I know Ray Masaki because we became friends while attending the illustration program at Parsons. Ray is more than a illustrator though, he is also a graphic designer, runs a clothing brand called Lowdtown, co-founded the online magazine Atlent and is one of the geniuses behind Emceez Ansari (a hilarious blog that places the face of one of my favorite comedians Aziz Ansari into classic hip-hop album covers). All kinds of good ideas seem to flow out of Ray, and he has the skills to execute them very well.
I was interested in photographing his sketchbooks because he is not your typical illustrator. In his notebooks we can see his devotion for typography and he just seems to have a lot of fun in his process.
I was so inspired by his calligraphy skills, that I asked him for tips and ended up inheriting all his copperplate guide books. I’ve been practicing, but i don’t think I’ll reach his level very soon!
I have always found Ray’s irreverent humor very refreshing and I like that it is always present in his work. He gets away with it because there is always charm involved. However, what I love the most about his sketchbooks is the level of confidence they exude: they are bold, clean and precise. I think we could all use a little bit of that mentality!