Jiji studied illustration at the Academy of Art in foggy San Francisco and graduated with a BFA. She currently resides in her sunny hometown of Las Vegas. Her body of work features an arsenal of chic sassy characters, fantasy/macabre themes, and above all a sense of body positivity. Jiji’s roots began in the worlds of Japanese graphic novels, but they have since expanded to adapt the tastes of art nouveau, minimalism, and the power of negative space and what it can lend itself to. She is inspired by modern day artists like Babs Tarr, Audrey Kawasaki, and Lois van Baarle and classic masters such as Alphonse Mucha and Romain de Tirtoff.
Have you always been creative and artistic?
Always. Ever since I can remember, I've carried around something to write and draw in and something to write and draw with. Sometimes you can see me clutching a tattered spiral notebook in old family photos, before I knew sketchbooks were something that existed - paper without lines.
How would you describe the style of your work?
Warm. I try to make myself, and in turn others, feel good with what I do or just feel something in general.
What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?
In my pencil case: mechanical pencil (.3 lead), inking instruments (pentel brush pen, copic lining pens), pentel water brushes (both round, one small one medium), one red pen, and a white gel pen. If I /ever/ have to just take the bare minimum it's literally my top three: me pencil, a copic multiliner, and an eraser.
Who is your favorite superhero?
If we're talking in a broad spectrum: Sailor Moon/the sailor scouts, etc. They hold a very special place in my heart. If we're talking American comics, then it's a troublesome toss up between Captain America and Iron Man. The problematic duo so to speak, haha. I thiiink Steve edges Tony out just by a hair.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
Omnilingualism. I've always, always, always wanted the ability to talk to people in the method they're most comfortable with.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Fashion! Other artists I adore with all my heart. Sometimes I just google colour palettes to try to find a mixture that inspires something. I'm never short on it because when I find something that inspires me I bookmark it, save it, make it easy to access so that I can look back when I'm feeling stuck.
Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?
Oof. This is a hard one. I have so many friends or people I know who make great comics and I literally cannot pick one. However, I have to give my heart to Naoko Takeuchi: the brilliant mind behind Sailor Moon. She started it all for me.
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