Creator Interview: Ohalu Ichiko

What is this girl thinking about? The drawings of this girl’s illustrator, Ohalu Ichiko, are more than merely cute. They arouse your imagination and make you wonder about what the subject is thinking, what she is looking at, and why she is there. Ichiko draws illustrations at work as a 2D designer and draws hobby illustrations after the work is over, sometimes drawing as many as 50 rough sketches a week. We interviewed this creator who pursues fascinating illustrations and continues to draw them to find out more about Ichiko’s inspiration and process.

Creator Introduction
Name: Ohalu Ichiko
Creator’s Portfolio Page: http://otakumode.com/Ohalu

TOM: Why did you start drawing illustrations?
Ichiko: When I was in middle school, I liked illustrations, but I didn’t draw them. I thought I needed to study arts in order to be able to draw illustrations, so in high school, I engaged in the creation of rough sketches and oil paintings, and pop art in university.

TOM: Why did you choose illustrating as your line of work?
Ichiko: Because I loved drawing illustrations. Actually, I’ve been playing tennis for quite a long time, but what I really didn’t want to lose in was illustrations.

It was the illustration manga Straw from Houden Eizo that made me like illustrations. It is a story about a girl intently climbing a radio tower, however, you don’t really know the setting until about the middle. It made me think about why that girl is climbing the tower (laughs). Illustrations that have a world to them and work your imagination are very interesting.

TOM: So you are thinking that you want to draw illustrations like that, too?
Ichiko: Yes. My work titled “Searching for Sounds” takes place in a world where goldfishes are evolving toward eating sound and harming people with it. The girl is preventing their evolution by collecting the sounds beforehand and giving them to the library for storing. The girl is also trying to remember her own name, looking for the sound her grandfather, also her godfather, calls her. I’d like to draw more illustrations with this world setting, although lately I’ve been practising illustrations that convey the charm of the character itself, so I’m not really making progress.

TOM: Illustrations that convey the charm of the character itself, what does that cover?
Ichiko: An illustration that makes you feel, “I want to make this my own,” when you see the character. For drawing such illustrations, I’m paying attention to drawing the details like facial expression and accessories. Color usage is also different. Pale colors make the character look less attractive, so I’m trying not to use them.

“Postman of the Sky” is my first illustration where I specifically aimed to convey the character’s charm. I made her skirt checkered and her stockings argyle. I drew details such as the goggles and boots in so that the viewer would know that she is a character who does postal delivery.

By the way, the idea for this work came to me on the toilet (laughs). I always squeeze my smartphone tightly in my left hand when I’m on the toilet because I’m often struck with ideas (laughs).

TOM: On the toilet (laughs). Are there other illustrations you want to draw?
Ichiko: I want to draw illustrations that have moe situations. For example, a shy girl whose face turns all red is cute, isn’t she? I think a girl who is a bit embarrassed because of something she was told is even cuter. I want to stimulate the people who look at my illustrations to have the same image, to feel what I feel.

TOM: I think your art style draws the attention of males. Are the majority of your fans male?
Ichiko: No, it’s not like that. Although my works are mainly directed at male viewers, I do have female fans. Actually, female fans make up almost 40%.

Among female otaku who like moe content, there are many who are concerned about the personality of characters and the bonds between characters. In other words, who is friends with whom. That’s why I’d also like to draw illustrations they can enjoy, too.

TOM: Lastly, a message to your fans, please.
Ichiko: If you press SUKI or comment on my illustrations, that gives me motivation. I’d be happy if you would continue to support me in the future. Thank you very much!

Check out our picture collection of the talented Ohalu Ichiko, and don’t forget to SUKI Ichiko’s creations and profile! Keep it here for even more interviews with some of the most prominent creators in the otaku world!

Creator’s Portfolio Page:
http://otakumode.com/Ohalu

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.

Searching for Sounds
Searching for Sounds
Maid-san
Maid-san
A Library Just for Me
A Library Just for Me
Sakura Miku
Sakura Miku
Postman of the Sky
Postman of the Sky
GUILTY CROWN
GUILTY CROWN
Only a Little
Only a Little
Creator Interview: Ohalu Ichiko 8

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