Unique texture by oil pastels and digital tool! Interview with illustrator Hikari!
Artist name: Hikari
University: Beijing Forestry University
Major: Product Design
────Let’s start introduce yourself!
Hello, I'm a passer who studying product design in art academy of Beijing Forestry University. My artist name is actually a pretentious memory when I was younger, I wanted a special word for myself, my housemates also help me found the word "炗", in the course of a certain name change, I found "尐". They mean "light" and "cicada", if simplifying them it’s inevitable to think of the picture of birds eating insects.
────When did you start painting and what was the opportunity?
I've loved drawing since I was very young, I was fascinated by clouds at that time and wanted to record the clouds I saw, but for talent reason I didn't really start drawing until painting training in the third year of high school, I get started my journey.
────What is the main content or theme of your work?
I love the imagery of little lamb in the few works I created, I have drawn including sheep, metaphor of characters as sheep, or migrating flocks of sheep, I trying to express that characters are a naive lost lamb. What I've always wanted is very ordinary scenes but dream-like you can’t create in reality.
────What do you think is the most recognisable aspect of your style?
Perhaps the "texture" is a unique aspect of my style. When it comes to painting and creation, I prefer to develop the picture as my pace and find interesting for mindset of exploring and joyful, rather than according to the process seriously. The unique texture gradually appear through the random exploration during my creation, I really enjoy this random sense, sometimes it brings me very surprising effects.
────How did you develop your style? Are there anythings that have influenced you?
One of the bigger influences on me was when I first time watched the“Neon Genesis Evangelion”is during my emotional instability due to major chosen, also I was in early stage to explore drawing method, I felt lucky to encounter “Neon Genesis Evangelion”that touched me deeply in all aspects. Because I have some empathy with the protagonist, as a result, I have a lot of creative desires to express emotions. I gradually formed this style when I was looking for 'how to draw the abstract scene I want to express'.
────Why you chose to paint with oil pastels?
I’m pretty sure I like the texture of oil pastel among the various materials and methods I have explored, there are occasional unexpected brush strokes in the picture, and oil pastel can subtly enrich the content of whole picture after being processed.
────Would you mind share us about the process and your experience?
When priming with oil pastels, first I will envisage the general shape of picture and color range, choose a rougher paper use pencil to do outlining, then start drawing the base colour from light to dark. Very occasionally I use transparent watercolor to do some coloring for large-area in places where oil pastels are not applied. Next step is taking a photo and transferring into drawing software. I will edit some sets (e.g. increase the picture saturation and decrease the contrast) before processing the image. It’s on basis of impressions after transferring picture into drawing software, you may mix curves, gradient mapping and layer effects to get the base image before retouched. When retouching you can use stamps or clones to refine using the texture, or use harsh brushes, all of these effect can make your picture look naturally.
────You always bring the fantasy scenes for us, how do you conceive the images when you creating them?
To a great extent, changing the intrinsic color of object will creates a sense of abnormality also texture is unreality, finally adding some objects and imagery content that do not match the scene, the picture will become a incredible by chance.
To build scene the content usually accumulated over time! For my experience it is more efficient to accumulating information by watching film and books.
────The illustration“Tenjou Utena”you created for a friend is full of passion and tension. Would you like share us about the process and your experience?
I had seen Utena in the anime, but wasn't familiar with her, so I look for reference images including the scene she stand in the anime, what elements does other artists had used in their works, and how to represent the real light and shadow of certain textures on the character (such as the jewel on her shoulder). After researching I decided use red and white roses as main elements, and I am not very good at choosing poses, thorough much agonizing I chose the 3/4 view that would work best, then carry out the oil pastel to laying color. In the end, I was very lucky to complete this work.
────What was the hardest during the process of “Tenjou Utena”?
The hardest parts were the retouched and final processing. I missed the inky blue part of garment when I laying color, so the biggest challenge of retouched is how to add the inky blue part naturally, improve the texture while retaining perfection. For final processing I was a bit of confusion about how to make the painting close to completion. Finally I chose to add the original text message at the bottom right and a simple typography on the image.
────Can you tell us who is your favourite artist?
I liked a painter named Arkhip Kuindzhi very much since this year. You can search his ARTBOT on Twitter, each of his works like epic poem, they are quiet and powerful, which are both my favorite performed.
Arkhip Kuindzhi works
────You have drew a lot of fan art related to“Neon Genesis Evangelion”and“Naruto”. Can you talk about your favourite characters and scenes from these two works?
It’s my first watched“Neon Genesis Evangelion”when I was 19 years old. As I mentioned, I was very impressed and touched by it. I am very grateful to director Anno Hideaki who produced this wonderful work. After the second part of the“Neon Genesis Evangelion”movie version released, I felt complex towards this work but finally turned into gratitude.
One of the most impressive scenes in second season of“Neon Genesis Evangelion”was the final scene where Ikari Shinji desperately tries to save Ayanami Rei. Although Rei is not saved in the end, I was touched by Shinji's decision to "save Rei" and series of actions. Also the scene where Lilith first appears in old anime version was very impressive. I really like her styling.
The reason I liked Shinji for so long before was that as a viewer, I could empathise with him. After watching the final episode of “Neon Genesis Evangelion”this year, I realize that I already graduated from the "Shinji" of my life, so now I like Ayanami Rei more (lol).
“Naruto” is the work I've seen since I was a kid, it's more of a familiarity than a sense of it. Around 2020, I met friends who also like "Naruto" so I drew a lot of fan works. I am a devoted fan of Kakashi-sensei in “Naruto”, there are many aspects of him that I like, and he is an ideal character for me!
The most impressive scene in“Naruto”anime is the battle scene Uchiha Obito VS Kakashi-sensei in Kamui, which made me have many fantasies meme between these two characters since then. (XD)
────Thank you for to be interviewed, is there any words you like to say to your audience or other creators?
Thank you for liking my drawings, and I'll be working hard on new creation in the future, please stay tuned!
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