[Illustrator: Ryuusei] Drawing is Who I Am
Commending the Power of Expression within Illustrators
An illustrator is someone who expresses themselves through pictures; their essentially writers. Writers do the same but through words!
And this time, I would like to wield my words to express the awesomeness of the illustrations of our guest, Ryuusei.
[Superstar] Shokora Kato
Look at this! Look! Look at how the lines in this picture are drawn. They’re like BAM! and WHOA! Aren’t they amazing? Isn’t this awesome?
Frankly speaking, as a writer the extent of our vocabulary is pretty awesome. But if you put that aside and take one look at this, it blows you away. Ryuusei’s illustrations!!
“Oh, well… thank you (laughs). But I still have a long way to go…” humbly says Ryuusei.
As we know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it must have taken you a lot of effort to get to this level right?
Ryuusei’s workstation. It looks like he can illustrate by hand and digitally.
“Since I was little I’ve always loved graffiti, however when I was in middle school I wanted to develop my own style. I joined the art club and studied painting landscapes and still-life. At that time, anime and manga were pretty popular so I do remember doing illustrations on the side. Then after I entered high school, I joined the manga study club.”
How did you get into doujin?
He went from the art club to manga study… That was the first step in Ryuusei’s journey to becoming an illustrator.
“I was taught about doujinshi by my senior in school. I think it all started…with the book Perappera. In second year, I participated in a doujin event for the first time as part of a circle. I did a collection of GUILTY GEAR illustrations.”
[Black★Rock Shooter] Black★Rock Shooter
At first, Ryuusei only liked to draw illustrations in his own style, but when he obtained his first doujinshi he had a change of heart.
“Until now, I was only thinking about seeing what I wanted to see, but I came to the realisation that (my illustrations) would be the first thing that people would see from me.”
A picture of Ryuusei’s booth at Comiket.
I’m grateful for the works that have inspired me
Immediately after graduating high school he went right into the job sector. Ryuusei diverged from the path of illustration and yet he continued to draw; there’s nothing if not illustration for him.
“I really enjoyed drawing and it was the only thing that I was good at. It’s a part of me; it’s my identity. Even when I was having a difficult time, I would channel my stress onto the page. In addition, it makes me really grateful for the works that inspired my heart.”
[Pokemon Black and White] The main characters
Yes, a work that especially inspired Ryuusei is Pokemon Black and White. There was a time when he played nothing but this game.
“Yeah, there were only two Pokemon Black and White that came out, but it was a work that really motivated me. It was a difficult time back then… I had been separated from the doujin world, but I really want to see where these two will go!! I thought I really wanted to give something back to the work that gave me so much… so I returned to my pen once again.”
[Pokemon] Haruka / Touko
Get up, dust yourself off and go pro
Actually, Ryuusei is now working as a professional illustrator. There might be some of our DoujinWorld readers out there right now who are looking to sink their teeth into illustration. So, I asked how one gets on the path to becoming a professional.
“Now I’m a freelance illustrator but at first I was a part of a company. I can say that for me, there was a long time when I didn’t have talent and I wasn’t very skilled, but with time and passion I was able to improve. There are many great people who have said “It’s good to take a break from drawing every once in a while”, but I need to keep drawing.Even when I fail I will keep drawing and carry on.”
[NECO Boss YouTube Header] NECO Boss
No, no, no, he’s way too humble to say that he doesn’t have any talent!! I mean… he’s able to draw a picture like this that exudes such a powerful image…
“It’s true though. I have only recently become a professional. I am this old and only now have I made it! I felt this was my last chance to go for it so I switched up careers. At first, I applied for about 20 company postings. I kept applying and kept getting turned down… Finally, I was given a shot by one company.”
Wow…. Is it that difficult to get your foot in the door of the professional world?
“There are a lot of things that they look at really. Like if the designs work together or if you have the skills that they are looking for. It takes a lot of work on the artist’s part. The point of a tentative offer is for the artist to prepare a portfolio showing a range of designs.”
Hmmm… It’s amazing. It’s not just about having your own distinct style, you have to go beyond that. The professional world is scary.
“I’m still basically a novice, but my goal in the future is to be part of bigger works and incorporate my own designs/illustrations.”
Oh~!! I definitely want to see games and anime featuring Ryuusei’s illustrations.
[Anrin YouTube header] Anrin
What’s the secret to his enthusiasm?
Lastly, I want to ask about the secret to Ryuusei’s enthusiasm for drawing that he’s had throughout his life.
“At first, it’s perfectly fine to just draw for yourself. But as you go along expressing yourself eventually there will come a time when you start bringing others joy with your work. Those people will then grow in number. And if you start thinking about doing it for the happiness of others, you naturally gain motivation. It’s something worth way more than money… It’s my driving force.”
[Commemorative illustration] Kagami Arisugawa
[Pokemon Black and White] Toya / N / Zekrom / Reshiram
Having started an advertising production company in 2010 whose main business partner is a mail order company, he specialises in direct response advertising