A Picture's Value Isn't in How Long It Took to Make, but the Urge to Make It
Since I majored in graphic design in college, I wanted to work in an advertising company as a designer. But then I started to think what I really wanted was to draw. So I imitated the careers of my favorite illustrators and started out at a game company. Although, I was doing UI design and graphic design rather than illustration.
I used to be really bad at drawing, and that's not just me being modest. But by chance I made the acquaintance of You, Kei Mochizuki, and POKImari at an event, and the first time we went to dinner, I had this burning desire to be like them. I wanted to stand at their level. So I practiced constantly while I was working.
I was working 5 days a week, so I could only dedicate my mornings and nights on weekdays, and Saturdays to illustration. But I knew I'd never catch up to people who were drawing seven days a week at the same speed. So I kept drawing, trying to draw at least one second more than them, and sleep at least one second later. For a year, 365 days, 24 hours, all I thought of was drawing. I told myself I had to keep looking ahead, keep looking up.
I thought that the general flow of drawing, the lineart, adding layers, coloring, adding shadows and effects and finishing it, was my specialty, something I was good at. I thought it's what everyone would praise me for. But at some point I was super done with that process (haha), so I just merged all the layers and drew that way. That illustration is the exhibit called "Jannu oruta."
I tried drawing one like an oil painting, and I'm not sure what clicked, but it was just easy to draw and fun. As a piece of art there are plenty of places that are still rough around the edges, but I uploaded it anyway. And it got a really great response, so I started to realize rough was all right. At that moment the gears started turning, and my way of thinking was reset. Pictures aren't about time, they're about impulses.
I'm the type of person who just makes things worse the more time they spend on it. When I'm taking a lot of time, my gears probably aren't spinning as they should, and I'm not getting into the picture. I've got to be drawing before I even realize I'm drawing. You often hear about creators who wait for inspiration to come—I'm one of them.
This Exhibit IS LAM
I want to go into genres I haven't yet. Anime, games, figures, etc. And clothing, too.
I think my exhibition was about 100 times more annoying than other artists' for everyone involved, but I could tell that the staff was being so helpful because they felt it was worth doing. Everyone worked together to make this a great exhibition, so the first thing I felt was a sense of gratitude and achievement.
I was worried about whether I should do this or not right up until the end (due to current events). However, the gallery said they would be very careful with their safety measures, so we were able to set up the space.
The autograph session ended up being canceled, but many people came, and there were a lot of people who posted photos for those who couldn't.
Seeing the reaction, I felt I'd accomplished exactly what I wanted to.
That's right. I wanted this exhibition to be a space for "Eyes and Thunderbolt," not just a box with pictures. I wanted there to be meaning in coming to see it. When making doujinshi in a time where you can see lots of illustrations for free, people who make the effort to come to a venue, take an expensive book in their hands, and pay to purchase it are really incredible. So I wanted the book to have value. And at the same time, I wanted to offer an exciting experience. I hope everyone can truly get the most out of viewing these illustrations when they come here.
Thank you for your time!