|**|||***** The [Fan]Art of luleiya *****|||**|
Alexa [aka] luleiya is a Hungarian Traditional&Digital Manga Artist that blossoms with every illustration she completes--whether it be a KuroxFai fan art or Princess Tutu. Outside of this fan art gallery [aka] FAG, she stands as a beautiful cosplayer and photographer, making the deviantART community all the more enjoyable to associate with.
What age were you when you found out about Japanese Anime and began drawing it?
I think I was about 11-12 years old when I first came in contact with Japanese anime through series that aired on TV such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Candy Candy, Sandybell, Mila Superstar, etc... but it was Sailor Moon that made the biggest impression on me and which made me determined to master the style. I felt really inspired and motivated. I collected cards with Sailor Moon illustrations and practiced by copying them as best as I could. I didn't have access to the internet back then so I collected everything related to SM and other anime that I could find (the supply was very limited and rare back then as well).
How often do you draw with this style on a daily basis? How many hours?
It's hard to say but I draw 6 days out of 7 every week and the hours depend on what I'm working on. My average drawing hour per day might be around 2-4 hours.
Does anything inspire you while you create?
Music has to be my biggest inspiration. I often come up with personal illustrations that are inspired by a certain song or melody but it also works the other way round: I often create a playlist which I keep on loop while working on a certain illustration in order to hold on to that mood, that feeling that made me start the illustration to begin with.
Music helps me concentrate as well; it helps me to shut out everything that might distract me while drawing and keeps me focused.
Character personalities, background info and story can be inspiring too. If I dig myself deep into the background story of a character, I feel closer to them and it makes me want to draw something representative of them, something that shows their inner shine, their true character. This often happens when I really get carried away by a manga/anime and a certian character - in my case a good example for this could be Fai D. Fluorite from CLAMP's manga: Tsubasa reservoir Chronicle.
Last but not least: many artists inspire me as well, of course. Among Japanese artists I should mention Azumi Tohru, Kousaka Tohru, Keiichi Sumi, Mochizuki Jun and CLAMP to be my biggest inspiration. I think I learnt a lot of new tricks both in traditional and digital art just by studying their works over the years.
Through the course of drawing in this style, what mediums have you used periodically?
I think I started out with colored pencils back when I began in 1998: first I worked with Faber Castle color pencils, then I changed to Prismacolor pencils.
In 2003 I was introduced to Copic markers and I slowly built up a big collection of colors over the years to make this my permanent, main tool for traditional art.
I also use a lot of other complementary tools for traditional art such as the Copic airbrush system with a mini-compressor, Copic opaque white paint, pastels, metallic gelpens, and also Sakura gluepen, a variety of glitter dust and flitters for decorative purposes.
I didn't bother to practice digital art for a long time - I made a few traditionally inked and mouse-colored pics on and off but without any real motivation for development.
In 2005 I finally bought my first tablet, a simple Genius pentablet but even after a few weak tries I gave up on it and haven't touched it till 2008 or so when I picked it up again with more determination - for coloring anyway. I've been using the tablet for doujinshi toning already for a few years by then but I havent considered it as real practice.
In autumn 2009, after my Genius tablet has almost given up on me, I finally bought my first Wacom tablet: an Intuos 4. I've been using it a lot: I completely switched to digital sketching and inking even in case of my traditionally colored pictures (I print the lineart) - it was really worth its price.
From the materials you have listed above, which ones have you had the most difficulty with, and why?
Everything. *laughs* Both Copic markers and digital painting required years and years of practice but I really enjoyed the process of coming up with new ways and techniques for coloring so it was never a bother. There are still infinite ways to improve my skills and I'm looking forward to those new discoveries!
Has anyone influenced you on deviantART that also contributes to manga/anime? List at least 3 people!
You've just asked the impossible. *laughs* there are dozens and dozens of artists on DA whom I respect and look up to in so many ways.....but if I had to list only 3 artists who, I think, made direct influence on my work, they would be the following:
- one of my closest friends and an amazing person and artist. She helped me improve in the comic/manga department most - making many doujinshi projects together, she introduced me to new techniques and manga creation, and her original published mangas have helped me rethink inking and toning techniques as well. Also, I really love the way she makes characters pose on her pictures, they are always very dynamic and it was her influence that made me try to bring a bit more dynamism to my own work as well (even if it mostly doesn't show orz).
- her Copic works helped me improve my own coloring. She always uses very bright and dynamic shading and she's not afraid to mix impossible-looking colors. Her works influenced me to take on a slightly bolder shading technique even though I'm still far from her level. TwT;
- his digital and traditional works still leave me speachless...not to mention the handsome characters he draws. *A* Since I don't use watercolor, his works mainly had some influence on my digital artwork...especially at the beginning, when I had no idea how to go about things, I tried to reference coloring techniques from some of his works, among others, to get to know digital coloring and find out how to go about it. Other than that, his gorgeous illustrations simply inspire me to try my hardest in both the digital and traditional department. <3
Artists everywhere are often judged for drawing this particular style. What words of wisdom can you extend to them as well as the people that contradict them?
Everyone has the freedom to draw whatever they want to draw. You should draw whatever you feel closest to your heart, whatever makes you feel most comfortable, whatever style you find the easiest and most fun way to express your message through your pictures. After all: drawing looses its purpose once it stops being fun...at least for me. ^^ I always try to add something interesting to what I work on, even if it's something I'm not doing for myself, to make the whole process more fun.
How do you vision you and your team C&M in the next 5 years?
C&M was created by my closest friends and me. We had the same fandom interest back then but as the years pass, people move on from one fandom to another. Right now it's mainly inma and me who still publish on a more or less regular basis under this circle name - the other two members are mostly inactive for different reasons...still I hope that we can keep this circle alive for as long as possible. Even when a single fandom doesn't connect us anymore, friendship will, and I hope we can still create different works with different themes together. It was thanks to the determination of the members that I found my own determination to publish my very first doujinshi in a joint anthology, and the first breakthrough and completion of a short fancomic made me realize how fun it is. I could have never done it without them and the encouragement we share.
What is it about the manga/anime style that wins your heart, and gives you a reason to never stop drawing it?
For me it was probably the dreamy-kind of impression that anime and manga made on me which made me stick to this particular style - and my friends know that I'm all about dreamy stuff. *laughs* Leaving harsh reality behind, the softness and beauty of this style helps me represent whatever message or mood I want people to see or feel through my illustrations. It helps me express myself in ways nothing else can. I feel a connection and a sort of belonging to this style - having to stop drawing it would probably leave me empty. I'm grateful to have come upon this drawing style, I think I would be a completely different person without it.
This concludes the interview of luleiya. I thank you viewers for joining us in reading this article, and I give a grateful thanks to Alexa who gave such informative answers to my simple questions. Thank you very much!! I am eternally grateful and honored. For more jaw-dropping works of this artist, click here to visit her gallery.
I hope this contains inspiration for you all!!!