I love to feature art that is influenced by anime and which has some Christian theme. A number of artists have been gracious enough to let me feature their art on Beneath the Tangles. I recently came across an artist, Keiko, whose work I adore! In fact, I couldn’t pick just one work to show here, so I thought I’d display several, while also interviewing Keiko. Enjoy!
TWWK: Thanks for agreeing to the interview! I’m a big fan of your art – I haven’t seen anything like it. How would you describe your style?
KeikoKup: Thank you!! I’ve always wanted my art to have its own original touch, with a style that’s inspired by anime and manga, colorful, detailed, and full of energy and my passion for God and Christ. I want to create art that’s fun to look at but that also has a message behind it. That is what I aim for in my style.
TWWK: How has anime influenced your art?
KeikoKup: Anime has influenced my art in many ways. I started drawing anime and manga characters when I was in elementary school. I loved the cute and fun characters, and the style of anime and manga interested me. As I drew more, I wanted to create a style that was unique to me but still had that manga influence. There are also many manga artists that inspire me, such as Peach-Pit, Koge-Donbo, and Ema Toyama.
TWWK: How has faith influenced your art?
KeikoKup: Faith has greatly influenced my art lately. Before, I would usually just draw things that I thought would be interesting or fun with no true purpose except to improve my art. However, now I see drawing as a gift God has given me to spread his Word. Of course I still want to continue to improve my art, but now I try my best to draw with selfless intentions to bring God’s Word into the anime and manga community. God has done so much for me and has blessed me so much, so I want to give back as well. I’m happy that I can draw for something I truly believe in.
TWWK: What are your future career plans? Are they related to your art?
KeikoKup: My one true future career plan right now is to become a successful Christian manga artist and author. I’m not completely sure how I’ll get there, but I’m going to have faith in God that He will lead me step by step.
TWWK: You’ve taken some steps toward becoming a manga artist – could you tell us a little bit about Bomb Berry?
KeikoKup: Bomb Berry is a test manga I created to practice my drawing, writing, paneling, screen toning, and story writing skills. Bomb Berry was originally a short story I wrote for my creative writing class in 9th grade. Afterwards, I decided to make it into a manga. I wrote the script and story board with help from one of my best friends (who calls himself my editor), and started working on it throughout 10th grade. It was a challenge, trying to balance school work and drawing a manga page a week (especially because I wasn’t used to drawing backgrounds and using a g and maru pen). In the end, I was able to complete 10 pages. It was originally going to be around 23-24 pages, but I felt like God wanted me to move on and work on other projects.
TWWK: And a fun question to conclude with – what anime/manga character do you most relate to?
KeikoKup: That’s a tough question, but I would have to say Hikage Sumino from “I Am Here!” (Koko Ni Iru Yo!) by Ema Toyama. This is because I have difficulty in social situations much like her, but I still do my best to be a good person even though its hard. The way she has a blog and posts pictures she takes on it with online friends commenting also reminds me of how I draw pictures and post them on deviantart and how I have online friends that support me as well. For both of us, one way we can truly be ourselves is through the internet.
TWWK: Thanks so much for the interview!
You can see more of Keiko’s work on her DeviantArt page.