Artist Name: Kuki Kushiro
───Firstly, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Kuki Kushiro currently work as an illustrator.
───When did you start drawing, and have you attended any art schools?
I've been drawing since I can remember. I haven't attended any art-related schools, so I'm completely self-taught.
I was really interested in art school, but I didn't think I could make a living from it, so I was studying architecture. However, I was fortunate to be born in a good era, and when I saw a friend I used to play with on Twitter receiving commission, I thought, 'I want open commission too!' then I started to work as an illustrator from 2020.
───Please tell us about the works or characters that have influenced your preferences up until now.
My preferences are very easy to understand, most influence on me is Yaboku from Adachitoka's work 'Noragami'! Others include Sonic from 'One Punch Man', Leo Tsukinaga from 'Ensemble Stars!', Tsurumaru Kuninaga from 'Touken Ranbu', Yuu Suzuno from 'King of Prism', Hyakkimaru from 'Dororo (2019)', Lappland from 'Arknights', and Nagao Kei from the virtual YouTuber group 'Nijisanji'! Recently, I've become a fan of Reo Mikage from 'Blue Lock'! I like characters with a neutral, beautiful face, long hair, and a cheerful (or not necessarily cheerful) personality.
▲Fan art of Leo Tsukinaga from "Ensemble Stars!"
───What is your usual lifestyle like?
I work as an office worker on weekdays, draw at night and on weekends. I'm happy to say that I'm getting more and more illustration commission, so I want to work as a freelancer and draw pictures full-time.
───What is the most memorable work that you have drawn so far? Please also tell us about the episode that made you feel that way.
It's a fan art of YouTuber Nagao Kei, he is a member of Nijisanji. This work helped me to be discovered by many people.
Also, after I posted this illustration, I was approached to do character design for a social game called 'Byakuya Kyokkou.' It was a commission in a field that I had always been interested in, so I feel very lucky. I was thrilled!
───As we observe your works, we see the color "blue" used frequently. What does this color mean to you?
It started with me restricting myself to using only my favorite colors when I draw as a hobby.
When I draw as a hobby, I like to stand out by creating unique works, and I also like to be able to recognize who drew the illustration at a glance. So, I use blue a lot in my works to make it easier for people to associate this color with me. There are also other attractive colors, I want to try challenging myself with other colors in the future.
───What aspects do you focus on or what motifs do you like when creating your work?
I love swords and blood! I often draw characters fighting with swords regardless of their gender in original or fan art. Blood splatters can create a sense of dynamic movement and strong character, and when holding a sword, it's easy to create a cool silhouette and a good composition. It's the best. ───Please tell us about your experience with commercial projects and business activities so far.
Some impressive ones include:
・Character design for the social game "Byakuya Kyokkou"
・Character design for the VTuber "VVorks"
・Illustration for "Holostars UPROAR‼" Half Anniversary Goods!
All of them were significant projects, and I was thrilled to be involved in character design for social games and VTubers that I admired. When UPROAR‼ contacted me, I was really surprised as I had been following them since their first live stream.
▲"Byakuya Kyokkou" Watari
───What would you like to challenge yourself in the future? Also, if you have any announcements, please let us know!
I would like to try character design for games and other media. I have designed characters from scratch for some mobile games that are currently under development, besides 'Byakuya Kyokkou.' It was really enjoyable, and I want to take on more challenges! Besides that, to be honest, there are countless things that I want to do, such as being a Vtuber, publishing a book, having a solo exhibition, creating an artbook, collaborating on merchandise...! I want to work on many big projects!
As for announcements, I am grateful to say that I will be exhibiting my illustrations at the 'Illustration 100 Artists Exhibition 13,' which will be held from April 29th 2023, to May 7th 2023. I worked hard on them, so if you have the chance, please come and see them!
───Thank you for to be interviewed, is there any words you like to say to your audience or other creators?
Thank you for always supporting me! In the future, I will increase my activities and strive to do things that I cannot do right now. For those who are also drawing, let's work hard together, as I am doing my best too!
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