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An inside look at Pixiv's Drawfest4 2023 from artists and more

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An inside look at Pixiv’s Drawfest4 2023 from artists and more

Learn more about Pixiv’s Drawfest4 from artists OMOCAT, KawaiiSensei and Ogipote.

Each year, the Japanese-based company pixiv hosts Drawfest, an international drawing and education event that brings together an international audience of creators and fans. Drawfest will feature lectures by the collective of artists known as KawaiiSensei, the multimedia artist OMOCAT (the art director of the “OMORI” RPG) and the popular illustrator Ogipote.

Taking place Saturday, June 10th, and Saturday, June 17th, to join Drawfest4, participants must register in advance. The massive online drawing event will be held in partnership with Wacom Co., Ltd. and is expected to attract more than 10,000 participants from around the world. 

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For insights into the event, Pixiv’s Senior Management of International Marketing and Branding Team Reina Hamayoshi answered a few key questions, along with artists OMOCAT, KawaiiSensei and Ogipote. Their answers can be read in Japanese or English below.

Reina Hamayoshi: Pixiv serves as a creative hub where illustrators, manga artists, and writers showcase their work. Each day, we host 20,000 new works from creators across 230 countries and regions, encompassing an impressive 92% of the globe. Notably, 70% of our user base is international.

In response to a noticeable void in the marketplace, we launched Drawfest in 2021. At the time, no large, free online workshop originating from Japan was available for creators ranging from amateurs to professionals. Moreover, the cancellation of numerous anime, manga, and illustration-related events worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the need for such an initiative.

Recognizing the urgency, we collaborated with Wacom, a global supporter of creative activities, to bring Drawfest to life. The initial response was overwhelming, with 10,000 applications to participate, half of which came from artists not previously affiliated with Pixiv.

To date, we’ve conducted three Drawfest events. It’s noteworthy that the number of participants varies significantly based on the chosen speakers. These observations have reaffirmed the importance of regular Drawfest events to continue engaging with and fostering connections among global creators. We remain committed to nurturing this vibrant creative community.

Reina Hamayoshi: Previously, Drawfest catered primarily to English and Japanese speakers. However, starting this year, we’re expanding our horizons to include Chinese and Korean as additional language options. Our goal is to open the doors to a wider range of participants from various regions, and we’re anticipating an exciting array of works to be submitted.

Moreover, during our Feedback Day, we’re thrilled to have KawaiiSensei and Ogi Pote onboard. These esteemed artists will be personally reviewing and providing constructive feedback on the submitted pieces. While previous Feedback Days were limited to commenting on the works, we believe that their direct involvement will offer participants more detailed, accessible advice, helping them enhance their craft even further.

How do you feel about participating in Drawfest as a lecturer?

OMOCAT: Well… I’m quite nervous! It’s the first time I’ve given a lecture online and I was always anxious during presentations in school. It’s very strange to hear my recorded voice. Still, I spent a lot of time preparing the lecture so I hope that people are able to get something out of it!

Are you excited about the event? what kind of things are you going to share in the lecture?

OMOCAT: Yes I’m excited! It’s nice to have a platform to share my experiences. I go a bit into the story and worlds in OMORI and how they were created, as well as how I came up with the characters. I also talk about the process of creating OMORI from the role of a programmer. As some people know, OMORI took many years to complete. This was because of programming issues, so I unexpectedly had to learn how to program to move forward the game’s production. It’s not drawing-related, but I think programming OMORI myself was a very important part of the creative process. I speak about my transition from a sole artist and writer to the lead programmer and director of a growing team. It’s definitely a unique experience! Don’t miss it!!

What kind of people do you recommend to participate in Drawfest?

OMOCAT: I think since the lecture focuses mostly on the game OMORI, it would be best if you’ve already played the game before attending the lecture. It’s hard to talk about OMORI without going into spoilers… but if you already know about the game or don’t mind being spoiled, it’s okay to watch it too! I’ll tried my best not to reveal too much, but it was too difficult to talk about OMORI without revealing some things. Maybe it will be okay, since not all context is provided…

What do you want people to pay attention to during the lecture?

OMOCAT: I hope that people can get a little understanding of what goes into game development. There’s a lot of work that goes into making and carrying out every decision. Sticking with a strong vision for so long is also a pretty tough thing to do, but it was important to me that the final product didn’t show any struggles in the execution. I hope people can appreciate the work that went into that!

Have you ever use Pixiv? What do you think about pixiv?

OMOCAT: I really love all the art on there and browsed it since I was a child. Growing up in the U.S., it was one of the first ways I was exposed to Japanese illustrations and fell in love with it immediately. For a long time, I was too nervous to make a pixiv account because the art was so good!

What do artists presenting at pixiv Drawfest4

KawaiiSensei: This course is all about diving into the art of creation, step by step. We’ll start with the fundamentals, what we call Atari, or the initial outline. From there, we’ll move on to exploring the human body, experimenting with different poses, and mastering the elements of composition. This course is a perfect match for those of you who are just starting out, as well as for those who are at an intermediate level.

We’re excited to share Atari diagnosis tips and composition guidelines with you, and we can’t wait to see you put these into action as you create your very own art pieces. On day two, we’ll be reviewing the illustrations you’ve come up with. We’ll provide feedback and offer constructive comments to help you refine your work. We’re looking forward to it, and hope you are too!

What do artists presenting at pixiv Drawfest4

Ogipote: Just as it sounds, this lecture is all about the art of anime-style coloring, a technique fondly referred to as “Anime-Nuri.” My name’s Ogi Pote, and I’ve dedicated myself entirely to mastering this art form. In our time together, I’ll show you how to transform this seemingly straightforward technique into a striking illustration that really shines! So, let’s dive into the exciting world of Anime Nuri “Kai”, a level beyond traditional Anime Nuri.

What do artists presenting at pixiv Drawfest4

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