Interview by Ichibo Harada@HEW
If you can communicate through social media, crossing borders is not an issue
── How did you become a commercial illustrator?
── Were you still living in Taiwan when you got that request?
── I think there are many aspiring creators out there who'd like to work abroad. What's your advice for them? If someone told you they want to work in Japan, what would you reply?
Studying photography has changed the way I draw
── What software and tools do you use?
── Your use of light is quite impressive. How did you learn to paint like that?
── In your pictures, you sometimes blur out parts of the image ー excluding the characters. Is that also something you learned from photography?
── Now that you understand how things work in real life, do you ever have trouble drawing your illustrations? Like, maybe you notice how in reality certain spots should appear darker than you painted them...
Focus on the background to bring out the character's appeal
── What do you use as a reference when creating illustrations?
── Your illustrations not only portray beautiful characters, but they also come with very intricate backgrounds.
── When you start sketching, do you already know what you want to achieve? Or do you often make changes along the way?
── How long does it take you to draw an illustration?
── What do you do when you have trouble coming up with an idea?
── The dilemma of many illustrators is how to dress their characters. How do you feel in that regard?
── There's a difference between real-life fashion and clothes that look good in illustrations. How do you keep a balance between the two?
When drawing a girl's eyes, I picture the sea
── What part of your work do you pay particular attention to?
── The eyes of the girls you draw are breathtaking.
── What do you keep in mind when coloring?
── In your illustrations, you use two types of coloring: more muted tones and then vivid shades that emphasize the main lines. How do you choose between them?
── Your illustrations have beautiful colors, but if we look at each one individually, you don't use many vivid colors, do you?
── I see. So that's the secret behind such gorgeous, yet elegant illustrations!
Sana Hashimoto, an original character with a full set of hobbies
── How do you decide on the concept of your illustrations?
── How did you come up with the main visual for your first solo exhibition, Claire?
── Just looking at the girl's hands makes you imagine all sorts of scenarios! When drawing these kinds of portrait illustrations, I guess you develop with these girls the same relationship one could develop with a model they often turn to, right?
── In other words, your characters' physical appearance comes first and their personality follows. What's this girl's story?
── The title of your solo exhibition, Claire, is a French word that means "clear and bright". You were the one to choose it, right?
── What are the highlights of your solo exhibition?
── What are your future plans as an illustrator?
Hiten's first solo exhibition "Claire" is now open!
The exhibition will feature about 70 of Hiten's illustrations, including acrylic art ー a beautiful combination of Hiten's crystalline illustrations and transparent materials, supervised by the artist!
Exhibition period: October 22nd, 2021 (Fri) - November 10th, 2021 (Wed)
Location: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae 5-46-1 TWIN PLANET South BLDG. 1F
Opening hours: 12:00 - 19:00
- Born in Taiwan, now lives in Tokyo where they work as an illustrator. Specializes in portrait-style illustrations that meticulously capture the expressions and gestures of beautiful girls. Active in the fields of light novels, character design, and magazine illustrations, their representative works include Sankaku no Kyori wa Kagirinai Zero (Dengeki Bunko) and Days with my Step Sister (MF Bunko J). Likes bubble tea and penguins.