【Interview】COPIC AWARD 2020 Judges: Yurie Sekiya
The third interview is with Ms. Yurie Sekiya, a professional illustrator who is active in a wide range of fields.
In this interview, she talks about the difficulties of judging and sends a message to encourage those who are hesitant to apply for the COPIC AWARD 2021.
Interview with Yurie Sekiya
Sekiya graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from Tama Art University in 2010. She is known for drawing characters with big, shining eyes and for her own interpretation of the Japanese “kawaii culture" in her illustrations, where she represents the fan-favorite Pero Pero ★ Sparkles. Sekiya currently works in a wide range of areas including fashion apparel and design for character merchandise.
Q: What are your thoughts after today's final judging round?
I got different impressions of the pieces when viewing them in person as compared to seeing them online from home. The difference was huge in a good way - Of course, the size is completely different. So the impression was different when looking at thumbnails during the judging round online and then seeing actual pieces again.
Seeing them in person gave me a different impression, and the colors and details of the drawings came across more directly, so I was really glad to be able to see the original artworks.
As a result, I gave a final vote for a piece I didn't originally choose. It was a fun experience!
Q: What criteria did you use to choose the nominations in the first round of judging?
This topic actually came up when I was talking with the other judges earlier, but I really like pieces that conveyed the artist's enthusiasm or passion for drawing. I like the pieces that may not be doing something really difficult but left a strong impression, rather than prioritizing technical drawing skills.
Q: Please let us know your thoughts on the piece that you chose for the Judges' award.
In the end, I chose a piece that I initially thought was great from when I first saw it online. Technically, it's very simple and straightforward in terms of how Copic markers are used. The style is really simple, but it's a style I don't see often, so it caught my eye.
Purple tones are used throughout, and the way how the light from the TV is reflected in the darkroom is really well done.
The overall mood conveyed in the piece is amazing. Also, the artist had a good sense of color balance. I chose it because I really liked it.
Q: Are there any of the entries chosen by the other judges that caught your attention?
Yes, there were quite a few that I liked. Many initially didn't catch my eye when I saw them online, but I realized later that there were quite a few excellent pieces. The pieces that were selected today as the Grand Prize and Second Place winners were pieces that I did not choose in the first round. Those pieces are outstanding, and I wondered how I overlooked them!
I was especially impressed with the piece that came in Second Place with the image of a girl in the forest ("Vielfalt" by HiddenService). That one was really the best when viewing it in person. The closer you look at it, the more you can feel the style and touch of the artist. That left a great impression on me.
Judge's Award (selected by Yurie Sekiya) 「Construcción de símbolo」/Ariel Gutierrez
Q: What advice do you have for those who are struggling to find their own creative individuality?
I've always had a predilection for Shoujo Manga (girl's comics). For example, the almost excessively drawn twinkle in the big eyes of characters. I'm so fascinated by the way Shoujo Manga artists obsess over how to make their characters' eyes sparkle.
When there is something very eye-catching in a drawing, the audience will also appreciate it. I think that's great. In my case, I really wanted to impress everyone with the eyes of the characters, and that led to my current style. Art can convey how an artist has an interest in a specific area. As for myself, I love eyes!
Q: Please give us a few words regarding the next COPIC AWARD.
I thought it was a good event because the Grand Prize wasn't based necessarily on drawing skills. This year's Grand Prize-winning piece demonstrated how much fun art is. It means the entry simply expressing the fun of art could win this AWARD. It's a competition everyone has a chance to win, so I think it's a good idea for anyone to show their art out there and participate.
I look at the pieces here right now, and I feel any of them could have won the AWARD. It was hard to choose the winners because they are all so good!
We appreciate Yurie Sekiya taking the time to talk to us.