Jackie Joson is a Philippines-based artist with a passion for anime and tokusatsu. Her UNO parody comic gained viral attention across fandoms and recently, was among the various tabling artists in attendance at the tokusatsu charity event, TokuSpirits.
Where did you grow up and how did you discover a passion for art?
I grew up moving from one town to another, from time to time due to my dad’s work. So, while moving, it was sort of difficult having to let go of the things you’ve grown accustomed with and the friends you made after settling in for a year or two. Now that my dad’s retired from work, my family and I are currently settled in Santa Rosa, Laguna and maybe, hopefully for good.
As for my passion for art, some people tell me that my talent for drawing is a gift, that it’s something I inherited in the family since I sort of came from a family of artists: a father with a background in architecture, an older sister who is a graduate in Art Studies, and my late great-uncle who was a comic book illustrator.
It could be what they said or it could be from influence too, but to me I think, it’s mostly because I really like to draw. I’ve been drawing since I was little. I vaguely remember myself with a pen and a clipboard full of Dad’s papers and drew stuff on it. I’m not sure if that counts as a discovery for my passion for art. I was a kid anyway, I only cared about what I wanted to see on paper, and that’s sort of the mindset I have, even today. It’s one of the things that kept me going, let me continue my passion for art.
Thank you for letting us use your Ultraman art during the holidays. Did you get into tokusatsu because of Ultraman? What got you initially interested in tokusatsu?
I actually got into tokusatsu long ago. When I was little, around the time VHS tapes were about to be replaced with DVDs (I think), I can recall my older sister kept VHS tapes with a few episodes from two shows: Kamen Rider BLACK and Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman. I’m not sure if the tape is still with us, but my memory of those shows were very faint. Not only that, there were also reruns of old tokusatsu shows airing on our local TV network like Sentai’s Bioman and Metal Hero’s Shaider. So early on, I was pretty much exposed to tokusatsu.
While I do encounter some more tokusatsu shows that pop up on local TV like Kamen Rider Ryuki, Gransazer and Ultraman Max later on, I didn’t entirely get into tokusatsu until my second year in college. I joined an anime club at that time and the club president plus two of my classmates were watching Super Hero Taisen, I think. It caught my eye, so I tagged along. Then we all started talking about Japanese superheroes, and soon enough– I was hooked thanks to them. (And our friendship blossomed as a bonus.)
Can you walk us through the process of creating a piece?
I actually made a video of a process of one of my works recently.
When there’s something I want to draw, I usually start off with a rough sketch on Paint Tool SAI. Once a sketch is done and I’m happy with it, I’ll immediately throw in the lineart, colors, then add shading and highlighting afterwards. I try to be consistent with color, so I always use the colors I saved on the swatches bar as my personal color palette.
On paper, I also start with a rough sketch. And once it’s ready for lineart, depending on what I wanted in my drawing, I either decide to scan and import the sketch to my computer and color it there or just grab a pen, ink it, then color it with colored pencils.
Do you prefer using digital or analogue tools? Or both?
While I’m comfortable with both, I mostly prefer using digital tools a bit more, due to ease of editing. I’m pretty finicky to details, so whenever I feel or see there’s something in a picture I drew, I start fixing it.
Honestly? I was genuinely surprised. The comic was something I made from out of the blue, and when I posted it on Twitter I didn’t expect it to explode an hour later! After that, people started asking permission to create dubs/voice-overs of the comic, and when I listened to them… it gave me goosebumps! Hearing these characters being voiced over was something I never thought would happen, but I enjoy and love them, and I’m very flattered by the efforts they made into making these. Thank you!
On your DeviantArt page, it says you’ve specialized in animation in school. How has your program helped develop your skills as an artist and has it helped with creating connections in your field?
When I first got into the program, I pretty much expected two things that I’d be doing from it: drawing and how I’d make them move. I wasn’t in the wrong, but I later realized there was actually more than that. They taught me a lot of things, and not only did they help develop my skills, but they even helped me expand my skill set a bit which I think will be useful in the future. As for connections, I think it did help too… I actually had a few people who are interested in having me to work with them, but I haven’t decided yet. It’d be nice to be able to work with a team someday!
How has being an active on other social media supported your work?
Pretty good. For one thing, I’m able to see how many people got to view my drawings, the other I got to meet more people and artists who share the same interests and be able to to talk to them too. Though what counts to me is that someone out there got to see and/or appreciate my work, even if they don’t make themselves known in the comments or such and left a view or two. I want to show them that I’m having fun with what I drew.
What would be the best advice you can give to aspiring artists?
Just keep drawing.
These are three words that I keep to myself because, well, it’s what keeps me going. I kept drawing because I have a pen on my hand almost everyday, and I kept drawing because there were so many things I wanted to draw. When you have an idea you want to put it on paper, draw it!
You’ll never know one day, that idea might spark into something amazing when you least expect it to be. And if you feel you can’t seem to draw something right, just keep drawing. After a number of tries, you’ll be able to get it.
Enjoy drawing! Have fun!
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
Currently I’m working on some personal projects, one of which is a comic that I’m slowly making progress with. Another project is the Uno comic’s conclusion. It does have an ending! And I do plan for it to end sometime within the year (hopefully) and I’m doing my best to make it fun for me and everyone else. In the future, possibly work on some stuff besides toku like maybe original stuff for my online shop on Redbubble.
Once again, you can find more of Jackie’s work through social media via DeviantArt, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram; as well as her main online portfolio. Her artwork is also available for purchase through her Redbubble store.