Sunday, January 1, 2017

INTERVIEW: Kanekiru Talks Art, Pokemon, and Blobfish

Finally, a new interview!
In brief, Kanekiru (or Kane for short) is a digital art wizard, creating masterful digital paintings inspired predominantly by anime and manga, and most recently, she rose in prominence through her works related to Pokemon Sun and Moon. Although admitting she's not the most well-versed in video games, I've found her work to be so captivating that I just had to ask her if she'd be interested, and thankfully, she obliged! So, without further prefacing, here it is!
First of all, who are you?
Hello, I'm Kane! I'm currently a hobby artist attending my first year in a uni for computer science.
How did you get into art? Likewise, how did you develop your artistic style? 
I was first drawn into art by he visual aspect. As a kid, I found the way animated movies were made to be so interesting. It was just so enticing how the process of figures drawn by humans were capable of moving and relaying stories through a lively visual appeal. The illustrations in books also got me hooked because, as a visual person, it helped me to see what was also being read.
It's pretty obvious my style involves the general anime/manga style that Japan (and now other Asian countries) have developed. I think it's too early for me to consider my work to have a distinguished style that other famous anime artists have, but so far I've been picking nits and pieces of styles I like and have experimented with, and have tried creating my own.

How much work goes into executing your art? 
It honestly depends on what I'm going for. The range could be 8-40 hours. I'm a detail-oriented person, so my work tends to have a lot of detail.
My process is a bit messy compared to a lot of other artists. I usually have a terrible sketch with quick coloring to get an idea of how the overall piece will look. However, sometimes the end product will look completely different! The next thing is lining, but since it's a long process for us artists, I get impatient and start coloring if a fair amount of the lines are complete. Coloring is my least favorite part as I'm still trying to think of the technique and light source, and thus, takes the longest to do. At some point in this stage, I complete the lines in order for the piece to look more organized. As I'm jumping back and forth on different parts and stages of my piece, I also work on the background so that the entirety is more cohesive and logical with the rest of the elements. When I'm close to done with general stuff, I spend time focusing on little details to add the context of the piece.
You’re also a programming student. Is it ever difficult to try to balance between both art and programming? Do the two at all go hand in hand or is it having two different mindsets?
Considering I've only done one beginner computer science class, it's kind of hard to say. I managed to draw and do well in the class, but next semester will be a different story.
Though I have to say the balance between practicing drawing versus programming is definitely weighted on drawing. Compsci is actually completely new to me, so I'm still adjusting to the basic skills needed to do well. I would say that it's a bit hard for me to comprehend based on how sequential it is; I don't work in the order that it typically expected and programs are executed in order. However, simultaneously, each artist has their own algorithm or process, and that can be said for programmers as well. We're all learning how to find processes that are faster or even saving us the hell of looking through hundreds of layers and lines of code.
"Swing around the Universe" by Kane. Link.
What about Pokemon Sun/Moon got you back into the Pokemon series?
Whenever Pokemon news came out, my Twitter feed would socialize more than ever about the hype that GameFreak and Nintendo were presenting to the foremost of game news. This year, since I started earning some money from working on art projects, I decided to buy the 3DS XL and Sun and Moon. Aside from enjoying a Pokemon game again after so many years, there was a lot of socializing with friends about a childhood game we both played. May of them are also into Zelda or Kingdom Hearts or other classics, but after a certain point a few years ago, I lost interest in games, so those games were not known to me. Not only was/am I terrible at playing games, I had no one else to resonate with. I've honestly never enjoyed a Pokemon game so much until now! The designs also spoke volumes to me. (Rowlet especially.)
Do you have a favorite and least favorite Pokemon?
My favorite is probably Milotic and my least favorite... not sure!
"Let's Go!" by Kane. Link.
Your work depicting Lillie has clearly resonated with what I can only describe as an insane amount of people. What is it about the character that appeals to you?
When Lillie's design came out, I instantly fell in love. It was kind of my aesthetic at the time and it was interesting how they mentioned she was an important character to the plot. Spoiler alert, but she is honestly just a blessing. Her development in the game was so attractive because she decided she wouldn't depend too much on others and decided to become a trainer herself. Even after all the the horrors her mom put her and Gladion through, they both found their strengths. She was already strong in the beginning for saving Cosmog and escaping. Although she's weak, in that she has no Pokemon to defend herself with, her determination speaks for her strength. Plus, she is the best to have around when I need to desperately heal my pokes. I really hope she enjoys her journey accumulating more knowledge and battle skill.
Also, in the anime, she is adorable for words and expect similar strengths from her with her game parallel. 
What games are you looking forward to?
At the moment, I'm looking forward to Nier: Automata! I'm considering actually buying it later to play because the game mechanic looks amazing compared to its predecessor and universe parallel, the Drakengard series. (I watch a fair amount of let's-plays.) The aesthetic of the game and theme is also very appealing to me. The artists chosen to do the Drakengard and Nier series are actually my favorite game illustrators.
Along with this, I'n also looking forward to my friend's game, Little Goody Two Shoes. It's an upcoming pixel RPG horror game that I believe is the successor to Pocket Mirror.
Lastly, I’m not dissing on them at all, but what do you think is the appeal of the blobfish?
They're so ugly, they're cute.

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Thanks so much to Kane for helping me get back into the swing of things! I urge you to check her out on Deviantart, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter if you don't already, because she is amazing.

I didn't put all this at the top because that disrupts the meat of the article with superfluous updates, but yes, for the new year, I will try to be more consistent with putting out interviews every month, so look forward to that!

If you want to go all the way back to the last interview with Final Smash, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS PART OF THE LEGACY LIST. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.

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