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Asano Inio
Mr. Asano is a highly acclaimed and popular Japanese manga artist.
Most famous works: "Solanin", "Oyasumi Punpun” (Goodnight Punpun) and "Umibe No Onnanoko” (A Girl on the Shore). 
Mr. Asano's primary focus at the moment is his ongoing manga "Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction".

In 2017 we had the privilege of having Mr. Asano draw us an illustration to commemorate Copic's 30th anniversary. He tried out Copic for the first time; we asked him his impressions about using them.

We have never seen any traditional drawings made by you. Why did you want to try out Copic now?
I have made digital illustrations for work since I became a manga artist. At first, the flat digital coloring was comfortable to me. However, with time, I started to admire the traditional color's roughness and imperfect feel. I even thought it would be amazing to color everything by hand.

"In this fragment of Mr. Asano's illustration, it's possible to see the streaks of the marker tips and how the ink gets darker where the colors collide. The characteristic of Copic color streaking comes out when layering colors or using a certain amount of absorbed ink on paper. "

Did you use traditional tools before?
During college, it was still rare to use computers. I used acrylics for my works when majoring in design. For someone lazy like me, color mixing or using water for my artworks was not my cup of tea. That is why I turned away from traditional media as soon as possible.

How was it using Copic for the first time?
I found them very easy to use. The marker inks don’t run too much on paper, and it was great to have such a vast range of colors. At first, I got a bit lost in picking the tones for the character's skin color. I think when you get used to the shades, your work speed will increase. There is a lot of information on the Copic website to help you pick up the basics. 

This time I just colored on a whim, without caring much about the techniques. At first, I wanted to remake the drawing from the ground up. However, I also think this "imperfect" look is one of the perks of analog coloring, so, for this interview I turned this illustration the way it is. You get attached to traditional artworks because they are not replaceable.

We’re so glad to hear that! How much did it take you to make this work?
・Lineart: 30 minutes
・Coloring: 1 hour

Did you find a favorite or handy color on this occasion?
I haven’t found a favorite color yet, but the vast lineup of gray tones caught my eyes. 

With the rise of manga printing quality, manga artists are starting to use more middle tones, besides the usual black and white colors. If you are writing on a digital tool or are not particular at using screen tones, you are not limited to just two colors. Changing the middle shades with the Copic grays will take your coloring expression to the next level.

"Created for the designers, the Copic Gray line is divided into four different color families. (CG, NG, TG, and WG) The colors used in the gray blend are different, making it possible to detail the tiniest difference in the shading."

Thank you so much for finding such potential in our Copic markers. We are looking forward to seeing your artwork made with them!
Thank you for this great experience. It reminded me how fun analog illustration-making process can be. I'll use Copic in my manga and shikishi drawings from now on. Copic markers will become a great tool for me when I get learn the best way to use them.

Mr. Asano, thank you so much for such a valuable opinion.
Copic markers may appear to be unrelated to digital illustrations. However, the moment you get used to digital drawings, you will find new, unique ways to use them as an irreplaceable, traditional tool. 
With over 30 years of history in the industry, you can get started with one of the various new Copic color sets carefully selected for the most accessible experience.
Rediscover the joy of drawing with Copic markers!

Products used in this interview:

■Copic Sketch
Our bestseller worldwide, refillable, ergonomic, ultra blendable, and made with
the highest grade of expertly formulated alcohol and dye-based inks. Copic Sketch markers come with the Super Brush and Medium Broad nibs. Available in 358 colors.

■Copic Shikishi Illustration Board
Illustration boards made with high-quality Custom Paper laminated to a hardboard.
The very smooth surface also makes it ideal for inking with pen and pencil lines that can easily be erased without damaging the fibers of the paper. Comes in three different sizes: S, M, and L

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