Challenging a new form of expression that blends Eastern and Western art! Interview with Krusier
Artist Name: Krusier
Education: Game Design, Communication University of China (CUC)
Major: (Bachelor) Savannah College of Art and Design Illustration
Occupation: Freelance Illustrator
──We want to get to know you quickly, please introduce yourself!
Hello, I'm Krusier and I'm currently a freelance illustrator living in New York.
──Krusier, did you study in the US? Tell us about the reasons you decide to go to US?
I studied game design in China, and I was proud of I had developed a lot of adaptability between different styles and skills during my studies, but I realize the sense of achievement I got from illustration was better than any other type of work, so I decided go to US for study illustration deeply.
──Would you mind share us something interesting that happened during your study in the US?
During my study, professors would let us doing blind contour drawing like close eyes or drawing board facing oneself, I feel comfort and free which was the opposite of my usual habits and mentality!
One more thing is everyone dress up in Halloween and wear themed clothes to go to class, they will take turns to be on stage as models for sketching. I like to observe the clothing styles and details that everyone chooses and will be very surprising find their different mental from usual.
──We can see the mix of Eastern and Western artistic techniques of your works, Would you like tell us how your current illustration style has developed?
I've been going to the cinema alone to watch fantasy films since I was in primary school , in secondary school I drew a lot of fan arts because I obsessed with Japanese animation and manga that time. In university I touched by profound skills and brilliant colours of American Golden Age illustrators, I think these influenced my style.
──What is your ideal form of artistic expression and goal you would like to pursue?
My ideal form of artistic expression is telling stories with visual, it has deep understanding and unique perspective to form the picture, it’s intriguing like poetry.
──Would you like tell us about an illustrator or artist you look up to?
I love all the artists from the Golden Age of American, their techniques are superb，timeless and there is so much to learn of composition, shaping and colour. N.C. Wyeth was my goal for colour and shaping, also I was fascinated by Kay Nielson who are the Art Nouveau represented illustrator to built story sense through composition, and J.C. Leyendecker's characters temperament was what I am chasing is.
middle:Kay Nielson『The Lassie and Her Godmother』
right:J.C. Leyndecker『Study for Butterfly Couple』
──What you find hard during creation or what you struggle as a creator?
The hardest is probably I trying to find something fresh and valuable, that should be a rare objects or manifestations, because there are too many artists who paint amazingly, it's pretty hard for you to stand out among them. And a pressure that you think yourself always room for improvement.
Due to different perspectives, I always think about learning from other artists, I feel less pleasure and shock than the average reader, because I'm lost in thought about‘what techniques and methods achieve to this effect?’. Sometimes I feel a bit sad when I see great work since I will doubt whether I am suitable for be illustrator when I see the gap.
──How do you usually find inspiration?
I love watching movies and playing games, whatever anime, manga or novels are both my hobbies, many of these stories touch me deeply to create fan art. I often learn about the origins behind certain works because of exquisite visual art, they are new sources of inspiration for me.
I also love travelling to experiencing different landscapes, customs and cultures, they are great way to open up horizons. Museums are the reality libraries that bring in a lot of visuals and knowledge that I would never thought of before. Sharing art on Pinterest and social media are also great source of inspiration, this tendency to rely on online sources for inspiration is even more pronounced especially stay at home during covid periods.
──Can you share with us what kind of business projects have your participated in?
I've worked on illustrations for NetEase"Onmyoji", "Onmyoji: The Card Game", "Harry Potter: Magic Awakening", the cover illustration and interior manga for the 2022 re-print version of “At Night Machilian” by People's Literature Publishing House, the cover illustration for “Crest of the Stars” series by New Star Press, as well as illustration for entertainment weekly magazine in US, also worked on concept design for the“Tony Hawk”project at Activision Blizzard.
『Onmyoji: The Card Game』 ©NetEaseInc. All Rights Reserved
『Maqilian in the Night』
──It seems that you already have your own merch products, would you mind share us about that? What kind of commercial project are you looking for in the future?
It's pretty good to have real object, I love making peripheral product!
I was enjoy for making simple print peripheral products in junior high school, since then I've had the opportunity to explore different textures of prints and peripherals, such as acrylics that are thicker and more tactile than paper, versatile paper tape, elegant metallic badges, fine stitching embroidery patterns, thin ribbons, temperament album cover, colourful paper, etc.
During the creation, used different crafts according to display effect, consider the possibility of craft and texture that completely match work implication. And it was exciting to see or touch final work. After that, I would like to experiment more new crafts for making peripheral production. I have a small dream of seeing my work in 3D(figure) if I get right opportunity.
──Would you tell us about your favourite Japanese animation works, as well as literature, music and films? By the way who are your favourite creators?
Fromsoftware's "Sekiro" and "Dark Souls 3" are probably most impressive games I've played in recent years! Among them, the painstaking efforts invested in the story and detail design, narrative style with a strong oriental flavor, excruciating game difficulty have all reached the ultimate in workmanship.
I was fascinated by “JoJo's Bizarre Adventure” in secondary school, because of“JOJO”I have watched some of Otsuichi's work and enjoyed the sly wild but warm style. Also“Berserk”has influenced many of my favourite works (e.g. the fs games).
Just last year I watched the prestigious“Attack on Titan”, it was brilliant! It's rare to see characterisation that impresses me so much.“Akagi”was also very good! Mr. Fukumoto's portrayal of Shigeru Akagi is very legendary. I also took up mahjong because I wanted to understand the “Akagi”, although I hasn't become a good mahjong player until now.“Golden Kamuy”and“Dorohedoro”also used to make me so addicted to reading that I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night! I would like to mention that not only commercial works, but also Japanese fan art authors have influenced my viewing experience and all my works, so I am so grateful all the creators being so active and sharing!
In terms of music I've been enjoying "Tokyo Incident" and "Official HIGE DANdism". "Tokyo Incident" has a beautiful, lush arrangement and layered play that can make the listener think of endless stories, while "Official HIGE DANdism" has a very vital style and the vocals of the two vocalists are right up my alley.
Because I like actor Mads Mikkelsen, I went to play the game producer Hideo Kojima's "Death Stranding" in 2019, and gradually got to know Mr. Kojima. His talent, positive attitude and work mentality have encouraged me a lot. If I have the opportunity to continue my major as a game producer, he will be my career ideal and role model.
──Could you tell us what you think about the combination of art and commerce?
I think that is a way to bring art into minds and to resonate with more people. At least I learned about this field through commercial art and developed a passion for it, finally engaged in this industry. I am also looking for the opportunity to be a part of the cultural dissemination. The current ideal except 3D I mentioned above, also want to create covers for more literary works, or part in any drawing for my favourite IP stories, because move people through stories is one of the reason that why I wanted to become a creator.
──Thank you for to be interviewed, is there any words you like to say to your audience or other creators?
I've always appreciated your love and comments. I will continue to make new creations in the future!
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