【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2020 Judges: Takeshi Obata
The second interview is with Mr. Takeshi Obata. He is a creator of very popular mangas such as Hikaru no Go, DEATH NOTE, and Bakuman that many manga enthusiasts have read at least once.
Mr. Obata's works are loved by people of all ages. We're sure that many Copic fans admire his superb technique.
In this interview, Mr. Obata explains why he selected the winning works, the advantages of Copic and sends his special message to Copic fans for the next COPIC AWARD.
Interview with Takeshi Obata
Takeshi Obata Manga artist
Obata made his debut in 1989 with his first major series Cyborg Jii-chan G in Weekly Shonen Jump. After this series, he began collaborating with other writers. His major works include Hikaru no Go, DEATH NOTE, and Bakuman. In January 2021, Platinum End, which was serialized in Jump SQ magazine, came to its finale.
＿What are your thoughts after today's final judging round?
It was a lot of fun to see the actual pieces with unique styles from all over the world. I myself create color illustrations using Copic markers, so I was really interested to see how other artists use them. The judging process was a really interesting experience because entries submitted to the COPIC AWARD were not limited to drawings on paper, but also included three-dimensional art.
Q: What criteria did you use to choose the nominations in the first round of judging?
I made my evaluations based on the technical drawing skills of the artist, and as art done with Copic markers tend to convey something fun, I looked for pieces that gave me that feeling.
Q: Were there any pieces that caught your eye?
Yes, the piece titled "vielfolt" is extraordinary. The texture is amazing, and he also uses layers in drawings, but it's such a marvelous pieceーto the point where I think I can't achieve this level of artistic expression. When I saw the piece in person, I was so impressed by how well the artist was able to create this artwork using Copic markers. There were so many pieces that made me wish I could draw better. When I see those drawings in person, I can sense how the artist had a great time drawing them. There were many pieces that I didn't choose, but I thought they were all great after looking at them in person.
Q: Please let us know your thoughts on the piece that you chose for the Judges' award.
Perhaps I could say that I simply chose it because I liked it. This was a piece that I liked since I first saw it online and felt that I wanted to see the actual artwork. I've tried to draw something like this myself. When you were in school, you drew doodles on a textbook, right? Once you start drawing, you can't stop, and you keep drawing - But you can't complete it because something went wrong in the middle. I wanted to draw something like this piece, but I just couldn't do it. I've always really liked people who can draw like this. So I picked it based on my preference.
Judge's Award (selected by Takeshi Obata)「ばばば」/魚pH
Q: What advice do you have for those thinking of using Copic markers?
Copic is easy to use, and I think it's fun even for beginners because anyone can draw pretty nice pictures right away. My mother, who doesn't have an interest in drawing, used them for a bit, and she was able to draw a decent picture. I think they can be used by beginners and those who don't hold an interest in art. Moreover, if you become good at using them, you can create amazing pictures. So I think it's a drawing tool with great potential.
Q: What do you think about the growing number of digital drawing tools?
Whether good or bad, I continue using analog methods of drawing because my hand is used to such. Based on my experience, I know I'm probably faster doing things by hand, and I feel it's more fun to draw by hand. You may think that analog drawing is inconvenient, but if you take that inconvenience in stride, I think your experience can broaden in ways you wouldn't expect. I like to create and work with things with constraints that challenge me. So in that sense, it's really fun to use analog art materials, which have both limitations and flexibilities.
Q: Please give us a few words regarding the next COPIC AWARD.
All of the submitted entries will be posted on the online gallery, right? I really enjoyed seeing all of the entries. It made me want to draw, too. Sometimes it becomes difficult for me to draw, but when I see a drawing by another person, I can realize it's actually a fun thing to do. Many people are looking forward to seeing the entries, so it's always worth participating in the AWARD. It's not particularly important to get nominated or not. Whatever may be the outcome, you have nothing to lose! I think Copic is excellent art material that can be used right away even by beginners. I hope everyone participates in the next COPIC AWARD. I wish to see even more pieces in the future.
We appreciate Takeshi Obata taking the time to talk to us.