What does “girly” mean? Illustrator Kazumi’s answer to this question is, “Wearing stylish and cute clothes.” She draws what she likes, and the girls in her illustrations are inlayed with her style and cuteness. We recently interviewed Kazumi, who pursues the image of such girly girls.
TOM Portfolio Page: http://otakumode.com/KAZUMI
TOM: How did you get into drawing?
KAZUMI: I liked drawing ever since I was a child, and I used to draw scribbles in my notebooks during class. Before long, I started playing games due to my younger brother’s influence, and I started to draw illustrations of the games I played. The first ones I drew were illustrations of the Final Fantasy series. It was a lot later when I decided to become an anime/game illustrator, and unlike most illustrators, I never went to an illustration-related technical school.
TOM: After that, how did you become a freelance illustrator?
KAZUMI: I got my chance when I was introduced to an artist position at a game company. My job was coloring, and during that time, I learned techniques for expressing 3D structures and for finishing up illustrations with Photoshop.
Once I learned how to draw illustrations, drawing became fun, and I wanted to become genuinely involved with illustrations. After quitting the company, I started actively drawing my very own illustrations in private. I opened a website and published my works there. From then on, I started to gradually get jobs as a freelancer.
TOM: Which process do you enjoy most when drawing?
KAZUMI: My favorite part is putting wrinkles and shadows on clothes.
TOM: Yes, the wrinkles and shadows on your dresses and kimonos are quite interesting on your illustrations posted on Tokyo Otaku Mode, too.
KAZUMI: Drawing clothes is very interesting. Besides drawing the wrinkles, I also enjoy arranging the color and the pattern of the clothes accordingly to the season.
TOM: Do you draw illustrations of long-haired girls?
KAZUMI: Now that you say that (laughs), I want to draw illustrations that have movement in them, like long hair swaying in the wind. Unlike those I do for a job, I can choose the angle freely for my hobby illustrations, so my habits tend to appear without me knowing.
TOM: I see. Are there any items in particular you like to draw?
KAZUMI: I like small things that I can draw to look cute, such as cakes, frills, and flowers. I enjoy drawing those. Recently, I had the chance to collaborate with the works of a friend who makes mobile straps of fake sweets. We released them together with my illustrations at an event.
TOM: When drawing illustrations, is there anything you are picky about?
KAZUMI: Nothing in particular. Since my motivation when drawing hobby illustrations is that I want to draw things I like, I don’t put limits on myself, I just draw what I like, as much as I like.
I watch music videos and movies and listen to music, and when I find something I like, ideas for my illustrations come up. Back when I liked the dark songs of visual-based bands, I made most of my illustrations in a dark style, different from my present style.
TOM: Is there something you want to draw in the future?
KAZUMI: I want to continue freely expressing the “liking” inside me. On the other hand, I also want to expand that “liking.” Sometimes I receive orders for illustrations I’ve never drawn before, but when I actually try to do them, I find that it’s fun, that I like it; there are a lot of new discoveries. I think there are still a lot of things I can’t express properly, so I want to actively challenge new things and expand my “liking.”
TOM: And lastly, a message to the readers of this article, please.
KAZUMI: When people say they like the things I like and draw or that they are cute, I’m both surprised and happy. If someone shares his or her impressions even in a few words, it makes me feel that there are people who can sympathize with my world view; it’s very encouraging to me. Thank you.
Check out our picture collection of the talented KAZUMI, 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!
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*This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.*