anibee Features: Redjuice!

The artist of highly acclaimed anime titles like Guilty Crown, as well as the illustrator for several albums from music group, Supercell, was a guest at the recent Singapore Toys, Games & Comics Convention here at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands.

We got to talk to the man himself - Redjuice!

anibee: What got you started on your career as an illustrator?

Redjuice: I've been drawing pretty much all my life since young - it's always been in my blood.

What's funny is that I didn't start off thinking that I could ever do illustrating as a career choice, as I'm actually a major in Computer Engineering!

But how I got started on the path of professional drawing was when I was around 20 years old. I began to draw doodles for various online BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems, or forums), and that was when people started telling me, "You should become a pro!".

Even though I didn't really think I was ready yet, their words of encouragement were integral to my starting out on this career path.

anibee: Who or what were some of your biggest influences?

Redjuice: It's difficult for me to pinpoint it to just a few individuals, as there is so much wonderful art out there for me to draw inspiration from.

Be it American artists, Japanese artists like Oh! Great, or Korean artists like Kim Hyung-Tae, amateur drawings on Deviantart or even mixed media works, I'm always finding more new things each and every day. So I guess my biggest influence is the art community around the world!

anibee: What's your most, and least, favourite part of illustrating?

Redjuice: My most favourite part of illustrating is arguably also my least favourite part at the same time, haha!

That's got to be the initial rough sketching process. It's really fun, because that's where you can create things and really exercise your imagination.

But it's also really hard because as it's really really important for assuring the rest of the procedures; inking, colouring etc; turn out well. If your initial sketch has problems, then it's likely the rest of your drawing will too!

anibee: What kind of themes do you like drawing the most?

Redjuice: It's definitely SF (sci-fi) after all!

I simply like how it brings together fantastical and practical/realistic elements at the same time. The amount of research required to successfully draw convincing mecha or weaponry, and blending them together with organic elements, is a lot of fun and very intriguing for me.

For Guilty Crown for instance, while it has a school setting, it also has lots of sci-fi military aspects to it as well. Weapons, uniforms - the works!

anibee: How did you get involved with Supercell?

Redjuice: I first got to know Supercell from Miwa Shirow after a casual meeting. He then introduced me to the group and invited me to do some illustrations for them.

It's funny as it happened so quickly, that all I can remember was thinking, "Am I really good enough for such a huge project with so many talented people involved??"

But the first project was a success and the rest is history, so to speak!

anibee: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to become a professional illustrator?

Redjuice: It's not an easy path at all, but the basic thing one must remember is to know what your main motivation is for wanting to be an illustrator.

Once you are able to focus on that, show your art to everyone you can, and keep an open mind to feedback & critique. It can be harsh at times, but in the end, good feedback can be invaluable to helping you grow as an artist.

But definitely think very carefully about it, and if you truly are serious about it, then keep on drawing and never give up!

- Q