This time, we interviewed Sshigaraki, an illustrator who leaves a strong impression on viewers with her fantastic illustrations.
Creator's Portfolio Page: http://otakumode.com/sshigaraki/posts
TOM: Why did you you start drawing pictures?
sshigaraki: People often ask, “How did you become an illustrator?” or, “Why did you start drawing pictures?” but I don’t think I have some specific reason for it. It’s more like, I’ve been drawing freely into sketchbooks ever since kindergarten, and I just continued drawing pictures.
TOM: Even after kindergarten, you have been drawing all along?
sshigaraki: Yes. However, I didn’t enter the illustration club in elementary nor in middle school. At that time, we only drew illustrations with friends and exchanged them. I kept on drawing illustrations even after advancing to high school.
TOM: Is there anything you fixate on when creating illustrations?
sshigaraki: Maybe drawing in one layer. I like to have the freedom to correct it later. Maybe I don’t really have the concept of line drawing inside me. For some reason, I’m not used to the orthodox method, where you decide right from the start that “I will draw an illustration like this!” and then neatly do the line drawing and pile layers on each other...(laughs). To me, it’s easier to layer the colors later, like in oil paintings.
I create digital illustrations using SAI, and I want to better my skills in anime coloring in the future.
TOM: Which work of yours took the longest time?
sshigaraki: It’s “Green Crescent Moon” (the picture on top). I made it with a little Japanese taste and with Okami 1 in mind. I prefer not to arbitrarily decide on the lines and the composition; I draw my works listening to user reactions on Nico Nico Douga 2.
TOM: Listening to the users’ reactions?
sshigaraki: Yes. I do live relaying through Nico Nico Douga’s live service called “Nico Nico Live Broadcast.” I relay the whole creation process live. When I am torn, such as whether to use gold or silver, I use the user comments on the Internet as hints.
I shared my works on various pages, and even if not much, I came to care about other people’s evaluations besides my own feelings of satisfaction. But what I want is to enhance my skills even more through drawing lots of illustrations without caring too much about those evaluations. I would be grateful though if I could get higher assessments in the process of drawing a great number of works.
TOM: Which is your favorite piece of work?
sshigaraki: The “Azure Princess.” Sometimes I use it as my profile picture. I made up my mind to “draw something I like,” and I drew it carefreely in the way I wanted. The impression is a lot different from the sketch, because I made various improvements during the creation process.
TOM: Looking within yourself, what is challenging to you?
sshigaraki: Becoming able to draw what I want to draw. Part of that is a question of skill. When drawing a kind of background requires a certain skill, I don’t learn that skill. The bottom line is that I lack experience and studying.
Another part is the question of mood. When I draw illustrations as work requested from clients, it always comes out in a taste different from what I draw as a hobby. Sometimes the clients tell me, “The style is different from your usual.” I want to be able to express my feelings in my drawings, no matter what the circumstances, as a pro illustrator.
TOM: Please tell us your plans for the future.
sshigaraki: At any rate, I want to become better at drawing illustrations! I am working hard to become a famous illustrator who makes people think, “Oh, I know that person!” so keep an eye on me!
Check out our picture collection of the talented Sshigaraki, and don’t forget to SUKI her! Keep it here for even more interviews with some of the most prominent creators in the otaku world!
^1^ A PS2 adventure game that was released on April 20, 2006 in Japan by Capcom.
^2^ A video sharing service famous in Japan.
Creator's Portfolio Page:
This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.