We recently visited Takako at the LCBA and sat down for a brief chat about work and life.
Takako Copeland is a Japanese illustrator and print maker based in London. She grew up in the Japanese countryside surrounded by nature which made her especially conscious of the changing seasons and inspires her to create with colour.
After completing a graphic design degree from Central Saint Martins, Takako began working as an illustrator building up images with layers of colour, drawing her towards Letterpress and Riso printing techniques.
The illustrations often focus on characters, domestic scenes and family life and she describes her style as vibrant, joyful and humorous. As a member at London Centre for Book Arts Takako can often be found at their studio, printing with a cylinder proof press or carving Lino block.
Where do you take inspiration for your illustrations?
My illustration works are often focused on characters and family life. The intimacy of small space living and mid century interiors are recurring themes too. I’m drawn to everyday domestic objects and am aware of how these familiar personal belongings actually give away so much about their owners.
Why do you choose to work in the format you do?
Being a printmaker I build images with layers of colours and I hand print, keeping each print run small. I'm conscious about what I produce, always trying, as much as I can, to be socially responsible and using resources carefully. Working in this way I can maintain control over what I produce and its impact on the environment. I also really enjoy printing. Carving lino blocks, mixing inks, all the way to cleaning the press at the end of the day. I’m fascinated by creating repeated patterns with small lino blocks and getting lost in the multiplying possibilities. When I’m not printing, I like to draw with ink and brush, quick simple lines and flat colours.
Whats unique and what do you like about working at the LCBA?
The London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio offering education programmes for the community and affordable access to resources for artists and designers. Its a community who share knowledge and skills to support each other which is very unique. I always feel safe and supported by other members. Also the equipment such as cylinder proofing presses, collections of wood types and all the other precious machines and tools have been collected and restored by the studio owners. Simon and Ira are so special.
What's the best part of your commute and what do you think you get from daily riding?
Riding through London Fields to pick up nice bread to share on the way, then cycling along the tree lined paths in Victoria Park to observe changing seasons. It's time without the usual distractions of daily life, so there is an opportunity to reflect and the chance to take in what surrounds us.
London Centre for Book Arts
56 Dace Road
London E3 2NQ
Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Filmed and edited by Mike Boffey
Direction and photography by Yu Fujiwara