Interview with Yoshitaka Amano reveals an inspiring life
I'm a big fan of Yoshitaka Amano's work, and no, not just because he's done work on nearly all of the Final Fantasy titles. I respect Amano as an artist and for his unique style. He's someone I can look up to as a fellow artist in terms of technique and the sheer enormity of his career. Amano's interview with The Japan Times gives some insight as to his early career and his philosophy on art.
Some highlights include how Amano got started, which is pretty remarkable, actually. Apparently he and a friend went to a nearby animation studio in Tokyo and Amano simply left some drawings at the studio which prompted the studio to call Amano and offer him a job at fifteen years old. Oh and the studio? Tatsunoko Productions. Not too shabby! When I was fifteen I think my biggest accomplishment was probably being on the Principal's Honor Roll. My life now feels lame in comparison. Amano remarks that you never know where a trip will take you and that his employment with Tatsunoko is evidence of that. That's hope for us all, maybe one of us will land in the right place at the right time.
Amano also tells of how he has been drawing constantly since he was a child, drawing on huge rolls of paper that his older brother would bring home from the paper factory he worked at. Amano says he even drew when he was sick as a kid, a work ethic I find admirable. Though from the tone of Amano's interview, it seems he hardly views his art as work. He draws what he likes and finds beautiful, and when he's tired of a project, he just doodles for fun. I can totally relate. When you're doing art all day every day like I am for my education, you have to love what you do. Even when I don't want to draw, I always end up aimlessly doodling on my class notes and anything else I can grab.
Another quality I find admirable in this interview with Amano is that he says he never wants to be "on top" or referred to as "sensei" or "master." He states that he always wants to explore his own limits and abilities which is why he tends to change jobs or projects every fifteen years. I think that desire for a freshness in your work and life is a brave quality. It takes a lot of guts to say that you want to change for the sake of change instead of resting comfortably at the top of the ladder.
If you're as big a fan of Amano as I am, you can read his full interview here. Do you enjoy what he has to say as much as I did?
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