Yoji Shinkawa Interview

name: NaBaBa, job: student, age: 14
Hi! Thank you very much for the wonderful artbook.

There is an Olga illustration on folded Japanese paper between the end of Part 1 and Part 2. How did this illustration come about?

What do you keep in mind when you do illustrations?

Keep up your great work!

Shinkawa: The Olga illustration was done especially for this artbook. What I keep in mind...that's a hard question.

I get bored easily, so I try not to stick to one style. I experiment with different styles each time.

"Wood block print this time, American comic style next time..." I change my style with every illustration.

That's what I keep in mind, I guess.

name: Metacon, job: high school student, age: 15
I imitated your illustration in art class at school and was praised for it.

I shouldn't be doing this, right?

Shinkawa: I have no problem with it. (laughs) What did you draw? Metacon? (laughs)

KCEJ: What do you think of imitating people?

Shinkawa: That's how I started. Imitating Mr. Yoshitaka Amano.

There are no original illustrations in the true sense, are there? We've seen them all.

When you say imitation, you can imitate someone completely or simply imitate the nuance.

Getting a hint from an illustration is imitation in a way.

I don't think it's wrong. No problem!! (laughs)

KCEJ: Since Mr. Shinkawa approves, Metacon-san is given the seal of approval. (laughs)

name: N/A, job: high school student, age: 15
Do you not make mistakes without doing rough sketches first?

Shinkawa: (instant reply) Oh yes I make mistakes.

KCEJ: How many times do you redo rough sketches?

Shinkawa: If I do rough sketches with a pencil, the end illustration looks too much like the weak pencil strokes. That's why I do not do rough sketches with a pencil. I do a rough sketch and then trace it. What I don't do is trace pencil lines with a pen. But I still do rough sketches. If I do make a mistake, I start all over again. So it does take time.

name: N/A, job: part timer, age: 21
I've been spending a lot of time looking at the artbook since I bought it.

I am amazed by how great the illustrations are.

MGS2 is not MGS2 without your illustrations.

You're really good at illustrations of mechs.

How can you give so much detail to an illustration?

How much time do you spend on one illustration?

I will cherish this artbook forever. Keep up your great work!

Shinkawa: Mechs are quite time-consuming. There are many steps involved, and that's why it takes more time.

How can I draw mechs well?

KCEJ: "How can you give so much detail to an illustration?" is the question. (laughs)

Shinkawa: Giving much detail is how you draw mechs well. (laughs) And how do I give details...

KCEJ: How you give accurate details deep inside...

Shinkawa: I don't. (laughs) I just try to make everything work out logically, and then the mech stands out.

"There is a screw here. What is this screw for?" I ask myself.

Maybe that screw is unnecessary, but I try to come up with reasons for things I draw. That adds to the persuasiveness. Adding lines is not what makes it look more like a mech. The lines connecting and showing at what points the mech will move...

such gimmicks are what I think about to add persuasiveness.

KCEJ: How much time do you spend on these?

Shinkawa: Some are finished in an instant. Some take forever.

I said earlier that I try many things. Different styles, different lengths of time.

I may finish it on the train in 20 minutes. I may not finish anything in 2 or 3 days. "Oh my God!!!"

KCEJ: Since time varies so much, please tell us about the shortest and longest examples.

Shinkawa: I don't want to talk about that. (laughs)

The shortest -- 10 minutes on the train.

The longest -- A week, probably. I am asked to do an illustration a week before the deadline. I start working on it, do other things, go back to the illustration, stop, go back to painting it, etc. and finish it up with Photoshop after a week.

KCEJ: And finally, this person will "cherish this artbook forever. Keep up your great work!"

Shinkawa: Thank you very much.

name: Yoshi, job: part timer, age: 23
What do you make sure to not miss when doing an illustration?

Shinkawa: Before I try various techniques, I decide on a concept. I try to stick to that.

Starting to draw without thinking leads to nothing. If I decide on what I want to achieve, I'll then work toward that.

KCEJ: And what is most important to you then?

Shinkawa: The dessin (rough sketch) is not that important to me. What is important is impact.

