Tell us something about yourself and how did you get started making awesome work?
Hi! my name is Mako, and I’m from the states, specifically Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up I was always fascinated by comic books; spending countless hours pouring over the art, savoring each line and stroke. Sam Keith, Todd McFarlane, Dale Keown, Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Jim Lee… the list goes on and on. Drawing was an obsession for me, and the weird, monster infested world that these artists created was my inspiration. In college I pursued a major in fine arts, but changed course halfway through to design, which took me into the world of advertising. Later on, I picked up a camera and found that I enjoyed capturing the world around me, and with it, I could bring some of the magic and mystery back into the world I love so much as a child.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from all over; thrift stores, books, movies, open spaces, the coast, clouds, Stanley Kubrick, Portland, John Carpenter, the golden hour, the way that reflections create an unreachable reality, things that are orange, and the ocean. But not necessarily in that order.
What tools/techniques do you use and why do you use them?
I usually start with an idea that I begin sketching out, storyboarding each frame from the shoot and figuring out lighting. Next, I start roughing out my shots, location scouting, and getting together wardrobe and props. Then on the day of the shoot, everything changes and half the shoot is improvised, which is all the fun! My canon 5d mark II is my go to camera, although I recently picked up the rx100 and totally fell in love with it. I just got a waterproof housing for it, which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
Tell us something about your latest project?
My latest project was The Heist Part I: The Cook, which was the first part of a two-part series exploring . It was the most planned out shoot I have done so far, and the most fun. Cruising around in a gold 1972 Cadillac was definitely one of the highlights of the day. It was a bit sketchy since we shot with real guns on a busy street in a small town in Washougal Washington but thankfully there was no hassling by the cops that day. I plan on shooting the second half this summer.
Where do you want to be in the next five years?
I’d love to be doing the same, but producing work on a more consistent basis and on a larger scale. I’d also like to delve into video and shoot a short movie that has been rattling around my head the last few years.
Any cool upcoming projects?
I’m planning on shooting the second half of the Heist series as well as developing a new character and taking him on a bunch of adventures this summer, which will involve fire / explosions, motorcycles, and a shootout in the desert in Eastern Oregon.
What would you do if you didn’t do this kind of work?
Working at a breakfast joint (I love cooking and consuming eggs) or being a surf bum.
What advise can you give to people?
Whatever you want to do, do it now! Don’t wait. Go!
Check out work of Mako Miyamoto below:
Mako Miyamoto also got featured in our e-Mag issue 6 (and his work made the cover!), which you can download here.