometimes I just use Photoshop.



3. What’s your favourite music?

I often listen to Japanese popular music. I have many favourite musicians.

Among them, the musicians that I have been listening to since I was a teenager: GLAY・ Keigo Iwase・ Boøwy
Recently I like listening to Fujiwara Sakura and I often see her play live.
Others: Southern All Stars・ Spitz・ JUDY AND MARY・ Ikimonogakari・ The Yellow Monkey・Joe Hisaishi・Seiko Matsuda・Green Leaves
There are many wonderful musicians in Japan! It’s going to be long, so this time we’ll stop here! I like 80s and 90s music in the year I was born.
Outside of Japan: The Beach Boys!・ The Beatles!

日本の大衆音楽をよく聴きます。 好きな音楽家は沢山います。 その中でも10代の時から影響を受けて、 ずっと僕が聴き続けているmusicianは ・GLAY ・keigo iwase ・boowy
最近ではsakura fujiwaraさんが好きでよくライブに行きます。
その他にも ・サザンオールスターズ ・スピッツ ・JUDY AND MARY ・いきものがかり ・The イエローモンキー ・久石譲 ・松田聖子 ・はっぱ隊…
日本にはとてもすばらしいmusicianが沢山います! 長くなりそうなので今回はここらへんで止めときますね! 僕が生まれた年、80~90s音楽が好きです。
日本以外だと・the Beach Boys!・The Beatles!

Taro Oono

4. What are your favourite films?

There are many favourite works here too, so it is difficult to limit them… These are movies that I watched as a child and still have a great influence on my work: Dragon Ball movie series・ Star Wars・ Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth (Doraemon no Theatrical Series)・ Crayon Shin-chan: Great Adventure in Henderland・ Akira・ Aladdin (Disney)・ Miyazaki Hayao’s work (Studio Ghibli): Laputa, My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle!

こちらも好きな作品はたくさんあるので限定するのが難しいのですが… 子供の頃に観て、今でも僕の作品に大きな影響を与えているのはこの映画です。 ・Dragon ball movie シリーズ ・star wars ・ドラえもんのび太のブリキのラビリンスDoraemon:Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth(ドラえもんの劇場版シリーズ) ・クレヨンしんちゃんの映画Crayon Shin-chan Great Adventure in Henderland ・AKIRA ・アラジン(Disney) ・宮崎駿作品(スタジオジブリ)天空の城ラピュタ、トトロ、千と千尋の神隠し、ハウルの動く城!

5. What is your typical day like?

It varies from day to day, but roughly speaking: wake up around 7am and make GIFGAME until around 9am. Eat lunch around 12:00, start work around 1pm. I pick up my child at nursery school around 5pm, then have dinner and then work until about 9pm. On holidays, I go out to the park with my child and spend time with my family.

日によって様々ですが大まかに言うと 朝7時ごろに目覚め、9時頃からGIFGAMEを作り 12時頃にお昼ご飯を食べて、午後1時頃から仕事をはじめて、 午後5時頃に子供を保育園に迎えに行き、そのあとは夕食などを済ませて、 また9時頃から日付が変わる頃くらいまで創作をします。 休日は子供と一緒に公園に出かけたり、家族と時間を過ごします。

6. Tell us what your dream project would be 

I want to show my work to many people around the world. What I want to do in the near future is a “GIFGAME Exhibition”. I think it would be really fun to have lots of people gathered playing the GIFGAMES that I have made together in one venue.

作品を世界の多くの人へ届けて行きたいです。 一番近い未来でやりたいことは「GIFGAME 展」です。 これまで作ってきたGIFゲームを会場で遊んで色んな人が集まって 遊べたら楽しいと思います。

7. Who are your favourite artists?

Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragonball), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), Fujiko Ffujio (Doraemon), Hayao Miyazaki (a founder of Studio Ghibli), Tetsuhiro Koshita (creator of Bakusō Kyōdai Let’s & Go!!), TAKURO (GLAY)

Fly gif by Taro Oono

Thanks very much to Taro for taking the time to answer our questions! You can see much more of his excellent work on his website at Be sure to follow him on Twitter and play all of his amazing GIFGAMES!

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