Naoto Hinai / Nuts Artworks - Artride artist 2016

We created Wheels and Waves to pursue our dreams even the craziest ones.

When it all began 6 years ago, we set up a small exhibition in a local store with the help of a close friends. We were less than one hundred, still the street seemed packed. We didn't have any budget but thanks to the volunteers and faith, we had a great time all together.

A few years later, Artride has become an annual exhibition requiring a whole crew working non-stop nights and days in order to produce the best we can do. But dreams are still alive. Travels are always a source of inspiration for us, and a way to discover the next artists we are planning to feature.

Last year, while visiting Tokyo with Jérôme, we had a blast when we discovered Nuts Artwork. Some months later, we asked Nuts to imagine a poster and a new logo for W&W's 2015 issue. Last December we flew back to Tokyo and beyond asking Nuts to produce the new poster, we offered him to feature his work during our event.

We love craftsmanship not for trendy reasons but because this has been our job for decades. We like the idea to explore countries in seeking for the best craftmen and artists in order to reveal them to you.

For the first time in Europe, we will be pleased to host Naoto Hinai in a new venue which will be soon unveiled.vp

...I am often asked about my background of being a sign painter and also a trigger of being one but honestly, it is not obvious when i have begun to strongly conscious as it was too natural until today that i name myself as a sign painter. Looking back the days, i became crazy about American fashion and lifestyle, music and 50's culture in my junior high school life by spending time at the second hand store located in my hometown. At the same time, I remember that i longed strongly of Tokyo and at the age of 17, I used up all the cash i earned from my side job and a pocket money i got from my parents for my first time to play in Tokyo. The culture shock was almost horrifying. I was able to find all the vintage item that i longed for. Till then I was able to see replica or original books, everything was there and it was just like flipping over a treasure box. I still remember that i made my decision very tight that I will come to Tokyo after graduating high School. I never thought about what I want to be or what I need to be, just simply start to work at a second hand shop. I spent most of my free time going around the other second hand shops and everyday was full of curiosity. The life went on for few years and then desired to drive an American car that made me to purchase a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air at the age of 25. Owning this vehicle leads me to do customs and I got completely lost in a Hot Rod culture.
After some time has passed, I found my interest not in actual vehicle but in lettering and pin stripe design.There were no internet sources in those days, so I read many western books and started to draw on a car and furniture and following an example that eventually ended to get an order from friends and acquaintances. In those days there were very few painters that luckily my artwork was spread by word of mouth and focused in magazines and a painting which should have been my hobby became a job little by little.

In 2004, I was able to set up my own atelier with a great help from my mates and it was also the time my interest in drawing letters were shifting from cars to signboards. In the early times, most of the orders were from my friends so we gave out ideas together and created a lot of experimental signboards which became the period that huge numbers of signboards were made for both personal and work. It is very natural that people with same sensitivity comes around in the same favorite spots and gatherings and hearsay brought business requests constantly that i was naturally able to build now days style by pursuing what I like. Recently classic designs and analog styles are praised as my work but in actuality, hand drown signboards were the mainstream everywhere until 70 years ago. It is not a special thing as there should be a same number of signboards for the number of business and shops. In 1930s breaking into the mass production ages, analog has moved to digital and hand crafted moved to automation and still the same today. I had a certainty that as this movement continues, analog hand craft will be treasured. Even under an era of thinking the cost and speed as priority, there are always people who understand the good of hand craft. Things made human's hand with no regret is very valuable and as bumping into people with same sensitivity surely kept me continue my way of style till today.

 I call myself a sign painter. I don't call myself an artist over work. On the other hand, I don't have a technical knowledge like the contemporary sign makers who use cutting sheets, so i had a period of time "something" was not fitting right to be called as a sign painter but a message left by a photographer Edward Steichen "There never has been a period when the best thing we had was not commercial art" I met a light or I say that i felt as if a load has been taken of my shoulders and i was able to break through my "something". Ever since then, i started to like the meaning of a word called " Commercial Art". Anyways, i really like writing letters and find it interesting. Signboard is to be read bu letters, introduced about the trade and should be a connection to pull in the customers. Calling myself as a signpainter with dignity, I always have one thing in mind over work. When I take order, I want to return in 150% prior to clients requests by think deeply of their thoughts, figure and finish.

To pursue technical improvement and knowledge is always important but to feel what the client intend and make it form it is simply as that. My work is made up by client. However, mainly the signboards made for personal purposes are introduced in this collection of works. They have a different approach from "order work" The most important is to form what I want to draw at the moment. The reason is most of my art pieces are fictional signboards born from imagination. Even they are fictional, I imagine the client and dedicate to do a craftsmanship considered with its character and a historical background therefore I do get many ints and take references from old materials and antiques though one thing that I'am always aware of that is a part in finished design that cannot be destroyed what so ever and it is important to enjoy the production in a blank by protecting the part mentioned earlier. Although, imagination is free, so drawing up what I have in my interest is very pleasant. Normally, they are laid in my house or atelier and hardly make any appearance.

I look very forward to a new encounter

Naoto Hinai - Nuts

Excerpts from the book  "Sign painters and Travellers have leave to lie" 2014 out of stock

Nuts Artworks Studio from Aze julien on Vimeo.