Interviewer - Harada Ichibo
- Yish (pronounced ‘why-ish’)
- Background and scenery artist. Environment artist. Graduated from Nagoya University with a master’s degree in engineering. They specialized in condensed matter physics and started working as an artist in 2015 after working as a semiconductor engineer as well as a patent engineer. Currently, they mainly create concept art and background art for game development as well as key visuals for light novels, literary magazines, businesses, and municipalities.
Originally, I started as a character illustrator.
── Thank you for letting us interview you today. Have you always had more of a preference for drawing backgrounds over character illustrations?
── So, when did you seriously take up drawing?
── Looking at your pixiv account, we can see that you mainly drew female characters. When did you shift to drawing scenery?
── From there, how did you establish yourself as a professional?
── You also worked as an illustrator on the side for a while, right?
First, think of an impactful symbol
── When drawing a background, it seems you first have to think of an impactful symbol. How do you come up with ideas for those?
Take my piece, Goshintaimori no Machi, as an example. I started by drawing out the terrain and as I was doing that, the idea came to me that having a massive tower-like rock rising in the center would give off a mystical feel. Thinking that it was necessary to have something enshrined in that rock, I drew a temple and an entire city around it.
── With the long, narrow islands adjacent to each other, the scenery visible in the very back also has quite a mysterious atmosphere, right?
── Your methodology for creating captivating backgrounds involves combining elements that both exist and don’t exist in reality, plus you also seem to keep that world’s “culture” and “energy” in mind.
── I see. So by using “elements that do and don’t exist in reality”, “culture” and “energy” as the starting points you can gradually solidify the image you want to create.
Bringing out the “Yish-style” by combining 3D and 2D effects
── Could you please tell us what your workflow is like?
── Is there anything that you’re particular about during this entire process?
── What do you focus on when retouching?
── Why did you choose MODO and VUE for your 3DCG software
── You used to make mainly 2D illustrations. What prompted you to switch to 3D?
── Then would you consider using something like image generating AI?
I’ve seen many opinions online that say, “Why don’t you just draw backgrounds using AI?” As a background artist, it’s a troubling thing, but I partially use AI, myself. For example, if I were drawing a cafe, I’d use AI for the menu. It’s hard to draw detailed text and reading a menu in an illustration isn’t necessary.
A part of me wants to use everything effectively, so I partially apply it to the details.
For commissions, clarify your “musts” and “wants”
── What kind of work does a background artist do?
── What are you careful about when communicating with clients?
── Do you have any requests for people commissioning illustrations that would make things easier for you?
── That makes sense! That’s very helpful for those who want to outsource doujinshi or illustrations. What kind of illustrator is suited to be a background artist?
── In other words, jumping into the illustration world thinking, “I’m going to be like Yish. A background artist that can get a book published and have their own solo exhibit!” will actually work against you?
Please enjoy this exhibit as if you’re traveling through different worlds.
── Please tell us about the exhibit, Into the worlds. How did the title and main visual for it come to be?
── It truly is a mix of elements that do and don’t exist in reality. A factory that generates a kind of unknown energy is really an imaginative setting.
── I heard that Keiji Inai, a well-known composer who wrote music for the anime, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, will be providing the music for the exhibit.
── This is your first time holding a background and scenery exhibition at the pixiv WAEN GALLERY.
── Please tell us your goals or anything you want to try down the road.
Yish’s solo exhibition, Into the worlds, will be happening until November 23rd!
Dates: November 2nd (Wed) ~ November 23rd (Wed)
Days closed: None
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 5 Chome-46-1 TWIN PLANET South BLDG. 1F
Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.