MANGA.TOKYO shines the spotlight on creators around Japan! We interview the hottest names in illustration and talk to them about the artistic process and how they view the industry.
The creator we feature this time is Yuno. She has produced many works and has a solo exhibition in Japan. ‘What do you have to do to get a job as an illustrator?’ The answer to this question and more will be brought to you in this interview.
Interview with Yuno
Q. Tell us a few words about yourself.
My name is Yuno and I am an illustrator. I was in charge of the monsters in Square Enix’s Bravely Second: End Layer in 2013 and that became the catalyst of my career in freelance illustration. I take on many jobs such as T-shirt designs, goods illustrations, and main visuals for events.
Q. Is there a reason or motive that caused you to aim to be an illustrator?
When I was younger, I wasn’t very good at studying and I spent all of my time drawing. During middle school and high school, because I liked pictures, I was allowed to draw little icons and illustrations for a nearby realtor’s website and the shopping street’s blog header. During middle school, I was just helping out so I didn’t receive any money, but when I graduated high school, I got a request from a publishing company. It was then that I became aware that I could be drawing for a living. By that time, I already had the goal to become an illustrator.
Q. Your use of fine lines and vivid colors is impressive. Do you purposely do that to show your individuality?
There was a time when I thought, ‘I want to work on anime’, and I think that I learned about the delicateness of the lines and other characteristics from Japan’s animators. In my teens, I attended a fashion illustration vocational school in Shinjuku Akebonobashi and I would cover many sheets of paper in croquis drawn in pencil and in ink. The teacher would display my croquis on the board as an example of what to do. I liked the strength of the lines in the ones displayed so I think I was influenced by that. With regards to the use of color, I have never been overly aware of whether the hair is black, brown, or any regular color. I take into consideration whether the character is outside or inside, and whether it is night or day and the colors change naturally.
I don’t really delve into the background to convey information so the colors, expressions, and the strength of the lines convey the information within the white space.
Q. How much do you practice until you get an illustration that you are satisfied with?
I am still not satisfied but if I draw a lot, whether it is 10 or 100 versions, there is at least one that I fall in love with. There are also times when I don’t like any of the pictures I draw. During those times, I buy a notebook, go to a cafe and fill up all the pages with drawings.
Especially recently, I often like the drawings I have done for work. When my supervisor and the clients see the drawing and give their opinions and praise me, sometimes I suddenly start to like it.
Q. Are there any illustrators that you admire or that you would like to draw attention to?
The illustrator I currently really like is Miho Tanaka. At the beginning of the year, I was able to buy a picture I really wanted and I hung it at the entrance to my house.
My goal is to be like the illustrator Kouhaku Kuroboshi who illustrated the light novel Kino’s Journey, which I read when I was in elementary school. I have always admired him.
Q. Are there any of your works which have been influenced or any experiences to share?
When I was 20 years old, I went to a production of Mamagoto’s Waga Hoshi. There wasn’t a detailed description of the characters or anything, just a tea table set in the middle of the circular stage. The performance seemed to end in a flash with good music and plays on words that could be understood by a small child. With their courteous use of words, one person’s movement was enough to portray the story. Since I watched that performance, I was influenced by it and I decided to use the bare minimum for line work and properly draw only what is absolutely necessary.
Q. Is there anything you pay extra attention to in order to create the best finished product?
While I draw, I think of who will be looking at my work. The people who hang my artwork up in their room, who carry them around on their phones; there are many people who look at my work everyday. I try to draw pieces that seem to have new things to discover even if you look at them everyday.
Q. Please give some advice to those young people overseas who are aiming to be illustrators.
I really like the pictures that people overseas draw. When I was a student, I printed out many pieces by Ashley Wood and Kekai Kotaki and hung them in my room. I get very excited when I see posts by people overseas on Instagram because they are very good. Your occupation may not be thought of as an illustrator but once someone thanks you beyond your expectations and repays you (be it with money or presents), you can puff your chest and say with pride that you are an illustrator. I hope that all of that piles up and everyone recognizes you as an illustrator. I am looking forward to working together.
Born in 1989, Yuno graduated from Setsu Mode Seminar morning section.
A freelance illustrator since 2013, Yuno works on music videos, key visuals for events, anime collaboration goods, and book drawings.
・8/8 On sale via Maar-Sha ‘School Girls Illustrations’ Published works http://www.maar.com/shop/art/%e5%88%b6%e6%9c%8d%e5%b0%91%e5%a5%b3
・8/14 On sale via BNN Co. Ltd. ‘100 Artists’ Published artists http://www.bnn.co.jp/books/8805/
・8/17-9/15 Yuno solo exhibition ‘Comes,’ Fukuoka LOFT 4th floor
・9/27 Sana national album release ‘Hush a by little girl’ Album artwork http://www.sanapri.com/posts/2681752
Those who want to see more of Yuno’s work, click here!
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