Hiroshi Yoshii’s Cute (and OCD) Character Designs

Hiroshi Yoshii TDW 1940

Hiroshi Yoshii is a Tokyo-based character designer and digital illustrator. Since 1999, he has created an original creature every single day. Yoshii calls his project, The Daily Work, and in addition to it being quite an adorable triumph, it’s also thriving example of OCD art.

Hiroshi Yoshii TDW 1997

Yoshii was interviewed in 2009 for the creativity blog, Seeds and Fruit. He explains his drive to create:

“I have a few thousand ideas stocked up. When I am doing my sketching, the characters seem to call out to me “Make ME!” So when that happens, I put them into my list of pieces to make next.”

This is similar to my writing process. When I stumble across something interesting, it almost demands to be written about. If time permits, I attack it with immediacy. More likely, it goes into my 300-strong digital pile of drafts.

Hiroshi Yoshii TDW 2158

One reason Yoshii is able to be so prolific is because he doesn’t involve story in his character design:

“I am only interested in the form and the colors used for the character. Once that is done, I really have no interest in the name, gender, personality, etc., of the character. Those aspects are really up to the viewer or the client.”

If you don’t fall in love with one of his characters immediately, move onto the next one. Like many art multiples and small toy art, I tend to think Yoshii’s characters are best enjoyed en masse.

Hiroshi Yoshii TDW 1909

Look at this cute anthropomorphic broccoli! Do you, too, like your broccoli with human traits? Please see also: Paul Shih, Shing Yin Khor, FrankenFactory and Lucas Savelli!

Hiroshi Yoshii

Yoshii finds inspiration in colors, birds and “gooey animals like octopus, squid and jellyfish”.  (I see some Jim Woodring in there too!) As to the idea of making his digital characters into real collectible objects, Yoshii has released a limited number of his designs as physical sculptures. (Check availability overseas here and here.) But despite his apparent whimsy, the artist is practical:

“I want to create ‘casual sculpture’ toys. But over the years, I have not been able to sell the limited number of toys I have been able to produce. I still have a lot of interest in producing toys, but I realized it is more realistic to think about creating toys in the context of my character work that actually employs me.”

Wise words. Feed yourself first. Then make toys. In the meantime, we have his wonderful archives.

Hiroshi Yoshii

Click through for cute overload!