Collaboration Update #6


Music by Hitoshi:

This project gave me so much energy to put into my work, and it all comes from the team. So inspiring, so passionate about their art. Thank you to the Yume group, for creating this opportunity to learn and grow from this experience.

Hitoshi has made so many demo tracks in a short time, and they all had potential to make it into the final movie. We had some cool ideas that didn’t quite fit the story here, but we might use some of them in a future project together.

Still from Will's Video with the title, "Yume."


Digital vs real life 

Throughout this project, there were some synchronicities happened. One day I asked Will if he can draw a sunrise mountain image for our last piece. After a short while, he sent me an image of it. When I saw it, I had to astonish. It looked just like the mountain in my hometown in Japan.  

For this project, we both mainly used digital platforms. For the means of communication, we used zoom and social media. We sent tons of data back and forth using Dropbox. Without digital technologies, it would have been really difficult to carry things out to create our pieces. Although we both cherished some sort of real feelings and tried to infuse them to our pieces. In order to do that, we had to connect beyond the digital relationship. I wonder if we were able to do that? Not sure but every time we had those synchronicities, I couldn’t help feeling something.  

My brother F – Photo  

Will Shintani – Art Image 

One day Hitoshi asked Will if he could draw a sunrise mountain image for their last piece. After a short while, Will sent Hitoshi an image of it. When Hitoshi saw it, he had to astonish. It looked just like the mountain in Hitoshi's hometown in Japan.  
A photograph sent from Hitoshi's brother of the mountain in his hometown in Japan

Collaboration Update #5


Will's illustration of three purple and horned demons

As the details of our final submission begin to fill in, I take a moment to reflect on this project. I think everyone’s having a good experience, and it shows in the submissions that we’ve seen so far. Hitoshi has been a huge inspiration and motivation for me to push myself as an artist and keep things interesting. I even recorded a short vocal for him to tune up in one of the tracks we are thinking to include in the final submission.

i have given a lot of thought to my family’s beginnings in canada, and where we are now. The next generation, my son, is only now starting his journey. but i think about the society he will grow up in, and how much to expose him to, and when, on a daily basis… it’s intimidating and exciting at the same time.

Anyways, here is a teaser of a short sequence I put together for our final submission, using one of Hitoshi’s demo tracks


Bamboo forest 

For our final piece, I asked Will if he could create a bamboo forest. While he said he’d never seen one in person, what he drew looked just like the small grove of bamboo beside my parents’ house. I remember it being dense, dark and spooky. The squeaky sound of bamboo hitting each other gave me goosebumps but it was also relaxing. In our video, the sound of taiko and shinobue are coming through the forest along with the wind. 

Visual Art – Will Shintani 

Music – Hitoshi Sugiyama 

Collaboration Update #4


-20 in the backyard. Snow sprinkled on bamboo. Quickly snapped black and white photo of an ink drawing which has been slightly smudged
-20 in the backyard. Snow sprinkled on bamboo. Quickly snapped photo. Smudge. Permanent. 

Bamboo: food, home, music, youth, strength, bending, elegance, simplicity. Bamboo is and always has been a significant part of me. This week’s submission is a calligraphy ink drawing of bamboo using techniques I learned from my uncle and whose bamboo art hangs above my workspace. My piece was inspired by Will’s stickers that pushed me to consider who I am within Canada as a Japanese man and what I can contribute to our project. 

Who am I? Like bamboo, I want to bend rather than break. I grow and change quickly when the conditions are just right and slow down and wait when they aren’t.  

(Many thanks to my wife for capturing my ideas in words.) 

Hitoshi Sugiyama – Photos 

Will Shintani – Sticker Design 

black and white bamboo photo in the background in the foreground, Will Shintani's Artist logo/name sticker


still from Will's animated video of a bunch of crazed people walking in a group against a purple background and grey ground.

We talked about the cyclical nature of life. a lot of thinking this past week. I wanted to try something that was different from my usual creative instincts.

I made a new video, was just playing around with animation. Never tried it, so I just looked up a reference for frame by frame walking animation. it’s pretty straightforward, so I tried to have fun within the animation in each individual frame.

It’s a very sloppy drawing but you can see the point of it, i think. I mean, it’s just a guy walking, haha.

I added a track that Hitoshi made a few years back. I wanted to sync the beat with the steps, and this was the perfect pace. I found it on his youtube channel:

Collaboration Update #3


After I managed to get my tech back up and running, I went back to some time-lapse screen recordings. After seeing what Hitoshi is able to do with a little editing and using his music, it seems like this is going to be the direction we continue in.

Things are developing into more concrete themes. Hitoshi sent me a demo sound. It suits the mood I am in, as i think about recent world events. this track seems to express a wide range of emotions, and makes me think of a storm coming in… and eventually clearing.

I guess I was thinking about peace being restored.

Will's finished computer generated drawing of the calm seashore.
makes me think of a storm coming in… and eventually clearing.
I guess I was thinking about peace being restored


We’ve been doing this tossing idea back and forth exercise on a daily basis, Will’s response to my pieces of music has always been amazing. I use Soundcloud (online audio distribution platform) as my playground/showcase and whenever I create music, I upload it as demo then Will can listen to it too.

Once Will finishes his drawing and making time-lapse visuals based off of my demo, he sends it to me and I make a movie with my music. Making a movie and lining up music and visuals are quite fun. First, I created a couple of movies putting carefully edited visuals alongside music but also, I tried to improvise music along the visuals. This short movies shows my impromptu finger drum along Will’s time-lapse sketch. Enjoy it!

Collaboration Update #2


Hitoshi has been uploading new music, so I listen whenever I log on… his music provides the
soundscapes for my imagination to roam freely. Here’s a sample:

music credit:Hitoshi Sugiyama

I put the music from here to this timelapse sketch that I recorded.

Audio Art: Hitoshi Sugiyama Visual Art: Will Shintani

The drawing itself is inspired by Hitoshi’s Gozu Mezu name. These Oni characters are seen here guarding the gates of hell.

Drawing of Gozu and Mezu, guarding the gates of hell
Will Shintani “Gates of Hell”


I edited Will’s time-lapse movie to synchronize with music. It was difficult and time consuming but once I got some tips, I started to enjoy editing the video!

Audio Art: Hitoshi Sugiyama. Visual Art: Will Shintani

Collaboration Update #1


Since Will and me started our collab, we have been doing call and answer on a daily basis. I was inspired by one of his drawings which is a drawing of cyborg then I got this software that can create robotic voice…I was trying all kinds of voice patterns and it’s purely fun! It can even change the voice of Elmo from my son’s toy phone!


Listening to a sample track (🔥🔥🔥) that Hitoshi (Gozu Mezu) sent me earlier today. We have both sent a few sample pieces of our respective works back and forth. We’ve both used each other’s pieces as inspiration to create a something new. The track I am listening to draws inspiration from a cyborg digital drawing that I sent him. His music resonates with me, and we have very similar overlapping ideas. We have a good plan that is starting to take shape. The story that we are creating together is going to be very interesting, I think. Stay tuned…

Digital art photographed by Will Shintani