KCEJ: "Electric current" as this person says, right?

Shinkawa: Exactly!

KCEJ: So this person was hit by this impact as you intended. (laughs)

Shinkawa: (laughs) So you have reacted as we expected...

name: kanako, job: part timer, age: 22
Your characters are all cool! What do you think are best at? Male characters? Female characters? Mechs?

Do you want to be like any of your characters you have designed?

Shinkawa: I am not that good at drawing humans.

KCEJ: So mechs, then? Your favorite, right?

Shinkawa: If I work on mechs for too long, I then want to draw humans. And visa versa.

KCEJ: Anyone you want to be?

Shinkawa: Not really. I wanted to wear the powered suit "EMPS" in "Policenauts." It was designed by HAJIME KATOKI.

I love powered suits. Let me ride one! Let me wear one!

KCEJ: Do you want to become more powerful?

Shinkawa: Ha ha ha. (laughs) Mr. Kojima says he wants a robot. But that robot is a robot with a mind.

I want a robot I can control. Generation gap?

name: N/A, job: useless weapon, age: N/A
There are 8 female characters throughout MGS and MGS2: Meryl, Mei Ling, Naomi, Wolf, Olga, Emma, Fortune, and Rose.

Which one did you spend extra time and care on?

If there is a sequel to come, what kind of female character do you want in it?

Which female character is most popular in your team?

Shinkawa: Mei Ling.

KCEJ: Why? Is she your type?

Shinkawa: Exactly. She is a realization of my type.

KCEJ: So, if a girl wants to go out with you...(laughs)

Shinkawa: (laughs)

KCEJ: She should dress like Mei Ling and graduate from MIT like her, right? (laughs)

Shinkawa: (laughs) Naomi and Rose are Mr. Kojima's type. Mature, intelligent, talented.

KCEJ: Who's most popular among the team?

Shinkawa: Really depends. I think Wolf is popular.

KCEJ: If there is a sequel to come, what kind of female character do you want in it?

Shinkawa: (laughs) Absolutely no women at all.

KCEJ: A guy game?

Shinkawa: Right, the world of perfect guy.(laughs)

name: codename pig, job: none, age: 24
I finally found and bought THE ART OF METAL GEAR SOLID2 in April.

Not only is the artwork in the inside cool, but also is the build of the book.

I've read in an interview that you once wanted to become a comic artist. What kind of manga do you like? Which comic artists have influenced your style if there are any?

Shinkawa: I don't read manga these days.

KCEJ: Intentionally? Or because you're busy?

Shinkawa: I do buy them, you know. "AZUMI" by Yu Koyama. I'm his fan since his "Ganbare Genki."

KCEJ: Anyone who has influenced your style?

Shinkawa: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, perhaps. Although not really a comic artist, Yoshikazu Amano.

And of course, American comics.

name: pyoooon, job: student, age: 19
If MGS3 is going to happen, do you want to be the designer? Have you ever thought of producing a game yourself?

Shinkawa: Yes, please. (laughs)

KCEJ: Have you ever thought of producing a game?

Shinkawa: I've thought of it, but it's not easy.

KCEJ: Would you like to someday?

Shinkawa: I'd like to work on a small scale game rather than a huge one.

name: TOMIji, job: student, age: 15
When and why did you start using the brush pen?

Shinkawa: This is where "Yoshikazu Yasuhiko" comes into the story.

KCEJ: When was this?

Shinkawa: There were books on how to draw manga, and the books tell you to use a "G pen." I bought a G pen and couldn't draw with it at all. Then I came across "Arion" by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. The lines were really beautiful. They were done with brushes. That's when I decided to use a brush. It worked so much better than the G pen. So I imitated his technique.

name: mogu-tan, job: N/A, age: 23
Where did you learn the basics of drawing?

Are you interested in working on projects other than Metal Gear?

Are there any game genres you wish to work on next?

Shinkawa: My high school art teacher and the art lessons I took to prepare for art school taught me how to do rough sketches. Art school doesn't teach you anything, you know.

