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Karin is an illustrator based in Osaka, Japan. She creates artwork primarily using analog art materials, including alcohol markers such as Copic markers. Karin engages in creative activities through social media and exhibitions, focusing on themes inspired by traditional Japanese culture, good luck charms, and fairy tales.


She is a versatile illustrator who actively participates in live drawing events at conventions and showcases her craft in illustration magazines, including hands-on tutorials. This year, we collaborated with Karin on our limited-edition gift set, the Copic Booster Box, where she contributed original Copic illustrations tailored for beginners. 
In this interview, we delve into Karin's journey as an illustrator and discuss various aspects of her artwork.

I discovered the profession of an illustrator by reading the illustration magazine "SS (Small S)" in elementary or middle school. It sparked my aspiration to become one. 
My first job as an illustrator came in high school when the editorial staff of SS magazine contacted me after seeing my submitted artwork. They featured my illustration in the magazine, and it was an exciting opportunity.

I've loved drawing since childhood, and consistently creating artwork has helped me improve my skills over time. As for coloring techniques, I spent a lot of time practicing by studying instructional books and examining step-by-step tutorials on Pixiv from the time I first started using Copic markers until I got used to using them.

This piece is inspired by the story of the Nutcracker.
The vivid red stands out in a serene setting.
In addition to creating characters, Karin also incorporates and excels in drawing motifs from Japanese traditional culture.

During my elementary school years, my mother took me to an art supply store and bought a few Copic markers.
Gradually, I added new colors to my collection using pocket money. As I acquired more Copic markers, I learned techniques such as layering for shading with a limited color palette. As the number of colors increased, I was delighted at how easy it became to create gradients. Discovering Copic markers was a game-changer for me as an illustrator. It brought a new level of enjoyment and inspiration to my work.

BV20, BV23, V20, V22, E04, E70, E71, and BG72 are some of my go-to colors. I appreciate subdued tones with lower saturation. These colors are easy to incorporate into my artwork while enhancing vibrant tones effectively.

Karin keeps her favorite Copic markers and Copic Inks organized on her desk.

When tracing the line art, I use the Copic Multiliner 0.05mm Sepia for the main lines. Additionally, I use colors such as Lavender and Wine for different parts of the drawing. Lately, I've been really into using the Copic Gasenfude Brush Pen for my illustrations. It's a great brush pen that doesn't bleed, even with Copic markers.

The quick-drying nature of Copic markers is a lifesaver. I can quickly add new colors to my drawings without waiting a long time for the paper to dry.

“Otogibanashi no Shojo tachi (Girls from Fairy Tales)”
Copic markers/acrylic gouache
Copic coloring on Maruman Sketchbook creates a fluctuating atmosphere that enhances the texture of the paper.

I often begin my drawing process by selecting a theme I want to depict. Then, I either search for reference materials or sketch extensively to refine the imagery that aligns with the chosen theme. I rarely have a clear idea instantly pop up in my mind only by looking at something.

Whether you prefer to follow the instructions in the book or color freely according to your vision, I hope you will enjoy experimenting with different techniques. These illustrations were created on the "amusement park" theme with a simple color palette that is easy to use even for Copic beginners. There are two versions: a fully detailed girl in a uniform and a super-deformed waitress, each with a completely different atmosphere.

These illustrations were created on the "amusement park" theme with a simple color palette that is easy to use even for Copic beginners. There are two versions: a fully detailed girl in a uniform and...
...a super-deformed waitress, each with a completely different atmosphere

For this illustration, I paid attention to details by adding accessories, increasing clothing decorations, and keeping in mind the overall composition to balance the relatively simple style of the Copic Booster Box visual.

Karin used the 20 colors included in the Copic Booster Box for this illustration!
Copic Multiliner 0.05mm Sepia and Copic Multiliner 0.1mm Black
were used for the line art. Use a pencil to avoid emphasizing the lines when drawing clothing or patterns.
The 20 colors list used for the coloring.

I strongly believe that art created with the utmost care and passion will undoubtedly resonate with someone. Therefore, I encourage you to submit your work to illustration magazines or share it on social media to create opportunities for others to see and appreciate your art. As someone who constantly strives to improve, I want to work harder to create more captivating illustrations.

We would like to thank Karin for taking the time to talk to us!
*Download her line art from the official Copic website and enjoy coloring for a fun challenge.

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