Interview by Ichibo Harada @HEW
The girls drawn by illustrator Gaou are cute enough to make anyone fall in love with them, but at the same time, they also feel somewhat approachable. Gaou has illustrated a good number of games and light novels and has also designed popular VTubers such as Hourei Tenten, Minato Aqua, and Mochizuki Himari.
We asked Gaou, who continues to be at the forefront of the illustration world, about his approach to drawing beautiful girls.
I wanted to become a shonen manga artist
── Why did you become an illustrator?
── Nowadays you're known for your illustrations of beautiful girls, but judging from your light novel illustrations, it seems like you're quite familiar with drawing male characters as well. So that's where your roots are!
── What is your main job as of now?
── What was the first job you did as an illustrator？
── Wait, what...?!
Trying out new art styles to stay afloat as an illustrator
── I've seen that poster on pixiv, but its atmosphere is so different from your current illustrations. How do you feel about the evolution of your own art style from the past up until now?
── Daring to choose a path that turns away from the popular trends is quite a big decision.
── How can one understand what suits them?
The prettiest illustrations dare to tell lies
── You draw a lot of illustrations of beautiful girls. What is it that makes your works so cute?
── You often draw gestures and facial expressions that make the girls' cheeks look puffy and soft. Is this something you're quite particular about as you work?
── What do you keep in mind when applying your characteristic delicate colors to your illustrations?
── The girls' bodies also look amazing. They have the cuteness typical of 2D characters while at the same time looking realistically fleshy. Is there anything you use as a reference?
── When drawing illustrations of sensual-looking girls, the face often ends up feeling a bit out of place against the body. How can one get rid of this unbalance?
── What are you mindful of when designing VTubers?
If you plan to make a living at this job, keeping up your studies is a must.
── How can one get better at drawing?
── Is there anything that has changed your approach to drawing?
── Is growth one of your keywords as a creator? I have the impression that you find enjoyment and motivation in growing as an illustrator.
The first solo exhibition I ever attended was my own
── What are the highlights of your first solo exhibition Selfie Girl?
── Among the illustrations on display, works of Minato Aqua take up an entire wall. The exhibition will also include life-size panels of your characters, including but not limited to Minato Aqua herself.
── When visitors take a picture of the event and post them on social media with the hashtag #SelfieGirl, they will receive a gadget featuring your original character Ayaka-chan as a gift. What's the story behind this character of yours?
── I see. Thinking about it, even your prettiest girls still look affable.
── Lastly, can you share your future plan with us?
Gaou's first solo exhibition "Selfie Girl" is now open!
Exhibition period: May 28 (Fri) - June 23 (Wed)
Location: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae 5-46-1 TWIN PLANET South BLDG. 1F
Opening hours: 12:00 - 19:00
- Gaou (がおう)
Freelance illustrator specializing in soft textures and magnetic expressions. He has illustrated a good number of games and light novels and has also designed popular VTubers such as Hourei Tenten, Minato Aqua, and Mochizuki Himari. He is also active in the doujin circle Macaron Taitei.