T-1 WORLD CUP/English » The Defending Champion, Tom Vincent!




The Defending Champion, Tom Vincent!

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The champion of the first T-1 WORLD CUP last October, Tom Vincent makes his appearance in this year’s T-1!

The place to meet him was…. a zoo in Tokyo!
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The defending champion appears at last!

── Tom, thank you for joining this year’s T-1 WORLD CUP.
Tom Thank you. Last year was already a challenge, but this year, it was even harder.
── There’s a question we’d like to ask the designers who are joining T-1 for the second time.
Tom Yes?
── After last year’s T-1, everyone said that it was really challenging to design in a competition like this. However, everyone gladly said yes to our offer this year. Why compete again? You all should be really busy with your normal work.
Tom Well…I had a hard time creating my design last year, and I was the only foreigner too.
After lots of thinking, I decided to express my personal private world, very different from the designs I usually do. I ended up winning last year, and it simply made me happy.
When you called me last year to tell me that I won, I was shouting “Wow!” so loud that my daughter was asking me what’s wrong. (laugh)
── You were really surprised.
Tom Yes. I had a hard time deciding my design, and during the sales period, I was worried about what was going on. I had other jobs to do, but T-1 was always on my mind. The overall process was really exciting.
── We’re glad to hear that! How was it this year?
Tom Well, the concept, “the t-shirt of your country” was one challenge, and whether to go with the same taste as last year was another difficult question I had to answer.

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── And this is what you came up with. A rabbit and a ram on a fresh green t-shirt. This is a scene from your homeland, UK?
Tom I left UK when I was 19, so UK is a place where I spent my childhood. Where my family lives, people keep rams and rabbits in their farms. Every morning, there are rabbits jumping around, but a few hours later, all the rabbits are gone, and only a ram is left.
── How peaceful.
Tom Rabbits often appear in picture books or folk tales, but it’s only the people living in the city that thinks they’re cute. For the farmers, the rabbits are a trouble to them, because they munch all the vegetables they grow. They are a bit mysterious in a way, with their long ears.
── That’s true.
Tom Look at Bugs Bunny. He’s a bit funny and weird, not just cute. I wanted to express a rabbit to be something else than “cute”.
── Is that the reason why you chose these colors for the rabbit?
Tom Yes. And rams, they hardly appear in stories, but they have this attitude full of frustration. Maybe that’s the reason why they don’t appear in stories. I thought the mix of those two would be interesting.
── How’s your blog “usagidesu.yoroshiku.” coming along?
Tom I thought if it were for one month during T-1, I could do this blog. Actually, it turned out to be something I enjoy most.
── Is it easy to write the blog?
Tom It takes me around 30 minutes a day.
── That’s pretty fast! Is it like where authors of cartoons or novels say that the characters start to act in their own way?
Tom Oh, definitely something like that! I just give the stage to the usagi, and usagi goes about in his own way.
── Really?
Tom It’s different from a story for children, where there’s a lesson to it. It’s more for adults, for them to read and have a chuckle.
── Is it difficult to take the pictures for the blog? It seems like it’s taken in unique situations…
Tom Yes, taking the photographs is much difficult. I feel like I’m trying to take pictures all day, between my work. The usagi, he’s not good with numbers. He doesn’t understand the fundamentals of time or units. Oh, by the way, did you read about the “usagi tunnel” under Tokyo Tower? He’s friends with many people, satoimo, Hello Bachan, and “unagi”. “Unagi” is his friend too.
(and on and on Tom talks about usagi. If you want to know more, check out the blog of the usagi!)

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Defending champion just can’t resist taking a photo of rabbits.

Tom Um… am I becoming a rabbit nerd?
── Er… I don’t think so, not yet, I guess… Well, it means that you’re just crazy about usagi, right?
Tom Yes, it’s just so much fun to be with usagi everyday!
── You like him that much…
Tom Am I becoming a bit nerdy? Well, the usagi came out from my idea for the T-1, but now the T-1 t-shirt is like one of the usagi goods.
── So do you have confidence in winning this year?
Tom No, not at all.

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── Can you tell us which t-shirt you would like to buy?
Tom That’s a hard question!
── It could be your own, you know.
Tom Well, I’ll keep mine out of the question. Hmm… “LION HA-NETEIRU” by Tsuguya Inoue. The one with “anima-land” on the front!
── What do you like about this t-shirt?
Tom The illustration on it is great. The lion has so many legs. And the tame, it looks like bricks, and you can’t tell if it’s heavy, but it looks like it’s waving in the wind. And the tail turns out to be a snake! And the pup following the lion is crying for some reason. It’s all just so strange and interesting!
── It’s an animal motif t-shirt, just like yours. And the title of the t-shirt both happens to be a sentence!
Tom Animals, and things of nature are great.
── Which else do you like?
Tom Taku came up something totally different from last time! What does this number stand for?
── We can’t tell you!
Tom No? It’s a cool t-shirt.
── By the way, Taku told us that he thinks that you will win again next year.
Tom Really? Wow. The “Fighting Club” is also a nice t-shirt.
── Which t-shirt do you think will win?
Tom This one, Inoue’s “LION HA-NETEIRU”.
── Thank you! Last question. Why did you want to meet at the zoo today?
Tom I wanted usagi to meet real rabbits.
── Usagi! Again!

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This is probably the shot of the day, “usagi meets rabbit”.
Tom thank you for your precious time!

We hope to read usagi’s blog even after T-1 is over!

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We received a cute animation from Tom a few days later.
Enjoy!

The voices are done by Tom’s family.
The ram, Tom.
The boom sound by his son.
“Usagidesu”, done by his daughter.
And the introduction sound is a deformed audio of a commentator for the FIFA World Cup!

2006/7/8