Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mary the Snow-deer, I hate you, you're much more popular than me.

So... big news, I guess, lol.

I have just finished my first ever paid illustration job. And it went absolutely swimmingly.

The job was for a book cover and two spread illos for a book that's being released in Frankfurt, by Calcium Creative. I had to draw two vikings, one for a cover and one for a spread illo, and a longboat, and they seemed to really like what I did. =] Let's hope it gets good reception in Frankfurt, lol.

So i'm really looking forwards to the next job - I hope it won't be too long! I'm planning on popping up to London in the next couple of weeks to meet my agent, and hopefully get my portfolio properly sorted so that they can start passing it around to clients. Yay!

That's pretty much it from me.

But I think, starting from this entry, i'm going to post about an illustrator I like on every entry I make. It's helpful for me, and hopefully other people might find it inspiring.

This entry is:

Yun Kouga

Official Japanese site: here.
Anime News Network site: here.

I think anyone who knows me on Facebook will know how I love to draw Ritsuka, who is the main character from Yun Kouga's manga, Loveless. 12 year old Ritsuka suddenly becomes involved with a shady character named Soubi who, after the death of Seimei, Ritsuka's older brother, appears from nowhere and constantly tells Ritsuka that he loves him. It turns out that Soubi was linked with Seimei through a secret world of spell battles and secret names; Ritsuka's secret name being Loveless. Soubi and Seimei were Fighter and Sacrifice; the components of which the battle system in Loveless is constructed. The Fighter does the damage, the Sacrifice takes the damage. This manga is interesting in it's ideals of innocence, loyalty and virginity, the latter of which being shown by the outrageously cute cat ears sprouting from characters' heads, making social relationships between characters obvious. For example, the 28 year old school teacher, Shinonome Hitomi, often gets teased because she still has her ears. It also makes Ritsuka wary of Soubi at first, as Soubi has no ears when he meets Ritsuka. It's a very cute manga, but with some adult subtexts such as the dysfunctional relationship between Ritsuka and Soubi (no matter how cute it is, a 19 year old kissing a 12 year old is a little bit weird), and Soubi's strange feelings towards pain and ownership. I think Loveless is definitely one of Yun Kouga's most popular manga - it was made into an anime series with a very pretty intro and animation style in 2005 by J.C Staff.

The main thing I find appealing about her style, however, is it's clarity; every panel is clear and distinct and she doesn't go overboard with the screen tone, yet she somehow manages to make nearly every panel look absolutely stunning. The way she uses colour is just so pretty too, with muted, soft colours. She started her career as a doujinka (fan manga artist) doing doujinshi for series like Captain Tsubasa, then debuted with her first original manga; Metal Heart. She currently has several ongoing series, Loveless being one of them, as well as Gestalt, Crown of Love and Tenshicho.

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