MANGA.TOKYO has been interviewing the hottest creators working in Japan right now! We interview them and ask about their efforts that made them achieve and establish their place in the industry.
Today we focus on Igakusei, another creator releasing popular works on Twitter and other media. We decided to talk to him after noticing his impressive and soft air coming from his female character illustrations on Twitter.
Interview with Igakusei
Q. Could you please introduce yourself briefly?
Igakusei: ‘I’m Igakusei. I mainly draw fan art of female characters, but I sometimes create my own original female characters. “Igakusei” means “medical student” in Japanese, and I’ve been using this name since I started illustration when I was a medical student.’
Q. What made you aim to become an illustrator?
Igakusei: ‘I’ve liked anime and manga for a long time, and wanted to do illustrations in the future. Then I saw someone streaming illustrations. It looked like so much fun and made me want to try it too. Works by my favorite illustrators also encouraged me to try and draw like they do.’
Q. The soft-looking texture of your female characters drawn is very impressive. It makes you want to touch it to confirm the texture. Is there anything special you keep in mind to have such texture in your work?
Igakusei: ‘Thank you. I do pay attention to the curved lines to express human softness while drawing girls. I avoid straight lines but draw curves when working on soft body parts such as the stomach, thighs, and breasts as much as possible. Especially thighs – I redraw them over and over until I find them satisfying enough.’ [laugh]
Q. How long did you practice drawing until you managed to be good enough to satisfy yourself with your own works?
Igakusei: ‘It’s been five years since I seriously started drawing, but I haven’t done much practicing. I just draw what I draw until it satisfies me. For example, if I’m not satisfied with a hand that I’m drawing, I check out photos and other illustrations for reference and work on it forever until I’m finally satisfied no matter how long it takes. (You know, drawing hands is quite hard…)’
Q. Are there any illustrators that you want to be like or that you pay attention to?
Igakusei: ‘Yes, there are many! I always check out the illustrators whose works have various charms that mine lack. Especially colorful and vivid illustrations attract me. My recent favorite illustrations are those done by Anmi, Mika Pikazo, Fuzichoco, and similar artists.’
Q. Are there any specific works or experiences that have influenced you?
Igakusei: ‘My favorite manga, anime, and illustrations always influence me. Moreover, in the second year of my career, an illustrator of my age gave me advise almost every day. It was a valuable experience that taught me new knowledge and viewpoints objectively.’
Q. Is there anything you keep in mind to make your work better?
Igakusei: ‘I try to assimilate attractive things that other people’s works have, especially when I can make good use of them in my own work. I carefully observe other people’s works and try to adopt them to make use of them for my works in the future. And I also praise myself when I get my work done well!’ [laugh]
Q. Please leave a message to overseas readers aiming to become illustrators.
Igakusei: ‘I’m sure you’ll go through both good times and bad times when aiming to be an illustrator. Remember that it’s important to go back to your basics during a difficult time. Don’t forget the fun in drawing!’
Give us your comments to Igakusei for support!