Saturday, 16 October 2010

Everything will surely be alright!

I'm just posting this here because I don't want to lose it.

V&A Student Illustrator Awards

Not that I think I have the remotest shot at winning, but I just think it would be fun. =]

Other than that, not much to report - just updated the portfolio section of the site and the contact page where you can now find the contact information for my agent, Advocate Art.

So, I know it's only been a day since the last update, but I may as well post an illustrator. =]


ChibiYuuto Fan Blog:

One of my biggest influences, I've loved CLAMP ever since I figured out who it was who created that cartoon I watched on CITV when I was 12; Cardcaptors.

Of course, after reading the manga of Cardcaptor Sakura, I realised that Cardcaptors was just an americanised, toned-down version of a really amazing manga, in fact, one of the best-selling manga of all time. The anime was just as good, and introduced me to anime and manga's official cutest couple in the world, Sakura and Syaoran.

CLAMP consists of four manga creators (although in it's lifetime it's had about seven overall). It's current members are Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, Satsuki Igarashi and their leader and story writer, Nanase Ohkawa. They debuted with RG Veda in 1989, and have gone from strength to strength, right up until their most recent manga hits, Kobato., Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic. Although Shojo (girls' manga) is not all that these girls can do, they really do know their stuff when it comes to romance, it being one of their favourite topics to write about. Infact, they quite literally wrote the book on romance; The One I Love is a series of short manga stories about all different kinds of love and relationships.

However, one of my guilty pleasures at the moment is collecting xxxHolic volumes. xxxHolic is a crossover series with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles that, like Tsubasa, includes characters from CLAMP's earlier series. The main characters of Tsubasa are Syaoran and Sakura, incarnations of the characters from Cardcaptor Sakura. xxxHolic, however, focuses on a seemingly new character; Kimihiro Watanuki and his fickle yet hilariously drunken employer who goes by the fake name of Yuuko Ichihara, or the Space-Time Witch.

Poor Watanuki has had the ability to see and attract spirits for as long as he can remember. This makes for a difficult life when evil spirits constantly find you delicious. So, one day, while trying to run away from a particularly large spirit, Watanuki happens upon Yuuko's shop, which instantly makes the spirit vanish. Going inside, he meets Yuuko, along with Maru and Moro (later joined by the insanely perky Mokona) and strikes a deal with the shop owner; if he works at her shop, she'll grant his wish to not see spirits anymore. Because that is what the shop provides, it grants wishes. CLAMP then tells the stories of the different customers of Yuuko's, how Watanuki faces each problem and deals with people such as his unlucky love-interest Himawari and his self-proclaimed rival, Doumeki, and begins to unravel a bit more of Watanuki's own mysteries about himself.

This particular series' artwork is interesting because it specifically draws on the Ukiyo-e wood block style of the Edo period, something that has been another recent big influence of mine. However, CLAMP's style always seems to follow the more traditional manga styles compared to some other big manga creators; their soft colours and lines could be said to be reminiscent of traditional Japanese art with a twist of Art Nouveau, and their forms quite resemble the style of manga god Osamu Tezuka.

Top: CLAMP - RG Veda
Bottom: Osamu Tezuka - Ribbon Knight

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