• Zushi is an independent brand established and based out of Colorado.
• Its mission is to share the lifestyle and the love of sushi through art and design; with the objective to inspire creativity and positivity through amazing designs and embrace individuality to build self confidence.
• Zushi encourages people to start believing in themselves in a world where anything is possible.
IN HIS WORDS
Kumi Xiong, the founder of Zushi, is a graphic designer/illustrator born and raised in Denver.
I have been interested in art and design my whole life. I got my BFA in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design. And I currently work as a freelance concept artist and graphic designer. I love to design anything that comes to mind but I mainly focus on characters, creatures and environments.
My inspiration for Zushi Monsters came while doing research about Japanese mythical creatures for my senior thesis. I came across a maki-zushi called the Kappa Roll; named after the Japanese mythical creature fond of cucumber called the Kappa. From this sushi (the merging of sushi and monster) came the idea of Zushi Monsters. Zushi is also the merging of my love for sushi and monsters (mainly kaiju and cryptids).
What I love about sushi is that it is meticulously prepared with the perfect balance of fish and rice to create a single bite-sized piece of art. The presentation is one thing, but other important details are the experiences and flavors when enjoying sushi.
Monsters, not the ones from horror movies, but more along the lines of kaiju and cryptids, are amazingly interesting with their unique origin and background stories. These monsters are also the fuel that drives my imagination when approaching an illustration or design.
“Stay Fresh. Be Different.” is Zushi’s motto. “Stay Fresh” means to always be reinventing yourself, creating something new, and evolving as a person.“Be Different” is to be extraordinary and be yourself.
Why is “zushi” spelled the way it is spelled? The correct spelling for sushi is zushi. The term sushi is used because it easier for Americans to pronounce.
By using zushi instead of sushi, I was also able to break away from all the sushi restaurants names. Zushi started out with plush dolls and vinyl toys.
Xiong hopes to eventually produce Zushi toys. Zushi now offers t-shirts, posters, stickers, and button pins. These products are the first of many. In the future, Xiong hopes to expand into apps, plush, and vinyl toys. And through these products, he wants to create an experience based around sushi and design.