I had a love hate relationship with anime for years. Akira was what dragged me into anime, back in 5th grade… so 1992-3ish? If I remember correctly the Sci-fi channel had an anime night.. back when it was still hip and underground.
Snow, the White Irish rapper no-one could understand, was popular and my favorite band was KMFDM (oddly enough not much has changed, I still like KMFDM, and no one has ever bothered to translate Snow’s songs.)
I think my love for anime can be explained very simply, at least at that age, there were boobs in it, and they were naked.. even if it was just for a second.. and they showed it on late night TV! Anyway at some point the story of Akira appealed to me, the action was intense, the plot easy to follow, and the voice acting seemed to match up with the lips. Akira was my Gateway drug, soon I had a copy of Akira, Ninja Scroll, some bootlegs of Blue Seed, and from there it kinda grew.
By the time I got into high school I was the kid that went to Anime Expo in Anahiem, CA every year. Hit on the hot cosplayers, and could quote stupid lines from various Animes and Final Fantasy games in Japanese. Then something strange and wonderful happened…
I discovered live action Chinese and Japanese action films, and not the stupid ones that managed to get over here, but the cool “underground” stuff. Like Versus, Battle Royale, Hero(I still have my Hong Kong Original foil box!) 2009 Memories, Drunken Master, this list really does get a bit longer.
At about the same time I also discovered that it took about as much effort to ask a girl out, develop a relationship, and become intimate in that relationship; as it took to find porn. One of these girls, an artist herself, dragged me into my first really explorations of what it meant to be a painter, and illustrator.
I have always had the bug, doodling all the time, but it was this girl that made the possibility of becoming and artist stick in my mind. We only dated for 3 weeks, so her inspiration really ended with ‘Hey this could be a job.’ . But I had a path laid ahead of me in so many ways.
As I began to study art, photography, painting, and the histories that go along with all these things I grew further and further away from Anime. By my senior year I had ditched almost all of my anime, only stubbornly holding on to the few rare “gems”, I considered to have good art. Of all of those only two have survived the rest of my education and the ten years it took me to get here. Serial Experiments Lain, and Cowboy Bebop.
Sadly, in the last few months I even let these go from my DVD collection. I hadn’t watched either of them in years, and I couldn’t see myself watching them again. (I still have a growing collection of Kung-Fu, Samurai, and other Asian action films)
This all bring me to my next project. Lain will be my subject, and my main goal is to make her a woman, sexy, dangerous, mysterious and give her a bit of an American Illustration twist. (No more big eyes and small mouth…)
Stay tuned as I will have my first few steps organized and presented soon!
PS: Mermaid #sketchaday will be up later tonight.