Bibipako (ビビパコ) also known as Hareta (はれた)
Inshoo (also known as Shaonav)
Now here is one of the best painters I will share, Kawayoo (川洋).
Kawayoo’s unique style is deep within every aspect of their art, from the more obvious, stylistically exaggerated body types and faces, to their clay-like textures, brilliant colors, and ethereal urban environments.
I personally die for the forms/shapes and space in Kawayoo’s work. Each scene and object has an incredible amount of depth that pulls you right into their intense, alternate universe Japan. Speaking of which, I am very curious about this consistent setting of Kawayoo’s pictures — whether it is random or following some story/theme, their combination of humans and humanoid creatures is entertainingly strange.
Covering a wide array of emotions, subjects and techniques, the artist Sono (そおの) creates a intriguingly varied and charming body of work. Sono’s watercolor-esque style of painting is present in most of her work, giving it a pleasant texture and lighting depth. Interestingly, Sono is very skilled at backgrounds/settings yet she often has virtually no background or one that is design based and flat. It is this sort of contrast — between painterly, perspective based images and flat, design based images — that impresses me most with Sono and keeps me interested in her work.
The painterly work of so-bin is created with an interesting multiplier effect which uses translucency to bring depth, form, and texture to their imagery. I particularly enjoy how many of so-bin’s image’s confuse me upon first glance and then come together in full detail as I piece together each part of the image. It is this digital, anime impressionism that keeps me fascinated by their work.
Painting with the full intensity and drama of their subject matter, Archlich (also known as Licheus) creates breathtaking scenes of heavenly exuberance and power. Archlich’s skillful control of lighting contributes to a large part of their dramatic compositions, while their bold brushstrokes bring in plenty of form and textural detail.
I personally admire Archlich’s ability to bring that same sort of godly-emotion of scenes from classic Christian art to anime. Although anime covers a huge spectrum of themes and emotions, a lot of the more popular themes are rather polar — softly cute or aggressively action-packed. The anime style more easily lends itself to cute and simple, but as works such as Evangelion and Akira have shown, the style is fully capable of intensity. Artists such as Archlich are important and necessary for demonstrating this side of anime while maintaining the aesthetic of some anime classics.
It is difficult for me to explain the genius, brilliance and originality behind the masterpieces of JNTHED. In many ways, JNTHED seems to be on a different level, his own level, recreating anime art while establishing a new genre. His work already feels timeless to me, as if anime has been around for centuries and he is one of the long dead masters.
A large part of what gives JNTHED’s work such a unique feel is his radical blend of digital and analog art. I do not know all the details of his process, but it seems that he uses analog mediums, such as oil paints and pencil, as well as digital painting and effects. Some of his work seems to be analog to digital (by way of scanner) while some works are from digital to analog. This blend gives his work a detailed richness at some times, and a minimalistic purism at other times — or both in combined harmony.
If you love the work of JNTHED as I do, now is the time to look into the prime of this living master. Along with the other links below, there is a link to the page for the last Japanese show JNTHED was in, A Nightmare is a Dream Come True, at the famous Kaikai Kiki Gallery of Takashi Murakami which took place just last month! Keep your eyes open for more.
One of the best and most well-known Korean anime artists alongside Kim Hyung-Tae is the phenomenal KKUEM. With her work in a variety of games (such as the upcoming Blade & Soul), books (Apple Anthology and Poppic), magazines, and advertisements, and as the designer of the Korean Vocaloid SeeU, KKUEM has established herself over the past few years as an extremely talented and professional artist.
The level of detail and quality of KKUEM’s work is astounding. Every pixel of her work is beautifully done, with every line and shadow masterfully painted, giving each picture a masterful solidity and cleanness. She has an excellent ability to light her images with a heavenly glow while composing dynamic, powerful compositions. I personally love KKUEM’s intense perspectives and every strand (or rather chunk) of hair she paints — though, it is really difficult to say I love any aspect of her work more than the next.
Note: I just discovered that KKUEM is married to Kim Hyung-Tae (the previously featured artist on Anime Clay) — which is really blowing my mind. Two of my most favorite artists — married. I guess it makes a whole lot of sense, in a way. Although it is really late, congratulations to those two!
Kim Hyung-Tae has become the most well known Korean anime artist, defining the Korean style of anime (as opposed to Japanese styles) that has influenced artists worldwide and expanded the anime style as a whole. As one of the first artists who I owned an art book by and knew by name, I feature Kim Hyung-Tae’s art work again here on Anime Clay as one of the artists I know best and admire most.
Kim Hyung-Tae’s main work is in character design, designing the characters of the Magna Carta series and the upcoming MMORPG Blade & Soul (which I would highly recommend checking out if you like Kim Hyung-Tae’s aesthetic, because it is an entire world of it with a lot of customization). His characters have a truly unique feel to them, typically having an incredible amount of detail and complexity. There is a quality to the materials and forms of his designs that feel thick and heavy to me which I can best describe as “clay-like”. This clay-like quality is perhaps most obvious in the hair of his characters, which are rich in form and smooth with a heavy liquidity.
The other quintessential aspect of Kim Hyung-Tae’s art is his extremely stylized and exaggerated anatomy. I have heard a lot of people complain about and attack the anatomy of Kim Hyung-Tae, and every time I am confused. People seem to act as if Kim Hyung-Tae is trying to be realistic, and judge his art based on how inaccurate it is to realistic anatomy. I do not understand how anyone could think that Kim Hyung-Tae was ever trying to be accurate. Furthermore, I do not understand why anyone demands realistic anatomy from any artist of the anime style — a defining part of anime is to stylize and exaggerate anatomy. Even outside of anime, artists have been distorting the human body for centuries, in sexual and non-sexual ways, at times much further than Kim Hyung-Tae. With those contradictory critics aside, I admire Kim Hyung-Tae for his extreme twist on anatomy and the balance that he has found between expressive forms and the human body with the anime style.