This summer the COPIC AWARD 2019 ceremony was held and the grand prize winners of this annual art contest were announced.
What was the inspiration behind this work of art? What kind of upbringing brings out this kind of artistic skill at such a young age? We sit down with grand prize winner Chihiro Yagyu and his father Nao to ask them all about his award-winning masterpiece, as well as his future art journey.
We got an email that let us know he'd been selected as one of the finalists, but we didn't hear anything about him winning the Future Generation Art Prize until his name was called at the award ceremony itself.
Perhaps it feels like this was just one checkpoint on his path as an artist. That's pretty admirable!
About the award-winning piece
I thought this contest would suit Chihiro, so I recommended it to him.
Were you perhaps inspired after a trip to the beach?
I feel like that's part of the fun of Chihiro's art; discovering everything he's managed to cram into one picture. At least, I'd be happy if his art were to be perceived that way!
His Copic markers were originally mine, but I gave them to him. I went to an art college, and I've been using Copics since I was a student. When Chihiro started to show an interest in art, I remembered how easy to use Copics were when I was a student, so I thought it might be a good idea for him to use them.
Do you ever find yourself unable to decide what color you want to use? Have you ever regretted your choice in colors?
Likewise, he normally doesn't decide on a concrete theme before he's started drawing. He simply throws himself into the picture, and it turns out how it turns out.
We did talk a little bit about what kind of picture he was going to draw beforehand, and decided that since the weather was so hot he wanted to draw something cool and refreshing. We often talk about his art together like that.
The best way to enforce an education is to not enforce anything at all
Artistically he doesn't do anything in particular - he's a completely self-taught artist.
He's never even seen my art before.
It certainly gives him motivation! I do believe he is truly enjoying himself.
He's been drawing since he was 3, but Copics dramatically changed his art style
Has he always been talented at art?
That said, I have no idea how his art managed to change from his old, black and white style to his current style.
But now when I look at his current art, I start to think that he might be a bit of an artistic genius.
I wanna draw art that makes people all over the world smile!
He has an Instagram, and when he was about 9-years-old, he received a message from someone who was terribly sick, but after they saw Chihiro's art they felt much better. He seemed really happy about that, and that became like his motivation to keep drawing.
My wife is a nurse, and she hangs up his art in hospital rooms, and passes on messages to us that his art has managed to make people feel better.
I wouldn't mind if we were to do something like that myself, but it all depends on Chihiro. The outcome of that situation was very positive; they were delighted with Chihiro. They actually became the first Japanese person to climb that particular area, and I feel like Chihiro's art gave them the power to do so.