I FINALLY found the time to unwrap and take my time to enjoy my artbook! Kazuaki Artworks by Kazuaki-sensei カズアキ and I absolutely love what I see!
Title: Kazuaki Artworks
Price: 2,800 Yen (w/o tax)
Note: No explicit images, safe for all viewers :)
The A4 sized artbook is really thick with 253 pages (excluding book jacket) with total of about 240 pages (94%) of full-colour illustrations! Like… WOW.
The book jacket has a matte finishing and it has very interesting detail on the inside. Here’s the front and back cover of the artbook.
When I flipped open the book jacket… woah~ I’m pleasantly surprised by the line art inside! This is the first time I’ve come across an artbook with this treatment for the jackets. Very very nice! The images on the top row show the book cover with line art as well as the inside of the book jacket. The images at the bottom row show the front and back of the book cover placed side by side with the book jacket.
Here’s a close-up of the line-art of illustrations and drafts on the inside of the book jacket.
After that amazing opening act, we go on to view the lovely art inside the book. And my friend Sigma is right. Almost every illustration gets a big WOW… from me too. She said she could look at them for a long time and not get tired of them unlike some other artbooks and every piece is wonderful!
The first piece is sensei’s CD jacket work for Kannou Mukashi Banashi Vol. 4 Grimm’s Fairy Tales. She commented that she was given the freedom to propose and draw anything based on the fairy tale theme. The other illustrations were based on a story where there’s a male protagonist who like maid dolls and other novels.
I find that sensei’s style and technique are very consistent throughout the artbook. They are energetic and dynamic. A definite visual feast!
Her use of colours and composition as well as her characters’ facial expressions and body language are breath-taking. This artbook gave them justice by lovingly displaying almost all of them in their full-page glory.
There are some draft sketches and line-art included as well to give you a glimpse of her working process.
The artbook also contains the images where she admitted to using copyrighted images without credit in her background compositions. See bottom row of following pic. I believe that the issue has been resolved? Does anyone have any updates on that?
The artbook also included many of her artworks created for Honey Bee’s successful Starry Sky drama cd series, where 13 boys of different star signs romance the listener.
Eye candy galore!
Have you spotted your favourite Starry Sky boy yet?
Can’t help showing a couple more of them.
And now on to her works for Boy’s Love novels X3 HOT!
Sensei commented that there are certain criteria to fulfill when drawing covers for BL novels and every illustration is a difficult challenge for her. The criteria include: The faces of the characters (seme and uke) must be clearly seen and be drawn large enough and they have to look erotic (エロいくて) as well. Lol~ don’t you just love that last criteria? XD
However she also confessed that because of the restrictive criteria, she often had to fall back to the tried-and-tested “template compositions” of BL covers OTL;;; Yeah… that’s kinda true but even so, her illustrations draw you in and her characters are very attractive. I think these are just some of the many reasons why she is one of the hottest illustrators in Japan now.
The BL novel covers included are from Gloria Academy Series by Kirishime Rikka-sensei, Rakuen no Uta by Suzufuji Miwa-sensei, etc.
Sensei also included her doujin artwork of Lamento boys and if I’m not wrong, she commented that she is one of the many “victims” who fell for these cat-ear (猫耳 nekomimi) boys after she first laid her eyes on them lol~
More yummy BL novel covers and other illustrations :)
BL novel/manga magazine covers, a thumbnail content listing of the pages with sensei’s own commentary on selected pieces.
Her doujin and personal illustrations were included too. They included characters from Vocaloid, Durarara!!, etc. I was expecting full page illustrations, rather than a montage of them so I was a little disappointed.
The last page where she thanks her readers who bought the book :)
Conclusion: Definitely worth it and gets two thumbs from me! I thank Sigma for convincing me to buy this artbook XD