KCEJ: Are you interested in working on projects other than Metal Gear?

Shinkawa: Oh yes. I'd get bored if I worked on Metal Gear only.

KCEJ: Then you must have enjoyed working on ZOE?

Shinkawa: Yes, I was able to do many different things.

KCEJ: What other genres are you interested in?

Shinkawa: Action games. They are more direct than RPGs. RPGs...

KCEJ: ...?

Shinkawa: ...bore me.

Shinkawa and interviewer: (laughs)

name: S.Solid, job: student, age: 15
Why is the hair color of Pliskin and Snake different?

Any advice on how to draw Snake's eyes? They are really difficult to draw.

Shinkawa: Pliskin's hair is more blonde. Snake's hair might be blonde naturally.

In MGS, his hair is brown. He probably dyed his hair before infiltration.

KCEJ: And that's why he dyed his hair.

Shinkawa: Yes, probably. Snake has his hair dyed. Pliskin's hair is of natural color.

KCEJ: How about the eyes?

Shinkawa: (laughs) Don't try to draw the eyes.

KCEJ: Well, that's it. (laughs)

Shinkawa: The high school teach I mentioned before said that an eye is a circle with the pupil and the white and light -- very symbolic. You should not think of the symbolic eye too much. My advice is to try not to draw an eye.

name: DOKON no JOE, job: student, age: 14
I really enjoyed the game very much. Why doesn't Vamp die?

Shinkawa: Because he doesn't. Vamp says it himself. (laughs)

KCEJ: He doesn't die because he doesn't. OK, that's it. (laughs)

name: ^ ^, job: novice illustrator, age: 26
I am cherishing this artbook for it being more than an artbook -- so much more and high quality.

You seem to have established your style not only with characters but with your mech designs as well.

Which mech design / designer has influenced you the most?

Take care of your health and keep up your great work!

Shinkawa: Mr. Makoto Kobayashi.

name: N/A, job: cia007, age: N/A
I've been a fan since MGS.

What happened to Meryl and Snake after MGS?

Shinkawa: Meryl has gone beyond...

KCEJ: There were 2 endings. Many people ask from which ending does MGS2 continue.

Shinkawa: It can be either. When you escape with Meryl, Otacon is alive. When with Otacon, it is not mentioned that Meryl has died.

KCEJ: So Meryl might appear in a sequel.

Shinkawa: There will be no women in sequels. (laughs)

KCEJ: I see. Maybe the CIA can find out. (laughs)

Shinkawa: Yes, please ask them. (laughs)

name: kaze, job: office worker, age: 25
I bought the artbook on the day of the release. I have read through it while thinking about the game.

Mr. Shinkawa talks about the Raiden skull suit in Segment 3 of the interview. I have been discussing with my friend whether or not Raiden wears something underneath the suit. I say NO and my friend says YES. The answer you gave was YES, but then he was naked during the torture. So...does he or does he not wear anything underneath the suit?

KCEJ: You see underwear lines in the rough sketch.

Shinkawa: He's been stripped of what he wears when being tortured.

He is wearing something underneath, but from a sci-fi standpoint, I guess it's better to think that he is not wearing anything underneath, since the suit is supposed to detect his pulse, etc.

KCEJ: So he does wear underwear, right? What color would it be?

Shinkawa: Black, definitely.

name: yousai, job: student, age: 15
What software do you use other than Photoshop?

Shinkawa: Sometimes I use Photoshop from the very beginning. I also use Painter.

KCEJ: How about Illustrator?

Shinkawa: No. I don't use it.

name: RODERICK CHISHOLM, job: STUDENT, age :15

Shinkawa: I've imitated many styles, and mine is the end product.

KCEJ: Where do you get your inspirations?

Shinkawa: From many things. Ads on a train, TV ads, fashion magazines, etc. etc.

KCEJ: So you have your antenna pointed up to catch interesting things, right?

Shinkawa: Antenna? (laughs) What antenna are people talking about when they say "antenna?" (laughs)

name: MISS P KNIGHT, job: N/A, age: N/A
Mr. Shinkawa,I am curious to know, were the characters in Metal Gear Solid 2 based on real people, or who inspired you?

