Harumi Yamaguchi is a seminal Japanese artist, whose illustrations evoked female equality in an era of great political and social reforms. When she embarked on her career, in the early 1970s, Yamaguchi was the only eminent illustrator working with the airbrush medium.
Yamaguchi was born 1941, in Matsue in Japan’s Shimane prefecture. She attended the Tokyo University of the Arts, graduating with a degree in oil painting. She worked in the publicity department of Seibu Department Stores, before becoming a freelance illustrator.
loundraw is a manga artist from Japan. Working predominantly digitally, using Adobe Photoshop and PaintTool SAI. He has recently launched a serialised manga called Be.Be.. Written by Mark Rosen and Robert Underwood, episode one can be found on Global Manga Collection.
You are completely absorbed into loundraw’s scenes. Clear and vibrant, he gives his images a feeling of space and air using light leaks and a shallow depth of field. So that when observing his work you cannot help but squint your eyes and breathing in the atmosphere.
If you follow the Illustrator’s Lounge on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen us mention the latest exhibition being held at the House of Illustration, Shojo Manga: The World of Japanese Girls’ Comics. Shojo is manga aimed at a teenage female readership (shojo literally means “young woman”). Shojo Manga will be the first major exhibition of the genre in the UK. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to look at one of the pioneers of shojo and a highlight of the exhibition, Keiko Takemiya.
Takemiya was born in 1950 in Tokushima, Japan. She began drawing manga while still in middle-school, though kept it secret from her parents. At 17-years-old, she submitted “Kokonotsu no yujo” (Nine Friendships) to Mushi Pro’s COM magazine and received a Newcomer Award. One year later, in 1968, she made her debuted in Margaret magazine with the award-winning story “Ringo no tsumi” (Apple’s Sin).
Tomioka Jiro is an illustrator from Japan. He has worked on covers for multiple Japanese magazines, including Tokyo Ziggrat, Touch, and Frontier. He has collaborated with several Vocaloid producers, including takamatt, YM, and effe.
Hajime Isayama is the Japanese manga artist of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). The series has become a phenomenal commercial success. As of July 2015, the manga has 52.5 million copies in circulation. Its popularity was spurred on with the release of the anime adaptation of the same name.
Isayama would doodle “ugly stuff” as a child. By the time he reached high school, that was almost all he would draw. It was during high school that his ambition to make a living from drawing manga grew. And so He began submitting his artwork to contests. After high school, he enrolled in a manga design course at Kyushu Designer Gakuin.
He submitted a one-shot called Shingeki no Kyojin to the Magazine Grand Prix (MGP). Which won him his first ever prize, the “Fine Work” award. At age twenty, Isayama moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in manga. He left the idea behind him, with no intention of revisiting it.
George Kamitani is based in Hiroshima City, Japan. He began a career in video games in 1993, with Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. He has since gained a reputation for his beautiful hand-drawn characters and landscapes.
In 2002, he founded Vanillaware (originally named Puraguru), serving as President and Lead Artist. The company’s first game, Odin Sphere, was released in 2007, published by Atlus. Kamitani and team since released a string of cult titles including Princess Crown, Muramasa The Demon Blade and GrimGrimoire.
Toshinho is a freelance artist from Japan. He majored in fine art and began his creative career in video game development, working on titles including Metal Gear Solid 5, Final Fantasy Tactics and The Eye of Judgment. For the most part now he is trying to establish a genre called “Virtual Concept.”
Virtual Concept works much like video game and animation concept design but without a video game nor animation to speak of. He creates characters, develops worlds, and then repeats, slowly developing an entire universe. It is a process that is enhanced by viewers interaction and has led Toshinho to spend much of his time researching design and historical clothing. He has called the project “BOSS CONCEPT.”
I actually stumbled on Toshinho’s artwork when his Red Sonja pin-up stopped me in my tracks. Toshinho’s supplied the linework and Pedro Figue added a background and really brought it to life with colour. A collaboration that, I am sure, many would love to see more of.
Toshinho is both a traditional and digital artist. When working digitally, he seems to favour PaintTool SAI over the more popular Photoshop. Though, he does use Photoshop, as well as Clip Studio Paint. You can watch him work in real-time on Twitch. Those who become a Toshinho patreon are privy to all of his BOSS CONCEPT development, art tips, process videos and hi-res artwork. The BOSS CONCEPT project is a very interesting approach and I am very curious to see how it develops.