Home Art Artist Spotlight: Chikuto
Artist Spotlight: Chikuto

Artist Spotlight: Chikuto


tumblr_inline_mzubckFhfZ1qdg8e2This week, we meet Chikuto. After reading ‘Clockwork’, an amazing webcomic from this very talented artist, I just knew Chikuto would be perfect for an Artist Spotlight!

Name: Chikuto
Location: England

Chikuto’s Tumblr

Chikuto’s DeviantART

1. When did you start drawing?

I started drawing when I was very young. My mother brought me home a Crayola set one day, and I never seemed to stop. I started drawing “seriously” once I entered secondary school, and people started paying attention to what I did. It was surprising to hear random people saying “Hey, that’s really good!”, and I’ve been striving to improve ever since.

2. Do you work digital or traditional?

A little bit of both. I prefer to work digitally, but sometimes my hand itches to pick up a pencil and paper. One day I’d like to go to an art shop and buy a bunch of traditional tools and give each one a whirl, but I’m a huge wuss when it comes to traditional. I’m a very messy person. 

3. What are your tools of the trade?

I use two programs; Paint Tool SAI for lineart, and Adobe Photoshop CS6 for colouring/shading/effects and backgrounds. I prefer SAI for lineart because it tends to give me much crisper lines, but Photoshop has always been my favourite for colouring. I also have my trusty Wacom Bamboo Fun that I’ve used for years, but I feel like it’s on its last legs! 

4. Are there any artists that inspire or influence you?

Don Bluth was definitely one of my favourite artists growing up, and still is today. Watching his movies when I was young (The Rescuers, The Land Before Time, Anastasia) is what helped get me interested in drawing. Compared to the other animated movies I watched when I was little, Don Bluth’s work was more … energetic? His humans had a lot more action to them, and I just loved watching them move. 
Disney was also a huge inspiration, and I watched their movies almost religiously while growing up. The colors, the environments, the stories – everything about them was just magical, and it definitely made me want to have my own story to tell. 
5. What’s your favourite subject matter to draw?

I love drawing characters interacting. I like having a dynamic cast of characters that react to everything in very different ways. Whenever I’m drawing comics, something I make myself do is take away the speech bubbles and try to consider if I would be able to follow the story without them. Body language, facial expressions; it’s important to let your art tell the story as well. 
I also have a love/hate relationship with drawing environments. It’s something I wanted to get into for a while, because I wanted to share all these worlds and places in my head. It’s very fulfilling when it’s done – but it’s very exhausting. 

6. Tell us about one of your characters (if you have any)?

Oh boy, I could talk about my characters for days. I suppose my most popular one is Cog Kleinschmidt, the main character for my upcoming webcomic. Despite the comic’s story being about mystery and the supernatural, I always wanted the characters personal struggles to be very human and relatable. One of Cog’s personal struggles is something I think a lot of teenagers deal with as they get older – in that while they develop confidence and their own educated opinions, adults are reluctant to take them seriously, or allow them the freedom to make their own choices. It’s a very frustrating thing growing up, and I think a lot of people have dealt with similar issues.

7. What’s your ultimate goal when it comes to art?

Storytelling, definitely. I have worlds and stories in my head that I want people to see, and I want to do my best to put them on paper and share them. It took me a long time to realize I wanted to make comics. At first I thought I wanted to be a writer, and share my stories that way, but I was never too confident in my writing skills, and I didn’t care to improve. I’m bad at explaining things like body language and environments, but I loved drawing them. I love world-building, and I love designing things that are native to those worlds. 

8. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Draw every day. Even if you don’t like what you drew – you’re still keeping your art juices flowing. If you’re getting bored, draw something new. Draw something that you previously thought “yeah I can’t draw that”, like a street view full of people all doing different things, or animals and fantasy creatures – you might surprise yourself!
And never let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t be drawing. Don’t let anyone tell you your art is worthless. If doing it makes you happy, that’s the only purpose it needs.

Favourite Pieces by Chikuto:


Stay tuned for more Artist Spotlights!