The cute but dangerous pink grizzly is now over 20 years old
The Japanese character known as GLOOMY BEAR has been around for over 20 years, thrilling and stupefying fans with a mixture of pretty in pink cuteness and blood red brutal violence. Currently, GLOOMY BEAR is in a bit of a global revival as new products are available to devotees around the world and GLOOMY himself currently has his very own pop-up shop at the Laforet department store in Tokyo’s famed Harajuku neighborhood. It seemed like a good time to have a few words with MORI CHACK, the artist who gave birth to the world of GLOOMY BEAR.
TokyoScope: What do you remember about the original creation of GLOOMY BEAR? How did it happen? Where did the original inspiration for GLOOMY and (his keeper) PITY come from?
MORI CHACK: I always think that GLOOMY’s image is not really like that of a real bear. He looks more like a stuffed animal. If you were to encounter a real bear in the forest that looked like GLOOMY it would be scary, but at the same time because he looks like a stuffed animal you would also feel affection. I simply wanted to draw that contradiction. I also wanted to illustrate the difficult and grave responsibility a pure hearted boy would face in keeping a wild animal as a pet.
The 20 anniversary of GLOOMY BEAR occurred recently! What were your feelings like on this big occasion?
Mori Chack: GLOOMY really is all grown up now. At the time of his debut over 20 years ago, I never imagined he would be a character that would be loved by so many people for so long. I also did not think GLOOMY would disappear.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted to be a creator or make their own art?
Draw everything all the time in order to figure out what you really want to draw. Once you finally figure out what you want to draw, then draw that thing a lot more. At a minimum, you need to have a sense of not making a mistake.