Interview with Yami-Hydran
Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
During my studies, I’ve had some classes on nude drawing, or on the position of shadows and lights. But as to what’s in my DeviantArt gallery (the manga style, watercolor, etc), I’ve learned by myself how to draw this way and my style evolved throughout the years.
What appealed to you the most about being an artist? Where does your inspiration come from?
What I like the most about being an artist is the power to create various universes and characters, and to make these characters come to life by staging them through illustrations or comics. Sharing all those things is also very important for me!Like many, I find inspiration in the world around me, especially artists on internet but also photos, color patterns, objects, costumes from all eras, animals, particular places… I collect all kinds of images that I like on my computer to have some ideas when I don’t have any inspiration, or to keep them as references for future projects.
What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till its final state?
For a watercolor, I generally do a very small sketch of the general composition. I then directly sketch it on watercolor paper (it took me years to learn how to sketch properly on the first try without using a light box).
After that, I start by putting a first layer of diluted paint on all the elements, in order to define their tints and the general atmosphere of the illustration. I repeat the process three, four, five times in order to add more pronounced contrast and shadows, and at the very end I work on details (eyes, etc).
Why use watercolour as your main medium? What brands do you use?
I don’t know since when watercolor became my favorite medium for coloring, but what I’m certain of is that I’m more used to traditional mediums : digital coloring quickly bores me, and staying in front of my computer makes my back hurt. On the contrary, I have a lot of fun handling water and paintbrushes; it’s really something difficult to explain!
What I like about watercolor is the fact that all the colors are “ready-to-use” in their pans, not like color inks for example. I lack patience when mixing colors even though I’m starting to get used to it… I also love the fact that the colors are not saturated when using watercolor. And finally, what I love about this medium are its very particular and watery textures, and the interplay of transparency when applying the colors layer by layer.
I mostly use White Nights watercolors. I also have some pans of Sennelier and Winsor & Newton.
What is 'CORTEGE' and 'The Queen society'? What are your plans for these projects?
Cortege gathers together a lot of characters which belong to fantastic universes, inspired from myths, legends and fairytales. As most of them don’t have their own stories, I regrouped them under this name for now. Cortege is also the name of a collaborative project that I realized in 2012 during my studies, where I asked participants to create characters files that I would draw then. The created characters belong as much to their creators as they belong to me (project tumblr: 1000-cortege.tumblr.com/ ). I’m planning to develop the characters of Cortege little by little with Shini-FG in order to create stories taking place into separated or linked universes, following places and times where the action takes place. We will probably make several comics around this project.
The Queen Society is a comic in three volumes of 140 pages each, written by :devshini-fg :. Here’s the summary of the first volume: London, XIXe century. The industrial boom marks the uprising of machinery, and thus humans and mechanic puppets live altogether at the heart of a capital torn by repression. Ethan Bradley belongs to the Queen Society, a secret society which aims to throw back the American occupying forces. He’s going to meet Joey Keller, a mechanic. Together, they get involved in crazy adventures of conspiracy, treason and murders.
We finished this comic in July 2014 so this project is finished!
Do you use a set colour scheme? I noticed with your works such as 'Frozen Garden' and 'Dreams Flight' there is few range of colours.
Nowadays, I do try to restrain my color schemes for a sole illustration, because I usually like to use many different ones. I like both ways of proceeding in the end, and I don’t want to limit myself to one. What’s for sure is that for each watercolor, I don’t color without having first defined the color scheme.
What would you consider to be the most important points to think when drawing manga?
_Keeping a good readability for the reader through the organization of the pages, the position of the characters and the speech bubbles
_Keeping in mind the rhythm that you want to give to the story, because it will influence the organization of the pages and the feelings of the reader.
_Mastering the expressions of the characters and the emotions that you want to convey
As a whole, always try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes by focusing on what he’s going to feel: readability, rhythm and emotions.
Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
Never give up! It’s through hard work and time that one can evolve. It’s also necessary to learn to listen to others’ advice, and to be able to question yourself continually in order to advance.
I don’t have any particular references to give. I’d rather advise people to find inspiration among the artists and subjects that they like, and to establish from it a little collection of books and/or images taken from internet.
You can find Yami-Hydran at:
Interview with Kutty-Sark
How long have you been an artist, how long have you been studying? Have you studied art at school or college?
I loved to draw as long as I remember myself, but it was more like doodles for fun. I started to take it seriously, when I was 17 years old, because I decided to pass exams to theatre arts college. I used to learn theatre and historical costume design there. We learned painting and drawing as well as costume design. Now I continue studying at academy of fine arts.
Where doe's you inspiration come from?
It comes from everywhere I guess X)
As for some particular things, Listening to music and watching to illustrations with historical costumes, photos of different subculture costumes, concept designs and costume stylizations always inspire me a lot. Also the art of some great artists inspires me so much. Watching to beauty they create, I want to improve my skills to!
What is the main software you use then drawing Manga? I notice you mentioned on your profile that you use SAI and a graphics tablet. Why use these? I realise you also use watercolour. Is there any particular favourite? Why use watercolour?
As for drawing with computer, I use SAI for drawing and Photoshop for editing scans of my traditional works and adding manga screentones (I draw manga with ink and then edit scans). And sure, I use graphic tablet too. Anyway, I always was more traditional artist. For example, I use Sai just because it's easier for me to find some similarities between drawing in SAI and drawing by hands.
And as I already mentioned, I think that first of all I'm a traditional artist ^^ And my favourite technique is watercolor. I used to try different traditional techniques, but watercolor is my love ^^ When I started to drawing with it, I thought that I will never learn using it. My first tries were really horrible! XD I have no words to describe how awful they were! But after some time I felt in love with watercolor. Anyway there are a lot of things I still have to learn about this technique.
Can you tell me any information on the materials you use for your traditional works?
Sure ^^ I use "White Nights" watercolor paints, "UniPin", "Faber Castell" or "Sakura" waterproof liners and white ink. Also I use natural brushes from fox, squirrel and kolinsky fur for painting. As for the paper, I oftenly used ordinary local watercolor paper. Sometimes I use canson and fabriano. It's not common or cheap here, but I buy it when I have a chance. It's easier to buy good paper now, so I try to draw using better paper more It always gives a better result ^^
Also I use ink, color pencils and acrylics.
What is the Princess Project? What are your goals for the project?
Princess Project is an artbook that tries to create fairytale world full of really different fairly kingdoms with their beautiful princesses, based on different fairytale and legend creatures and just lovely ideas.
It was a first artbook for me and my goal was just to try how it can be and have fun ^^ Everything about this project goes pretty slow and I can't wait to see the final result! ^o^/
Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Not only with learning concept artists, you can include those studying for Fine Art or Illustration. Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
The first thing I want to advice - never give up! No matter how it hard, no matter how much time and tries it will take, you can always improve your skills if you really want it! And also, never stop at what has been accomplished.
As for learning materials, I think every artist should have an anatomy book by Gottfried Bammes. It's the best book about human anatomy for artists I ever saw.
Also, If you are interested in costumes like I am, try to find costume history book by Auguste Racinet. Most of books about costumes are based on this book, so It's better to see the primary source ^^