The following is an interview with Reina Hamayoshi (pixiv – Senior Management of International Marketing and Branding Team) regarding the upcoming launch of pixiv’s 4th Annual Drawfest in Partnership with Wacom Co., Ltd. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Hamayoshi about the lectures and workshops which will be available through the virtual event, pixiv’s resources available to creators throughout the year, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on pixiv’s 4th Annual Drawfest, taking place on Saturday, June 10th, and Saturday, June 17th (JST). What can you share with us about the workshops and lectures that will make up this incredible online drawing event?
Reina Hamayoshi: Our first presentation is by none other than OMOCAT, the creative genius behind the hit indie game, “OMORI.” OMOCAT will take us on a journey, mapping out the progression of “OMORI” from its inception to the final product. You’ll have the opportunity to design your own imaginative realms or “headspaces,” taking inspiration from the “OMORI” process.
Next, we have an insightful session with KawaiiSensei. They’re quite popular for their artistic “picture recipes” shared extensively on social media. KawaiiSensei will be focusing on composition and human figure drawing. And there’s more: Your registration also covers a unique “Atari Diagnosis.” This will allow KawaiiSensei to help guide you towards your optimal drawing approach, or ‘Atari.’
For our third lecture, we’re excited to introduce Ogipote. His charming and nostalgic illustrations of girls have gained much recognition. In his session, Ogipote will share his techniques on creating meaningful illustrations, packed full of story. He’ll also delve into his specialty of animation painting, a method that uses shading and effects to add depth and prevent his work from becoming repetitive. We’ve also got a special guest! The renowned Vtuber Iron Mouse, primarily active in English-speaking countries, will be joining us for a fan-art drawing session by Ogipote along with the audience.
BD: As pixiv’s Senior Management of International Marketing and Branding Team, what are you most looking forward to sharing with participants in this year’s event?
RH: Up until now, Drawfest has catered primarily to English and Japanese speakers. But this year, we’re expanding our horizons and introducing Chinese and Korean as additional languages. Our aim is to welcome participants from an even broader range of regions to Drawfest and, in turn, witness an array of diverse submissions.
Speakers from two out of our three programs will be providing direct feedback on select submissions on our special Feedback Day. So far, we’ve been giving advice on artwork through comments, which has its value. However, we believe this direct approach will offer deeper insights and clearer guidance to our participants about potential areas of improvement.
BD: pixiv is the world’s largest creation platform, offering opportunities both for connecting with other creators and readers, as well as showcasing creative works. What are some of the most exciting resources and tools that are available to creators, outside of this year’s Drawfest?
RH: At Pixiv Inc., we’re passionate about developing and managing a suite of products designed to inspire and support creativity. Two of our standout offerings are pixivFANBOX and VRoidStudio.
pixivFANBOX is a vibrant fan community platform, designed to empower fans in supporting their favorite creators. This unique setup allows creators to focus on their craft and experiment with new content, backed by the regular support of their fans. It’s a wonderful tool for creators to share exclusive updates with their fanbase, regardless of geographic boundaries.
VRoidStudio, on the other hand, has a different mission. We’re all about making 3D creation accessible to everyone. That’s why we offer this free, user-friendly software with high customizability, enabling both novice and experienced users to craft their own original 3D characters. Even if you’ve never dabbled in 3D before, VRoidStudio is here to help you create attractive characters without the steep learning curve. Still TBD but we might have a dedicated session on VRoidStudio at Drawfest next year.
BD: Are there any other developments that you have in the works at pixiv this year?
RH: This June and July, we’re preparing for the release of “Artists in the Americas,” a sensational art book curated and supervised by us at pixiv. This collection showcases the work of 62 standout creators currently making waves across North and South America.
To celebrate this release, we’re organizing book signing events at select Kinokuniya stores in the US. Here’s when and where you can join us:
Friday, June 30th, at Kinokuniya Bookstore – Santa Anita
400 S Baldwin Ave E17, Arcadia, CA 91007
Friday, July 7th, at Kinokuniya Bookstore – New York
1073 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Tuesday, July 4th, at Kinokuniya Bookstore – Seattle
525 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104
“Artists in the Americas” is the latest addition to our “Artists in~” series, a collection of illustration books we’ve been publishing in collaboration with publishers around the globe. Previous editions have included Taiwan (2021 and 2023) and Korea (2021). The aim of these books is simple: to share the work of creators worldwide, breaking down regional and language barriers, and to foster connections among diverse creators.
In 2022, we made strides toward this goal by releasing English versions of the Taiwanese and Korean editions through a Kickstarter project. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce that a second Korean edition is in the pipeline, set for release this coming fall and winter.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about pixiv and this year’s Drawfest?
RH: At its heart, Drawfest is a unifying event. It connects artists across nations, regions, and languages, fostering a global community of creative minds. We cordially invite you to join us for this yearly celebration of creativity. Challenge yourself to pick up a brush and contribute your unique artistic voice to the mix. For all the latest updates, don’t forget to follow the official Drawfest Twitter account. We can’t wait to see you there!