Shinkawa: As I said in the previous interview, there are no models. But when I ask my staff to work on the (3D) model, I do give them a photo or something as a guide. I think trying not to think about specific models is better when designing a character.

name: Alex, job: Art Student, age: 17
Do you have any tutorials on your drawing methods and if not are you planning to make any? The graphics in-game and your illustrations are incredible!

Something like "Your First Illustration" by Yoji Shinkawa.

Shinkawa: No way! I'm not that much of an artist.

KCEJ: Have you ever been asked to teach at an art school?

Shinkawa: Me? No way!!! I'm the one who would like to be taught. (laughs)

KCEJ: Can you please give him some kind of advice?

Shinkawa: Buy a "Pentel brush pen!" (laughs)

KCEJ: Buy a brush pen sold by the company Pentel. "Import it if necessary," is your advice, right?

Shinkawa: I use one whose tip has become a bit rough. If I want to draw beautiful lines, I use a proper one.

A genius can draw with any brush, but I have to make different choices accordingly.

KCEJ: Does it have to be a brush pen? How about a regular brush?

Shinkawa: I've tried using regular brush many times, but they are too fine and soft.

The brush of a Pentel brush pen uses Nylon or some synthetic fiber and is coarse.

This works better.

name: Kerri Mac Neilage, job: School student, age: 14
Can you please tell me if Vamp is actually still alive and if he is in the crowd during the ending if so where is he exactly in the crowd?

Shinkawa: Yes, he is alive. If you keep on zooming in, you will see him for an instant.

KCEJ: Keep an eye on the yellow car.

Shinkawa: That car is mine. (laughs)

KCEJ: Really?

Shinkawa: I gave the designer a photo and said, "Please draw this." (laughs)

KCEJ: This is more interesting than Vamp's story. (laughs)

You're not in that car (in the game), are you?

Shinkawa: Me? Naaah. (laughs)

name: Chris Pogo, job: student, age: 16
Can you show artwork of all twelve patriots and give us a list of their names, even if they are dead for 100 yearsThey look very much like ExPresidents but im not sure

Shinkawa: I don't know if they have names. I don't know.

Some look like ex-presidents. Some don't.

name: Eric Faolain, job: Student, age: 15
Was it hard designing Raiden, since he had to be completly diffrent from Snake?

Shinkawa: I was ordered to draw a pretty boy, and I drew this pretty boy as I thought he should look like. It was not difficult. I did a few sketches and the image was fixes. Drawing the sneaking suit was quite difficult, though.

name: Goon, job: Student, age: 23 What is your favorite Metal Gear model (TX-55, D, G, Gander, REX, RAY, and Arsenal)?

Shinkawa: RAY.

KCEJ: Why did you fall in love with RAY? (laughs)

Shinkawa: Because he "meows." (laughs) I also like its joints.

name: Christian Cassem, job: school, age: 15
Inside metalgear solid 2 once you have aquired the digital camera what is the best or most dramatic shot you can get?

Shinkawa: Why does he ask this question? (laughs) In Japan we've done a digital camera photo contest. What kinds of photos did we get?

KCEJ: An enemy soldier crouching down like a SUMO wrestler.

Shinkawa: I say, just enjoy taking photos you think are funny. I personally like to take photos of the MOAIs.

KCEJ: Nothing happens in the game even if you take photos of them, right?

Shinkawa: No. They are only commemorations. (laughs)

name: Tommy Jorpeland, job: illustration, student age: 17
Hello, first of all I love your drawing style, and your character desgines, and I'll certainly buy the artbok when (if) it reaches Europe. And I was wondering which brushes u uses in Photoshop? Keep up the good work! (If there will a Metal Gear Solid 3, pleas return with the team =) )Tommy

Shinkawa: I don't use the brush tool. I use Photoshop but for painting only.

KCEJ: Do you draw lines with Photoshop?

Shinkawa: I draw lines on paper and scan them.

