Anime bordering on fashionable
Yi Jong and Des Young grew up watching Naruto and Dragon Ball Z.
Young read Death Note and followed artist Takashi Obata, while Jong became a big fan of Stanley Lau, known professionally as Artgerm.
The world of anime and manga – illustration styles which originated in Japan – is a global market overseas but still a niche interest in New Zealand, the pair says.
‘‘But at the same time it’s also become sort of ubiquitous already,’’ Young, 29, says.
‘‘Anime has become normal for us. It is seeping into our culture. It’s almost become trendy. It’s not just entertainment now, it’s bordering on being fashionable,’’ the professional graphic designer says.
Anime illustration style has caught the eye of major companies, such as Louis Vuitton.
The fashion label commissioned well-known anime artist Takashi Murakami in 2002 to design handbags and a series of videos for the brand.
Murakami also created some album artwork and a music video for American rapper Kanye West.
Anime was introduced to mainstream New Zealand in the early 2000s when shows such as Captors vision.
Jong says anime and manga shows appeal to a wide audience.
Children are attracted to the bright colours and styles where as adults enjoy the well-scripted storylines.
Since age 11, Jong has dabbled in different animation styles as a creative outlet.
She says anime can be ambiguous and finds people have varying interpretations of the art.
Young uses website DeviantArt to connect with other illustrators. The illustration website is a hub for artists to receive constructive criticism and network.
The pair will attend this year’s Overload Comic and Pokemon and Card were shown on tele- Manga Convention to meet new artists and friends.
Overload has been held in Auckland for the past eight years for illustrators to show their work and meet international artists. Japanese graphic artist Yoshitoshi Abe is the special guest at this year’s Overload, held at ASB Stadium, Kohimarama Rd, on October 4 from 10am to 6pm. Entry is $5.
Comic, art and cosplay competitions and workshops are held during the event.
Abe’s art will be shown at the New Zealand School of Education, level 3, 131 Queen St, from September 22 to October 2 from 9am to 5pm daily. Entry is free but registration is essential.
Drawing inspiration: Anime and manga artists Des Young and central city resident Yi Jong at the Graphic Novel Cafe in the city centre.