Pearls Of Wisdom From Final Fantasy's Iconic Illustrator

Illustration for article titled Pearls Of Wisdom From Final Fantasys Iconic Illustrator

Yoshitaka Amano first cut his teeth at the tender age of 15, working on the popular Speed Racer anime. He went on to create some of the most iconic illustrations gaming's ever seen. He's 58. He's been around. And he's wise.

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In an interview with The Japan Times, Amano talks about his upcoming debut anime Deva Zan. Fans of his anime work as well as his Final Fantasy illustrations and logos take note, because Amano provides a look at what makes him tick.

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Here are some choice quotes:

• "When I feel tired from drawing very detailed characters, I move to another table and I start doodling with colors - like when I was a child. That's how I relax. I heard that when Madame (Marie) Curie got tired with chemistry, she would "recharge" by doing physics or math problems. I totally get that!"

• "Your parents will die before you do, so you'd better make your own life decisions. Your own choices are always good if you know yourself - especially in art, because whenever you do something new, everyone will be against you."

• "Most people feel happy when they reach a respectable status or gain a promotion. But I feel trapped. If I stay in one world, I get respect, but I lose my energy. I only want to do things I have never done. I want to explore my own possibilities."

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• "Most Japanese worry about the next day. Their attitude is: 'Today is good, but what about tomorrow? Is it gonna be OK?' I'm not like that. I always assume that the good gets better — and it does. I don't even think about the day after tomorrow."

The rest of the interview is also filled with insights that are worth checking out.

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Amano began working on various Japanese anime like Speed Racer and Gatchaman in the 1960s. But by the late 1980s, he was working at Square Enix on Final Fantasy, designing characters. Besides exhibiting his art, he's also collaborated with Western writers like Neil Gaiman on graphic novels. As previously mentioned, Amano is currently working on his debut anime.

Artist Yoshitaka Amano [The Japan Times Online] [Pic]

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DISCUSSION

I'm not a fan of Amano. It's mostly with the way he designs his characters, but it also drives me nuts when I'm looking through his art and keep seeing the same characters over and over again. He worked on a Sandman book with Neil Gaiman, and I remember reading through it and finding about half of the cast of Final Fantasy VI starring as the main characters.

(Of course, lots of artists are guilty of this as well - Tetsuya Nomura being one of the worst in the world of video game artists.)

He's definitely a very talented artist, but he's just not an artist I particularly care for.