Soyoko Shikama

〜Which will be given tonight, the light or the gloom〜

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If you think about what can be the reasons to draw, it is because “If you draw nicely, everyone will praise you.”

At the same time, I also think that I want people to get positive feelings through my drawings.

I will follow my hand when I start drawing. I like to draw from the face because I like faces. As I draw a picture and come up with a point, I will make that as a theme.

So the title of the picture will be decided afterwards. I like the process of deciding the meaning after completing the picture.

I went to an art related college. Since the campus wasn’t that large, it was an easy environment to make friends.

I personally like “the simple and beautiful illustration”. But being surrounded by friends who like different kinds of genre and taste,

I started to understand others’ good parts.

I accepted with a feeling like, “There must be something good because ‘he’ is into it”. And I was able to gain an interest.

For example, if something that I don’t like or things I don’t understand is highly regarded, I feel like my life has been rejected because the fact that I didn’t accept these things.

From being small minded like “why that thing?” I began to feel that those things have their good parts. And it widens my view, and reduced the stress of my life.

When it was the time for me to find a job, I had this ambiguous feeling that I needed to work at a game company where you can draw lots of characters. So I did the interviews with few major game companies but I failed all of them.

I thought that there must be a job in Tokyo. I came to Tokyo to see some people who I knew. And I looked into the recruiting magazine and applied to DTP designing company.

I didn’t have any designed portfolio and just showed my illustrations at the interview. But only with a little experience of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and strong will, I was hired.

I worked for about 4 years, but I was extremely busy, and had not enough time for drawing. I gain frustration in those days.

If I could find a time on my way to work and back, I would draw. In terms of creating my own work, I might have been more ambitious back then compared to now.

My feelings of wanting to draw “for living” increased day by day. I knew that in order to make it come true, I should start a new action in my 20’s in case of failure. So I decided to quit my job.

My first big job as an illustrator was via Comic Market.

At Comic Market, the artist next to me happened to be a very famous artist that I am fond of. Then the editor from the publishing company came to visit her and she introduced me to the editor.

This connection led me to do some work for a book illustration.

I often imitated the work from Yun Kōga and CLAMP when I was little.

At that time, there were few people who were good at drawing. So I remember I was happy that everyone was giving me a full attention.

I became attracted to Aubrey Beardsley and Kay Nielsen when I grew up.

The first sokubaikai (art exhibition and sales event) I participated in was Design Festa in 2006, together with an artist friend who I met online.

No one would come and see, I was terribly upset at that time.

The exhibition that I participate in often is Comic Market, COMITIA and Kansai COMITIA if I was available.

It is hard to say what was the most important event because each event that I experienced till now has had an influence on who am I now.

But I can say that winning the Sakura prize at the Sakura Exhibition was something.

Until then, I barely got any feedback from the people who saw my original illustrations.

After receiving the prize, thankfully I get many responses from various areas now.

From our Editor

Interviewed month: May, 2014

Shikama-san told us without any hesitation that her motivation for drawing is her desire to be praised.
Shikama-san lives with her little doggy (Name: Shiratama). Shiratama-chan even has its own twitter account!?
You should check it out cause it is very cute. 

Interview supported by:

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Soyoko Shikama


Chiba pref.