Artist Feature: Shini
Shini is a French Canadian freelance illustrator who has the passion of creating Kamen Rider cosplay suits and fan made merchandises. Her chibi keychains and color illustrations not only display her artistic skill, but also lead Tokusatsu fans in awe.
Would you like to give a little introduction of yourself to the readers?
Hi! I’m Shini! I’m a French Canadian freelance illustrator! Aside from drawing, I love to create and cosplay Kamen Rider suits. I also started selling Tokusatsu fan-merch last year at my local anime convention!
Can you tell us about your personal background and what drove you to become an artist?
I’ve always loved drawing! I’ve been drawing since I was little, but I started drawing more detailed and time-consuming works when I begun creating digital art in 2010. I was very inspired by all the impressive artwork I’ve seen in comics, animated shows and video games, which encouraged me to try to do the same!
Did you grow up watching any kind of kaiju / tokusatsu (Ultraman, Kamen Rider) / Power Ranger shows or movies? Do you have a favorite?
I wasn’t very exposed to any tokusatsu shows since I was little, except maybe for Power Rangers, but I don’t remember anything from it so much. I was properly introduced to tokusatsu after watching my first Kamen Rider show, Kamen Rider OOO, with my brothers. This then led me to other Kamen Rider shows, then the entire tokusatsu genre! However, I ended up loving the Kamen Rider series the most. Kamen Rider Ex-Aid‘s my favorite!
What is it about the show(s) that inspire your works?
The hero and monster suits are my favorite part of tokusatsu shows! I am always impressed by all the hard work made to let the suits come to life. They are unique and fun to look at!
Do you have any formal training or schooling in the arts? If so, what was the most rewarding experience about going through a formal fine arts program? Would it be path you’d recommend to aspiring artists?
I’m actually self-taught. I did have a few art classes during high school, but not a lot of concepts were covered. I was actually discouraged to explore and create art my entire life by my family, but that’s not stopping me from creating more! I think anyone can become an artist, as long as you are willing to work hard for it. There are a lot of free, useful resources online that you can look at, which are what helped me improve. However, even with a wide array of resources, you still need to practice a lot, whether you are in art school or not. I think the most beneficial thing about art school is about helping to build your discipline.
What special tools do you use for art / what is your favorite medium?
I prefer creating art digitally, so I use Adobe Photoshop CC with an Intuos Pro medium tablet. I do occasionally draw traditionally with Sakura Pigma pens and Copic markers.
How did you develop your particular art style and what influences it the most?
I’ve been influenced by many things, but my influences now are movie and video game art in general. When I was younger, I was inspired by shonen mangas like Bleach. Later, I became a fan of Tetsuya Nomura and Shigenori Soejima’s art. However, my bigger influences, which led to my current art style, have been Krenz Cushart and Maxim Verehin’s art.
Can you walk us through the process of creating new piece of art?
I have a messy way of creating illustrations! It varies all the time, but I usually start with a rough sketch and adding colors on top of them. I occasionally upload art processes on my Youtube channel if you want to see how I work!
Do you have any upcoming projects or fanart you would like to share?
I started selling Ex-Aid fan-merch last year and I’m surprised at how much attention it got! This had led me into creating more tokusatsu fan-merch! I usually sell charms, but I’ve been having plans on making fully illustrated posters as well!
You may find more of her works on her social media below:
You can also buy her Tokusatsu merchandises on her online store.