Define destroyed and rebirth through wasteland, interview with illustrator Houmutan!
Artist name: Homutan
Graduate school: Yanshan University
Major: Visual Communication
―― Please introduce yourself.
Hello everyone I'm Houmutan from China. I like to draw illustrations, due to I'm not graduated yet, so currently I'm study while working on game art.
―― What motivates you to create?
Probably is I like to express myself. I was touched anime culture earlier, and I used to buy and read manga in front of the school with pin money, also trace the manga for practice. Maybe because I'm introversion person hoping that one day I would be able to convey my ideas to others through drawings or stories, like manga artists or illustrators in magazines.
―― Would you like tell us how you improved your artistic skills?
I was late to digital drawing because I got my first digital board in my high school second year and I have to study for final exams,so I didn't have much access to a computer, it’s mainly hand drawing until I went to university. I think the key to improving skills is to sketch more often. Nowadays the internet is very advanced which can easily find excellent work of many artists, so many people start from trace artist's drawings. However, if you want to improve your technical, it is not good enough just imitate someone else style, you have to develop your own way for summarizing spatial and objects structure.
―― We see that you are fan of“Neon Genesis Evangelion”(EVA), can you tell us how it has inspired you?
I came into eva when I was the most confused in university, because of eva, my way of painting has changed from simply showing techniques to how to express my mind. If we say painting skill is the "container" , that artist's mind is the "soul" of whole painting, to create the touched work you need both of them.
―― The theme of your works and photos on your homepage are always buildings, especially ruined cities. What kind of imagery do you usually have of them?
Architecture is functional and symbolic in modern society, it carries people’s memory whether it’s school, flat or entertainment place. Architecture accommodates human beings, and both of human activity are inseparable from architecture, so architecture can regarded as an extension of the human body. A construction building portend new beginnings, hope and new life, while a derelict building is forgetting, parting and death. I find it’s very interesting to use architecture map the inner world of human beings.
―― Would you like introduce your OC and stories? Do you plan to draw them as manga in the future?
Human negative awareness will give birth to the "beast" that pollutes the spiritual. In the story, most of the human civilization has been destroyed by "beast". Only left human beings live in the city called "Shelters". The girl with black hair and red eyes in my illustration is called Hinako, who has been given a blessing (or curse) that allows her to manifest spirit into a weapon and has the power to destroy the Beast. The other girl with blue hair and silver eyes is called Jie Yang, she is a mercenary who meets Hinako in an emergency, after that embark on a journey to discover the Mystery of life experience and truth of world destruction. What I've drawn so far is only a small piece of the world view, there are still a lot of immature ideas and settings, so I guess it will take a long time to realize them as manga.
―― How do you usually get inspiration? What art trends inspire your creations?
I follow a lot of my favourite artists on social media, and always keep an eye out for new games or animation, things that inspire me.
―― How has your style and preferred theme changed over time?
basically I read everything before university, in last few years I seem to be more interested in apocalyptic and wasteland themes, exploring the meaning of life, rebuilding or destroying certain values.
―― Does art helped you in other ways of your life?
I guess it's more of a burden than a help, hah. I often eat or sleep late because of drawing, my mood for the day also depends on creation.
―― How do you rate your work?
Currently I just drawing what I like, and realize there a lot of immaturity in my technique and expression. But every year I feel better than last year, so I hope myself getting better in the future.
―― Would you like to share any artists or works that you admire?
I like Reoenl, Paindude and Kazuma Koda, their works helped me a lot when I was lost.
―― Tell us your favourite animation works, literature, or films!
The first Japanese anime I addicted to was "Madoka Magica", it brought a great shock to the 14-year-old me. In the university my favourite anime was “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. The most recent one I've been watching over and over again is“Mardock Scramble”, and I've watched many times of both novel and the theatrical.
―― What are your ultimate career goals?
I hope to keep drawing what I love in the future and be able to get satisfaction out of creating it.
―― Would you mind tell us what business projects have you been involved in?
I have been involved illustrating some Chinese mobile game projects, such as“Project Snow”, “Reverse:1999”, “Tower of Fantasy” and “Arknights”.
―― If you were to commercial your work, what kind of project would you like to try?
I'm more of a gamer, so gamification is what I'm most looking forward to, followed by manga or anime. But it feels very far away (laughs)
―― Would you like tell us what do you think of AI painting?
From my experience, ai painting is just a gimmick to promote the idea that "amateurs can also create master works", actually it is very uncontrollable, you can think it as a library of smart filters. It works by generate a picture → pick a suitable one → add or delete keywords to adjust parameters → pick another suitable one → modify keywords, and so on, it’s just like debugging a machine that integrates all creators' works together, which is not considered creation. Whether it's AI or 3D assistance or photography, they're all just tools, they can't replace your mind. If you don't know what you want but expect technology brings good result, you will only become a slave to it.
―― Thank you for to be interviewed, is there any words you like to say to your audience or other creators?
I’m glad to participate the interview, it’s my great honor that you like my work. I hope you're all free to create and do what you like!
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