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The creative idea comes from the rainbow flag! Interview with Japanese book illustrator Sekuda!


Artist Name:Sekuda


National: Japan

Occupation: Illustrator

■Art Gallery

───First of all, please introduce yourself!

I'm sekuda working as a freelance illustrator. Nice to meet you!

───When did you start drawing? Have you ever attended an art school?

There are many reasons for this, but when my friend praised my doodling work in notebook, I was very happy, so I drew day after day, and I have come to this day.

I went to school that not related with art. I never belonged to any art group and never learned to draw in the teacher's help. I figured it all out myself by trial and error.

───The characters you draw have clear facial features... they are reminiscent of foreigners. Please tell us what you use as a motif when creating?

I've always loved movies and foreign drama, and spent more time watching movies than meeting people, so probably that influenced me. Also my work themes are often inspired by the film.

I love street style, so I often refer to skater fashion. Among them I also like to hide feminine elements in those clothes.

───What art works have influenced your hobbies so far?

Remember I was deeply influenced by the overseas drama "Glee". I was in primary school at that time, but I really shocked by diversity of character and the novelty of depicting serious issues in pop ways. It is a musicals at all times and in all places full of parody, and very interesting even if you only focus on fashion and music. I still cherish the touch that drama brought me back then.

Ever since I started drawing, I was influenced via“Sherlock”produced by BBC. For most of my high school years, I was watching Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, and whenever I had time, I would draw his fanart (lol).

Benedict Cumberbatch fan art

───We found your manga on Twitter! Besides illustration, are you also practice manga?

I usually don't draw manga at all. I want to try various of art forms to express, rather than limit by one form, so manga is a part of the attempt.

I could say that is my first and last manga... (lol) Indeed manga is easy to expresses the inner clearly than illustrations, I remember it’s hard because they are completely different way of thinking. At that time, I thought "people may judge my content", and I was trembling with fear to uploading manga on Twitter, but for result the response was much better than I expected,which made me surprised.

───What is the most impressive work you have drawn so far?

This is the first in a series themed with the six colors used in the rainbow flag.

This illustration helped me to clarify what I wanted to draw and the theme, and I was able to have many people see my illustration, so it is a very impressive piece of work to me.

───Regarding the“series works based on the theme of the rainbow flag”, please tell us what made you decide to use the rainbow flag as a theme.

It all started with“Rainbow Pride”(a parade celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture) held in Nagoya every June. I am a sexual minority, and there are many moments in life that need to hide my true self, also I was born and raised in a rural, I cannot get in touch with community same attributes as me. So when I first joined“Pride”I was amazed by various minority groups and straight ally who supported them really existed, and number of people there, it’s first time felt everything about myself has been recognized and accepted.

The rainbow flag seems to be telling the past me and people who have been in the same situation as "here is your companion", to convey the those power of positivity became an important theme in my creations.

Part of a series on the theme of the six colors used in the rainbow flag

───Would you mind tell us what commercial projects have you been involved in?

Mainly I involved in book illustrations. Recently, I was in charge of the cover for a pastiche work by Holmes called“The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes” (Kadokawa Bunko). I used to like the Sherlock Holmes series very much, so I was very happy and excited when I got the offer!

───What do you keep in mind when drawing book covers?

When drawing a cover, I will put my mind on what the story is trying to convey, it's a stressful thing because the cover is the face of the book, I would think in terms of stories, "How do people dress in that era?" It's fun to think about and investigate a lot of things that way, I've always thought it's a very interesting job because I can grow by expanding my horizons through the things I'm interested in.

───What do you want to try in the future?

I would like to be involved in a job related to movies! I'm also thinking of creating a personal collection of works this year.

───Thank you for the interview! Is there any words you like to say to your audience or other creators?

Thanks for reading this far! ! Your concern is my best motivation. I will try my best to create better works, any advice would be appreciated


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