SCAD District Comics and Illustrations is proud to present the premier of a new weekly series called “Illustrator Spotlight.”
This week’s artist, Rumi Hara, is the perfect artist to launch this series. A talented artist and former District Sunday Funday contributor, Hara’s blend of illustration and sequential narratives are sure to spark the imagination with a childlike wonder.
Let’s get to know more about our first illustrator.
Name: Rumi Hara
Hometown: Kyoto, Japan
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
“I am an illustrator and translator. I’m especially interested in storytelling in both visual and verbal forms. I have a website: http://www.rumihara.com.”
At what point did you realize that you wanted to be an illustrator?
“I think it really started when I was invited to go to this printmaking workshop with some of my colleagues in Tokyo back in 2009. It was just a weekend fun thing, but there was a series of images that I wanted to make for a while, so I prepared some sketches for the workshop. These sketches turned out to be the Peanutbutter Sisters comics, and I started studying illustration seriously after that. But maybe I always knew that I wanted to illustrate because, as a kid, I loved drawing and making comics. I also love watching people draw. I used to bother every adult I meet, begging them to draw something. I still do that sometimes.”
How would you define your artistic style?
“I’m not sure, but I often get excited about artists that have a cute-weird style like Tove Jansson or Henry Darger and get influenced by them. Right now, I’m writing a paper on Powr Mastrs by CF.”
What is your preferred medium?
“Watercolor. I like the unexpected effects.”
It would seem your work straddles between illustration and sequential art, did you start at one and begin to lean toward the other, or have you always incorporated a sequential narrative within your illustrations?
“I think I was always interested in both. Even when I’m making a single illustration piece, I always have a story behind it, like names of the characters and what kind of friends they have and all that. I can’t help it.”
In your illustration submission you mention your childhood, is that the main inspiration for your work, or are there others?
“I feel that childhood is something that continues in a sense as long as you live, like a place you can go into and daydream. But I’m also inspired by nature and people around me and the books I read.”
What is your idea of a perfect day?
“A sunny day! Or a rainy day without a plan to go out.”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
“Definitely to fly. Because it would be awesome to fly. It would also eliminate the fear of going into the elevator thinking it might plummet to the ground.”