Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you go to school, and what extra-curricular activities did you take up? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?
First of all I want to introduce myself, I'm known as Firecel but others call me as Cel. I'm a normal employee here in Japan at first. I used to draw when I was a kid but stopped when I entered highschool. I decided to become an illustrator after seeing RJ's (Redjuice) work. I never thought that illustration can also be done in thay way. I was mesmerized. But as what they say "its not that easy". Compared to other artists, I didn't enter any artschool so I just manage to learn all of this thing through self-study. It took me half year to analyze on how to draw properly. But as what you can see in my gallery, I'm still changing styles to match my own taste. After few more weeks, I thought that my drawing is already fine but after seeing pixiv, I was shocked. Few days had passed that I started to feel that, if I want to become a top illustrator then I have to get a spot on pixiv. That was the real start of my changes and as what you can see in my illustration now.
What inspired or convinced you to become an artist?
Redjuice.. after seeing his work, that was the time that I decided to enter the illustration world.
What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?
Typical day huh.. I'm also work as vice-chief in our shop so I usually work everyday. My only break is to draw at home after work. Lets just say that I just get a little sleep enough to recover for a day xDD
I worked with "normal" people. They love art but not to the extent that they will draw. I usually talk to them to get ideas sometimes.
What are some of the things that you have worked on?
I actually work as private illustrator and assistant on several VN's. I just recently started working as illustrator.
How do you go about an illustration, what goes through your mind, from start to end?
Before I draw, I usually read first my client's condition/story/lyrics. Then visualize it in my head then draw some drafts. Usually 1 draft is enough but if the draft is missing something, I draw again till I get the draft that I want. Before I enter the inking phase, I make sure that the draft is properly designed so that my inking phase won't take much of my time. After the inking phase, I'm laying a toning layer for shadowing. Others might lay-out colors first but for me, I lay-out the shadow first to see if it matches the light source properly. The use several layers for colors. The usual working time mostly takes 8-16 hours but for special illustrations, I usually work for about 17-30 hours.
Could you talk about your process in coloring your art (if at all), as well as the types of tools or media that you use?
First of all I'm using Easy Paint Tool SAI for most of my works. The coloring steps are mostly same with others but my specialty is the toning/shadowing part. I can't explain the other details since this is the style that I really searched for myself. But the basic thing for illustration to be outstanding is the proper usage of shadows.
What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?
Watch anime, and play monster hunter xDD
What is your most favorite subject to draw, and why?
GIRLS!! I love drawing girls. Compare to male figures, females have this curves that you need to perfect or else youll ruin their image >< my motive is to draw girls in their most beautiful pose.
Who are the top illustrators whose works excite you the most?
Shirow Miwa, Redjuice, Vania600, Oogure Itou, Shamisen, Kisaragi Gunma, Kizuki Aruchu and some other artists too.
What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?
I can't elaborate them since its really too much, but I guess it's the line-art. Artists possess different line-art styles but most of the artist that I admire uses a really neat line-art which helps a lot in the coloring phase.
What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?
Deviantart, Pixiv and Piapro for art websites. Hobbysearch and figma for models.
What wisdom could you give us, about being an artist? Do you have any tips you could give?
"Every artist have their own style and sticking to it won't be a bad thing, but studying other styles won't be a bad idea. There are other paths that you can only take once you learn them. Don't ever stop, and be content on what you can do now, since other artists are still progressing and seeking further development on their own. Illustration is the only world where satisfaction doesn't exist"
If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?
They can contact me through my email address or note me in my dA page.
Do you have any of your art work for sale (comics, prints, or anything)? If so, for fans of your work can know where and when to buy it?
Since I worked a lot as private illustrator, I can't actually show it here due to the owner's agreement. I'm actually going to join the Comicmarket here in Japan so it will be my first time to sell my own prints and posters. I don't usually sell prints in DA. If your here in Japan then it would be a big pleasure if your going to visit my table this August at Tokyo Big Site.
If you were given a chance to be a part of a Sentai group, which color would you pick and why?
Didn't expected this question xD I think I would go with Black :] I really like black color xDD