All artwork in this post is by Amir Syazwani and is used here with permission.
– This week we have an interview with another up and coming artist. We met on Facebook a few months ago and I’ve been enjoying their regular posts there. Please introduce yourself for the readers.
Why hello!! My name is Amirah ( a rather typical name lol) and my page is Himechi Kaori in Facebook or even deviantart. I am 19 years old now and a Malaysian citizen! I love drawing and designing many things so I hope anyone that looks at my work would be happy seeing them.
– Definitely. It’s such an appealing style. What’s your inspiration for your art? Why did you start drawing/writing?
Well I started drawing purely out of the want to create characters for fan fictions or stories I made up in my mind since I was 6. And honestly, a six year old would be full of imagination. Like most other children I just pick up whatever’s there and tried drawing xD. My inspiration come from a lot of things!! Some color palettes or designs come from foods or even anything that strikes me as beautiful or cute and irresistible!
– How long have you been drawing?
From the second I took a pencil it’s probably 12-13 years. That includes the ‘stick man’ period of drawing too.
– We’ve all been there. I think I am still there. What equipment do you use?
Pencils! Magic colors or the usual coloured pencils. Sometimes I do use watercolors but I still haven’t been able to have watercolor papers so sometimes it looks weird. I draw traditionally and colors digitally. I use Befunky.com nowadays and yeas I do not own tablets or such. Previously I did but that was also just for colouring. I wish I can have one soon though. Digital lines looks so smooth.
– That’s true. You mainly draw cute anime and chibi style characters. How long did it take to develop your style? How did you learn?
Oh my. As long as I remember, I have learned to draw by observation and most of those come from watching anime. My style is a bit strange lolol since i mixed manga and anime like K-on as reference previously xD. As for chibi, it’s mainly because I usually screw up drawing facial expressions and angles which I haven’t practiced enough yet. I cannot recall how did I got good in drawing chibi but I guess it developed by time without me realizing it.
– How did you know you had found your style?
Like I said, it’s purely based on observations and practice. I love cute things and shoujo style of drawings because the details on the face focus more on eyes rather than anatomy. Eventually my style became a canvas to paint my designs on characters which can be seen on my arts I believe.
– One of the reasons I do these interviews is to help other artists. So, was it a personal journey or are there some general tips you could give a beginner artist, still looking for their voice?
Despite being observant and doing traces for practice (this usually help improves faster but tends to create a style very similar to what they traced or copy), a style will surely develop themselves. Just draw whatever you love. Cause from there, the fingers start moving. And the heart feels content when its finished. Just draw from the heart dearies.
– Everything comes from love. Are there any other activities you love doing which influence your art?
Hmmm. Not particularly. I stay a lot in my house and in my room so I am pretty much a low key hikikomori. I just spend my time drawing or house chores or maybe watching animes and analysis of it xD.
– We have to get inspiration from somewhere. What’s your favourite thing to draw?
Characters with beautiful designs. They’re just the best!
– Sharing work, there’s always the chance that artists will meet and team up. Have you worked on any projects with other artists (illustrators, writers). If not, would you like to? Do you do commissions?
I haven’t collaborate much. Maybe once or twice with friends on really simple ones. Of course I would love to do collaborations. It’s fun xD. About commissions, yes I do make commissions to make some money because I am not working right now. Recent Comic Fiesta is actually the first place where I managed to actually distribute my first commissions. Some of the commissioners were so nice for paying more than the original price just for supporting me. I really appreciate them. If anyone is interested just pm me~
– Your colors are very strong and vivid. Is this a personal choice?
Yep! I have always love bright and vibrant colors since I can remember. I like them to be sparkly and stands out a lot! And I love seeing shades of colors on my characters too.
– Another popular venture for artists is the web comic. Have you done any?
I plan to, but never executes them ;; . I do not have the set of skills and the sense to place the right scenes or speech bubbles and things like that. Plus I was waiting to get myself a tablet so that the effects would be placed easier. One day, surely.
– What’s the 5 year plan?
I’m a free person. I ain’t got no plan xD. I just draw freely on my will plus I am not trying to take drawing into the professional world. Its just a hobby.
– That’s great. See where it takes you. So, talk us through the steps of creating an OC.
At times, ideas of the designs pop out randomly and I just draw it. But other times I have to find ideas like how do I make the hair not so typical, what kind of details I want to add. But it usually starts with hair, to the top, the bottom and shoes~
– Hair is one of my favorite features. I often start there but then the face ends up all wrong, or mostly hidden. Do you hide details and jokes in your pictures? Any secret stories about pictures you’d like to share?
Nope. I’m very straightforward with my arts xD
– If you could illustrate for any book or story, what would you like to illustrate?
Well, I have always wanted to portray a story or illustration about being able to see freedom, but not being able to fly or soar high. Like a free bird with it’s wings caught in thorns.
– Can you give us any previews of upcoming work?
I don’t actually have any wip right now since I just got back from Comic Fiesta and I am planning to take a few days rest.
– Time’s almost up! Is there anything else you would like to shamelessly plug now before I unleash the soapy frogs of doom?
If anyone is reading this please come and like my page on Facebook and support me ;; I am not known in the world of arts at all xD but if anyone can appreciate my work I’d be happy.
– Thank you very much! So please check out their work and get in touch if you fancy an art share. So, readers, it’s been a few posts in now. Have you picked up a pencil since following my blog? Let me know in the comments below. And if you have any comments or further questions for Amirah do the same.