In the May 2014 issue of Fast Company, Ben Voldman produced a fantastic textured 3D piece to highlight Chinese tech startup Tencent as being the...
Following our Society6 grant last year to find up and coming talent from around the world, we are awarding fantasy creationist Yuta Onoda with a featured interview. So we caught up with the Canadian based, Japanese illustrator to get to the heart of his craft and to discuss what goes into his dream-like imagery…
Hello and welcome to Thunder Chunky! How is life treating you?
Hello. I am good thank you. It has been pretty busy this year fortunately.
For the not knowing, tell us a bit about yourself!
I am originally from Japan and after recently graduating from Sheridan College, Canada with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Illustration, I have been working as a freelance illustrator / painter.
‘To Lost Friends’
Talk us through a process of a piece of your work.
I use a lot of pencil / ink / acrylics for my illustrations. I do a lot of research / brain storming at the beginning. When I come up with a rough idea I am happy with, I start working on defined linear work and make some textures. Then I scan the image, start coloring and play with the textures I have created.
The brushstrokes, textures and linework ensure there is an exceedingly high amount of detail in your images, yet they’re so bold and striking. At what point do you stop to avoid overworking your images?
I love adding a lot of detail to my work. But I always try to keep the image as simple as possible and try not to introduce too many elements in one piece. Also I choose a limited color palette for each piece of work helps me avoid overworking the image.
‘Streaming of Unconsciousness’
What has been your favourite work piece of work that you have completed so far?
It’s really hard to say what would be my favorite work, but there is one image named “El Capitan”. I think this piece is definitely one of my favorites. The piece was about climbing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. I depicted the stress that mountain climbers have to go through. I was very happy and satisfied when I completed the image.
Do you prefer creating commercial or exhibition work?
I love both illustration and painting. They are very different from each other and I learn a lot of different things from traditional and digital. And I think working on different mediums are important for me to keep growing. So I prefer working on both commercial and exhibition work!
There are many females and children depicted in your work, is this an intentional theme and if so where does this originate from?
I think it is not really a conscious decision, but I think I incorporate female and children figures in my work because they are more innocent. I like the word “struggle” and I think I constantly resolve this emotion into my work. Also I think it helps create dreamy / chaotic images.
‘I Am Feeling You’
So you’re talking about the fantasy / mythical element in your work, where do you think that comes from?
Like I mentioned I just love creating dreamy images that almost tell you a story. I love visual narrative and I think that’s the origin.
Who has inspired you visually over the years and are there any beliefs / rules that you stick to when you work?
There are too many artists I admire. My inspiration tends to come from Japanese Woodblock prints, Art nouveau, Comics, Renaissance paintings, and etc… Anything that captures my eyes. My belief / rule is to always work hard and not to be afraid of making mistakes.
What have you got planned for 2010?
My biggest plan for 2010 is to find a balance between illustrations and paintings. It is very important for me to experiment and try something new. Hopefully, this will help me find more avenues to express myself.
Finally, what’s the one thing everybody should do today?
You should take the time to think of the people most important to you and let them know how important they are to you! I think it’s good to show your appreciation once in a while!
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