Today, Anime Artist Saltylotus will be telling us about her craft, why she loves it and where Anime is heading in the future.
Where are you from? How old are you?
I’m from Indonesia, but I currently live in Sydney, Australia for study purposes. I’m 20 and I’m about to finish my Masters soon.
What kind of art do you do?
I specialize in anime-styled works. I’m currently still learning and developing my technical skills for now, so I don’t have a consistent specific anime style. However, my peers often describe my art to have a ‘shoujo’ flair to them. The ‘shoujo’ style is basically a certain Manga style that appeals to the young women demographic – beautiful men and innocent female protagonists, slender fingers and long eyelashes, all that jazz. You can judge if it falls into that category by looking at some of my works yourselves!
How did you first become interested in Anime?
Well, if you want to know the very, VERY beginning, it all started when I was still in 4th grade, thanks to a friend of mine who managed to influence me to give up on my hatred for Manga. She managed to convince me to read this Manga called ‘Go! Go! Ichigo!’. I admired the cute, adorable artwork so much that I started copying the cover art and panels of the Manga. I eventually realized that I really enjoyed drawing in that style. So I kept drawing and drawing, but I never really got into anime until in about two years.
That’s when they started airing ‘Naruto’ on national television. I was instantly hooked by the touching plot, engaging characters and super funky music. I loved everything about the anime, and since then I fell into the deep pits of the abyss that is the world of anime.
Who’s into Anime?
Lonely men and women in love with idealized animated depictions of romantic partners? haha Well, I feel the stereotype does hold some truth in it. However, nowadays it’s not just something merely enjoyed by those in that certain minority. I see many friends of mine who are totally not nerds gushing about the amazing fight sequences from ‘One Punch Man’, celebrities you do not think of, who might be the last people on Earth to touch anime, well they touch them (Late Robin William was such an Evangelion fan that he snuck in an Evangelion reference in one of his movies), and people who are intrigued with anime that are already mainstream (Studio Ghibli works, Doraemon, Sailor Moon).
What type of different Animes are there, and where did it originate?
Well, if I have to go by my raw knowledge, anime is actually inspired by Western animated cartoons. Osamu Tezuka, who I think is the ‘Father of Anime’ based his defining anime work, Astro Boy on American mascot cartoon characters, I believe. Anime shares the same genres you nitpick for your choice of a movie for a movie night with friends: A comedy, a horror, stuff like that. However, there are stuff you find in anime that you generally don’t see in stuff that’s well, not anime, such as the infamous ‘harem’ anime genre where ten ridiculously good-looking women fight over a really boring, ordinary dude. But not all anime are as they are often stereotyped as: Overly sexualized, childish Asian cartoons. Many anime works are more than just that, and that is ironically what the main appeal of anime is: It’s more than what meets the eye.
Is Anime more for young people or for adults as well?
There’s anime for everybody! Your little toddlers can watch family-friendly ‘Pokemon’ anime adaptation, while you yourself can watch something along the infamously grisly ‘Elfen Lied’. Though generally, popular anime are meant for older audiences for its common sexual themes and elements of violence. God, I sound like a member of the ESRB boards!
What are the techniques and tools involved in creating Anime?
Animators usually hand draw frame by frame, just like traditional western animation. Japanese animators still mainly hand draw traditionally and to this day they produce absolutely brilliant animation work.
How do you see Anime evolving and changing with time?
I feel that generally, the anime industry does increasingly pander to its audience, which I personally have mixed feelings about. I’m tired of seeing another anime work of ten ridiculously good-looking women fight over a really boring, ordinary dude, but some of these works do have some depth within them if you look harder. It’s just a bit tiring trying to dig through the same gimmick again and again to uncover the diamond in the rough. Generally speaking though, anime is slowly seeping through everyone’s lives. You can’t escape the occasional Totoro doll in your hipster friend’s house, or the chill anime song remix tracks you can find in your average classmate’s playlist. Anime has grown to learn to embrace more than just its niche. It will become stronger and stronger, and soon you might even see mothers with immaculately permed hair discussing the latest ‘Boku no Hero Academia’ episode with her son on a daily basis.
What would you like to share with readers about you and your art?
I just really like to draw and really like seeing myself improve. I love the feeling of accomplishment that washes through my entire body in realizing that I can produce something of such quality. I also like drawing things that move people in a certain way. “Hey, you’ve drawn my favorite character so well!” and “Hey, this makes me feel better about myself,” are always very pleasant to hear, knowing I have somehow made an impact on their lives. I hope that everyone who enjoys my art sticks around and somehow feel better about themselves by seeing me improve myself.
Saltylotus Anime Film Recommendations
- Ghibli’s Anime movies – My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, are always a good start as they are basically Japanese Disney
- For something more adult, Paprika by Satoshi Kon and maybe even Perfect Blue by the same dude, which I have not personally watched but I have heard great things about
- Akira and Ghost in The Shell are renowned classics
- Personal favorites of mine are the Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies!
Thanks for sharing with Tripoart Saltylotus!