Artist Feature: OMOCAT
OMOCAT is a Los Angeles born and raised artist whose personal and fan work gained the attention of brands such as Coca-Cola, NAMCO, and Fangamer as well as convention “Artist Alley” attendees.
Pieces from her fashion line, available online in her OMOCAT shop, has been spotted at a KYARY PAMYU PAMYU concert and her artwork has been featured in showcases and galleries such as the Rawartist Indie Art Awards Show, Giant Robot 2, and QPOP Shop and Gallery.
When and how did you discover your passion for art?
I’ve been drawing since I was a child, so I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a passion for art. My mother noticed that I liked to draw and enrolled me into a drawing class when I was six-years-old. In school, I was always known as “the artist”. It became something attached to my identity that I was not willing to lose.
How did you come across tokusatsu? And what was it about the genre that appealed to you?
I really started watching tokusatsu after being invited to make a piece for the QPOP show. I knew Power Rangers came from Super Sentai, but I never really looked into it further. I also had watched 2 episodes of Kamen Rider Wizard with a friend but that was pretty much it. (This doesn’t really count but I know a significant portion of the opening for Cutie Honey.) Since I knew so little of the subject, I thought it would be fun to try something different.
Your Dream Big piece (seen at the top) is a personal favorite from Q Pop’s Tokusatsu 2: Revenge of the Kaiju show. Can you tell us how you came up with the piece and how you went about creating it?
Thank you! Since I was not necessarily into any specific tokusatsu shows, I decided to find a way to portray tokusatsu as a whole. After watching many different tokusatsu shows, I realized that the common theme among all tokusatsu was changing who you are in order to help others and become a hero. It seems pretty obvious, but it was a bit difficult to find a way to portray it in an art piece. At that time, I had just finished watching the 20th Century Boys series for the 3rd time, and the image of children wearing masks was embedded in my mind, so I decided to go with that.
Other than 20th Century Boys, are there any other anime or manga you’re really into?
My favorite anime from the top of my head are FLCL, Uchoten Kazoku, Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai Champloo. I also love the animated movie: Tekkonkinkreet. And right now, I’ve been keeping up with Kill la Kill!
Do you have a favorite art medium or program you like working with?
I typically work with a tablet and Photoshop, mostly because I know the program very well and I can get my work done very quickly and efficiently. Since I make a lot of shirt designs, working digitally works best for the craft. However, I also love using all types of inks and paints, although I would consider those more of a hobby since I am much more experimental with traditional media as opposed to digital.
How did you come up with the concept for your original characters for your apparel line?
I’ve never really thought of this before! When I am drawing for my apparel line, I think of the piece first and foremost as a design. It just happens that my subject is typically people. The character part sort of develops during and sometimes after the creative process.
Do you have a favorite tokusatsu suit design?
Yes! Actually, I am really drawn to the suit design to Lionmaru. I was actually torn between drawing Dream Big and drawing his suit design because I liked it so much.
What was it about the Lionmaru suit you liked so much?
I think I just have a thing for masks and Lionmaru’s really stood out at first because it didn’t look mechanical like the rest. I also really like white hair, and the color red… I think it’s just personal preference. Nothing against all the other masks though, they’re all amazing!
Can you tell us more about your Omori game and how it’s being developed?
Omori started as an original character who lived on a blog. He was kind of a way of taking out my personal frustrations a few years back. Eventually, he ended up becoming my default character to draw. I wanted to create a graphic novel (I actually completed the prologue and the drafts for Ch1), but I realized quickly I didn’t have enough time to complete it as fast as I wanted considering all my other projects. I also thought it might be fun to work with a team for once. Currently, there are a few programmers and two musicians: Slime Girls and Space Boyfriend on the team. We also have an array of other musicians that will be featured in the game. The game is going to be made on RPGMaker, inspired by other RPGMaker games like Yume Nikki, and old pixel games such as Earthbound. The Kickstarter to back the game will be released this Spring, and I’m currently working on the trailer for the game so look out for that!
Other than your Tumblr and your online portfolio, are there more places where we could find your work?
My Tumblr and my online portfolio are probably the best ways to see all my work. However, I have a Facebook page and an Instagram as well!
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
Lately, other than OMORI, I am most focused on creating original apparel and expanding my online store! Right now, I am creating a catalog for my existing clothing, and a large art book featuring my work from 2011-2014. I am currently creating designs to be printed on tank tops, jackets, bathing suits, leggings, backpacks, beanies, caps, and even underwear. I don’t want to reveal the designs just yet, but please look forward to the OMOCAT Summer, Fall, and (maybe) Winter collections this year!
All artwork featured in the Toku Artist Feature are reposted with permission from the original artist. Please do not repost or alter in any way without permission and proper credit.