Asuka111 graduated from the mechanical engineering program, but then, he realized that wasn’t the right way. So, he turned down the opportunity to work in engineering and started in the art industry instead. He joined “Virus studio” in the year 2006 as a concept artist and “The Monk studio” in the year 2009. With extreme talent and equipped with a love for Japanese manga & anime, I thought Asuka111 would be the perfect person to shine the spotlight on in the Creative Spotlight series. Read below for the full interview…
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Asuka111: Hi there, I am Asuka111, a freelance artist living in Bangkok, Thailand. I, however, graduated from Engineering ﬁeld but I realized that it is not the way that I want to live, so I switched my life to art ﬁeld completely. I had worked with VIRUS studios, a game studio here in Thailand as a concept artist about one and a half years and later, with The Monk studio, a very talented animation studio for ﬁve months. I ,also, have done some of my personal project like: Everyday Fantasy, a collection of my illustration work and Sketchbook, a collection of my drawing sketches. My visual style is inﬂuenced a lot by Japanese manga style because I grew up with it but, I have tried to studied some art fundamental like drawing, anatomy and perspective by myself while I was studied in engineering. That really helps me to develop my style further as you see in my recent work.
It is always refreshing to see artist use their talents to contribute to charitable causes. Could you tell us a bit about your role in VIZ Media’s Art For Hope?
Asuka111: I got a contact from Chris from Autodesk asking me to contribute some tutorial for SketchBook News website and inform me about ‘Art for HOPE’ project, a charity program to help Japan to recover from big disaster. I, of cause, want to help. I think they are really suffer from both Tsunami and nuclear crisis if there is anyway I can do to help them I will so, I decide to join the program. I think I just one of many artist that want to help Japan. That’s it.
Your route started out in Mechanical Engineering but realized your passion lie with the arts. Did this require a certain amount of courage to switch gears? Or did this come easy to you?
Asuka111: I always felt uncertain in my future career at that time but, when I was a intern at some engineering ﬁrm during my third year in college. I realized that this is not a job that I love. I didn’t know that I will survive or not if I decide to switch but, I certainly felt at that moment — “I don’t want to work here!” Anyway, it is not easy at the beginning since I don’t know anything. I keep doing decent portfolio and always looks for an opportunity.
We know you love Anime, can you hit us with some of your favorites?
Asuka111: Evangelion is my all-time favorite. Actually, my pen name is come from one of the character in that animation. Full Metal Alchemist – a decent anime from Bones. Love the main character development and the setting in story. Steins Gate – Sci-ﬁ anime that combined “Butterﬂy Effect” with “Back to the Future”. Love the plot complexity.
Are any of these picks particular inspiration for any of your works?
Asuka111: Yep, it’s the Evangelion from GAINAX studio. I love the character designer’s artwork, Mr. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. He is my preliminary inspiration for me. He is also the character designer for ‘Nadia – the secret of blue water’ too. It is the animation that I watched during my childhood.
How important is it to use the ability of an ergonomic and traditional device, such as a tablet, to conduct your illustrations?
Asuka111: Very important. The illustration job is require you to sit and working for a long period. If there is any bad in ergonomic it will strain your hand that will cause a serious injury later in your career life. I think if you are really serious in illustration you should invest some money for a better tool because, It reduce your stress and increase your productivity in long run.
You occasionally stray from happy-go-lucky illustrations and do some paintings like “Colorless” or “Scrap Garden” which portray a somber mood. Do you think every once in a while designers should veer away from their usual style and try something fresh?
Asuka111: I think every artist would try to do some experimental in his/her work sometime because, working with the same style over and over again is really boring. Trying something new is a must! Sometime, it gives me a glimpse of some interesting style development.
You’ve also written a few workshop articles throughout your career. If you had to conduct one at this point in time, would you offer up the same advice or do you have some new tricks up your sleeve to share?
Asuka111: I would like to contribute more tutorial and some article but, I always have tight schedule for a lot of work and project so I couldn’t do it yet. I try to come up with some tutorial when I have time. Anyway, I don’t have many trick as you may thought. I think fundamental knowledge in design such as: value, contrast, ﬂow, etc.. is more important than the trick to utilize the tool. If you have master the tool you will work faster but If you master the fundamental your artwork will looks better.
Will we be seeing you attend future American exhibits of yours? Particularly New York? Do you have any future dates you can provide?
Asuka111: I hope I could attend to some exhibitions oversea too. But, I don’t really have any plans for now. You can visit my website of Facebook to see any update. I promise I will tell you if I have any plans.
Lastly, any advice for either a person who isn’t following their passion in the arts, or for struggling creatives out there?
Asuka111: Please be honest to yourself. Most of people try to come up with some excuse like: “it is not impossible for me” or “I can do that because of <something>” If you can take a ﬁrst step, there will be a second. I encourage you all to pursue your dream. Good luck!
Want to keep tabs on Asuka111’s work? Visit his cookie crumb trail below: