Jeff Nishinaka and Tatiana Arocha for DFS Galleria
DFS, the world's leading luxury retailer catering to travelers, tapped B&A's Jeff Nishinaka and Tatiana Arocha to create a campaign for T Gallerias, the brand's new generation of department stores.
"The brief consisted of images of models and products Photoshopped with paper sculptures I made for past projects," said Nishinaka. "There was also a storyboard for a stop-action video ... and the concept was to represent parts of Asia and Hawaii using a white, dreamy, and surreal landscape."
After submitting rough sketches and a round of revisions, "I went on to draw clean blueprint like drawings to actual size of the paper sculpture," he recalled. "From there, I transferred the drawings to paper, then cut, cleaned, and shaped each piece, and glued them together. Building a paper sculpture is a step-by-step process where one step has to follow another in order and [you] can't skip around." Although he describes his method as "labor-intensive and time-consuming," Nishinaka uses basic tools: an X-Acto knife, tweezers, a pencil, a kneaded eraser, wood and acrylic dowels, a French curve, triangles, and "good old Elmer's Glue-All."
The finished print ads mark the first time Nishinaka has combined paper craft and people. Upon seeing the results, he was amazed by the chemistry between his sculptures and model Karen Elson. "I was happy beyond expectations!" he remarked. "The look of wonderment in Karen's eyes just worked."
For the video component, Nishinaka relied on Arocha; as he said, "I made it and [Tatiana] made it come alive!" She transformed six of his tableaux into animated pieces, adding her own sensibility.
"I started by using Jeff's sketches, before he had made anything physical, and imagined different scenes for each piece, sometimes combining them where I felt like I could make a narrative," Arocha explained. She aimed to make a series of vignettes that subtly mimicked nature during its calmest moments, providing a canvas for showcasing DFS' products. "Once these compositions were approved, I made some rough motion tests in After Effects. With these tests, I was able to give Jeff a more precise idea of what additional pieces and elements he would need to create in order to bring his paper world to life."
Following three days in the studio (and 700 photos snapped), Arocha began to edit; "the last part was to adjust the color correction so all levels and tonalities were similar or matched." It took one month to complete the short film. "It was the most interesting and fun experience I've ever had with another artist," she said. And both Arocha and Nishinaka mentioned how much they enjoyed working with the rest of the team.
Paper sculptor: Jeffrey Nishinaka
Director: Tatiana Arocha
Director of photography: David Griffiths
Producer: Gabrielle Lirot
Stop-motion animation: Taylor Jordan and Hayley Morris
Gaffer: Perry Styga
Compositing: Jose Luis Gonzalez
Rotoscoping: Owen Hammer
Agency: AR New York
Client: DFS GALLERIA
Chief creative director: Raul Martinez
Executive creative director: David Israel