Tetsunori Tawaraya Collaborates With Volcom On Capsule Collection
It all started on a Volcom design field trip to Tokyo in August 2015. Random explorations led the crew to a vintage boutique called Birth Death, where one of our designers came across a killer ‘zine. Unfortunately, that particular one wasn’t for sale. But its raw, original style made an impression, so upon returning to Costa Mesa, the crew found the ‘zine online and bought a copy. As it turned out, the mysterious figure behind this intriguing piece of handmade printed matter was artist and musician Tetsunori Tawaraya. With a bit of research, the design team tracked him down, connected, and started working out plans for a collaboration.
While hailing from Japan, Tetsunori has roots in Southern California, having lived in San Diego in the late 90’s and early 00’s, a move he made following the life changing experience of seeing The Locust live on their first Japanese tour. It was while living in San Diego that Tetsunori began drawing people’s portraits on the streets and playing in the bands Dmonstrations and 2UP, which naturally led him down the path of punk flyers that he made to promote his and other local bands shows in San Diego.
During that time in San Diego Tetsunori continued drawing comics, his first love since growing up in Japan, setting up shop at punk shows to sell his handcrafted handbound Xerox’d comics ‘zines – many of which were reprinted and made available again in 2015 in a 400 page tomb entitled Tetsupendium Tawarapedia. The book is unfortunately sold out, but Tetsunori still continues to make his comic ‘zines, and was kind enough to make 60 limited edition ‘zines that are available as a free gift with the purchase of any piece from the Tetsunori capsule collection on volcom.com (enter the code TETSUNORI at checkout).
Now back living in Japan and still playing in 2UP as well as a new project called Hangaku, Tetsunori continues drawing comics, flyers and the occasional album art commission (see Thee Oh Sees’ 2015 release Mutilator Defeated At Last) and lately has been bringing his 2d creations into the 3d world with series of dolls.
In March of 2016, on their next trip to Japan, the Volcom design team was finally able to meet Tetsunori in person. Check out his scene, his studio. He showed them the Volcom X Tetsunori artwork in progress and then they all went out for a night of live music in Shinjuku. After the artwork was completed and the details of the capsule collection were sorted, the design team took one more trip to Tokyo, this time to hand deliver samples of the finished product to Testunori. He was stoked. And we are, too. This stuff kills. Shop it here.
Win a limited-edition Tetsunori screen print and limited-edition zine. Both hand drawn by Tetsunori. Plus $250 to spend on volcom.com!