1. Manga Mondays ~ Ryota Murayama

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    Ryota Murayama aka Ovopack is a freelance concept artist and character designer. Originally from Chiba, he currently lives in Tokyo, Japan. Murayama studied at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College. He has worked with game companies Square Enix, Gust, Koei Tecmo, and Cygames on many of their most popular titles.

    Among many others, some of his video video game credits include, quality assurance for Grandia III, monster designer for the Atelier series, Grand Blue Fantasy and Seiken legend RISE of MANA, and character designer for Chain Chronicle and Rabbi jump.

    Aside from video games, Murayama has also illustrated a number of cards for Duel Masters OCG, as well as unique stamps for the Japanese chat app Line. Which you can buy via the Line Store. If like me, you are wondering what a “stamp” is exactly. Well stamps, also called “stickers,” are much like emojis, but bigger, and often designed by popular artist. In 2011, it was reported the Line was selling over 300 million yen (about $3,126,000) worth of stamps per month.

    Murayama’s characters, often anthropomorphic animals, are packed with personality. Be they cute woodland creatures or frightening mountainous monsters. Expressive and adorable on their own, he uses environments to help tell the character’s story and their mood. Shifting between a mix of styles, Murayama demonstrates an ability to vividly conjure moments down to the smallest details, or conversely depict them in just a few large brush strokes.

    You can see more of Ryota Murayama’s work on his website, Tumblr and Twitter.