Drawing On Anime For Inspiration

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 25, 2006
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Artist Jaemi Yoshioka at work
Artist Jaemi Yoshioka at work

Liam is half-man and half-bird, but the trauma of his wife dying has made him lose all the color in his feathers.

Liam is just one of the characters and storylines that go along with the Japanese anime characters that artist Jaemi Yoshioka has created.

“I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil,” Yoshioka says. “I started manga (Japanese anime drawing) in seventh grade when I saw it on TV. I started emulating the drawing style, then I started to drift away from it and form my own style.”

Yoshioka’s company, Mini Mini Things, offers her artistic drawing skills as a service as well as her product line, which features her manga characters on T-shirts, mirrors and buttons.

Her T-shirts have Liam and Sierra together. Sierra is half-bird and half-woman, and when she sings something good or bad happens - depending on how she sings. The storyline has hunters trying to get rid of Liam, Sierra and their other friends who

are half-human and half-bird. It was the Japan-based Gundam Wing television series that jump-started Yoshioka’s interest in manga. The show is about five boys who are sent to Earth, and they pilot robots in the Gundam mobile suit to fight in a war against the enemy.

Drawing is a skill that the Waianae resident says she enjoys.

“It is really easy, but I had to work on getting better,” she explains about her talent. “It just comes.”

Yoshioka has been commissioned to do several art projects. For a conference on education, her teacher asked her if she’d be interested in doing a book cover. Yoshioka drew a bouquet of hibiscus flowers for the cover. For a hula instruction manual cover for which she was commissioned, Yoshioka drew a girl blowing flowers into the wind. The Kalani ‘06 graduate’s services were secured to design a Christmas card, which featured a boy with a snowball and a girl with a surfboard.

The young entrepreneur is part of a group called Monkey Ame with other young women who have unique anime-influenced drawing styles. They have had gallery showings of their work at Borders, as well as at an art event. They will have two booths showcasing their wares at Hawaii’s anime convention, the Kawaii Kon ‘07.

By the next craft fair, she will add her series of characters onto postcards, greeting cards and stationery.

For more information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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