If I want draw lines on the computer, I use Painter.

name: tabris, job: student, age: 15
what your next project is?

Shinkawa: The next project is ------. (without any uncertainty, he says it)

KCEJ: Um...We won't be able to publish that. (laughs)

Shinkawa: We are working on something.

name: Mike Packer, job: Student, age: 13
I love your artwork. Did you design the original Snake and how muh guidance for his appearance were you given by Mr Kojima?

Shinkawa: I did not work on the original Snake.

KCEJ: The MSX Snake was by Mr. Kojima, right?

Shinkawa: Are you sure? I don't know.

KCEJ: Mr. Shinkawa, you have started working on Metal Gear with MGS, right?


KCEJ: How much instructions were there?

Shinkawa: Virtually none.

name: Brian Moylan, job: Electronic Engineer, age: 26
Hi Yoji,I'm a huge fan of your work, keep it up!I was wondering what other famous artists (asides from Mondrian) do you like, and have influenced you style of art.

Shinkawa: Why does he kow about Mondrian?

KCEJ: Because you mentioned him in the previous interview along with Hikozo Ito and Beardsley.

Shinkawa: Who else...? Oh, yes. Willy Pogany. A British book illustrator.

name: Jeanne Price, job: student, artist, age: 18
Firstly, I really respect your artwork and your style. When I first saw your work I thought it was incredible and extremely sexy, it was something totally new an unique to me. The way you can turn such 'sketchy' linework into wonderful pictures is something that totally respect. When I watched the added DVD with my copy of MGS2 (UK ver.), I saw that the way you draw is so fluid, as if you are not entirely concentrating when you do it. Do you find this state of mind easier to work in? When I draw, I have to concentrate quite hard...although sometimes my sketches come out better than anything I have ever concentrated on! My MGS fanart is in no way as excellent as your art...!

Shinkawa: I think feeling a bit relaxed is better. Too much concentrating can be tiring.

KCEJ: So you are not the concentrating type?

Shinkawa: Not at all!

name: Franceschetti Enrico, job: Student, age: 25
I want to make my compliments to Mr Shinkawa and ask if he will draw the art for MGS3

KCEJ: It seems like he believes there already is a MGS3 being developed. (laughs)

Shinkawa: I will...if there is a MGS3.

KCEJ: Who else could! It's got to be Yoji Shinkawa.

Shinkawa: Hey, you never know! (laughs)

name: CRAIG BROUGHTON, job: customer service fla, age: 33
the artwork i beleive, and have done since metal gear solid came out is of our generation, that is to say that in 100 years yojis work will hold stature with the best of the current artists, the works should be toured, will this happen? will the originals be sold or does yoji ever sell signed peices of work even if stamp size, i would be one proud individual to own a peice of this ARTISTS WORK!!

Shinkawa: (laughs) I don't think I'll ever have my own exhibit.

I don't really consider myself a painter or illustrator. I'm more of a game character designer. Where I show my works will be in games.

Original works are all digital data, so I can make infinite copies if I wanted to. (laughs)

name: Paulo Lopes, job: University student/Art & Design, age: 20
I would like to thank Mr. Shinkawa for making the first MGS Art Book because I was asked to study diferent styles of drawing people/faces, and your book was great to look at and take exemples of your drawing style. It was a great experience learning your style of drawing that is cool, edgy and beautiful. My question is-Would you like to do Manga (in your style of drawing)? If not say why?Thanks for making the new art book, I loved the game and I hope to get the new book soon, thanks for your time! ^_^

Shinkawa: I have no plans to do manga.

KCEJ: You did a manga-style illustration for an ad for MGS.

Shinkawa: Manga is really hard.

Manga-style expression is difficult.

I work on games because I cannot do manga.

And therefore I have no plans to do manga.

KCEJ: Do you want to someday?

Shinkawa: I've tried in the past, and I couldn't. So I really don't think so.

I really don't want to right now. It's simply very tough to do.

name: From many gamers, job: N/A, age: N/A
What is the La-li-lu-le-lo?

Shinkawa: It's in the game! It's the Patriots.

KCEJ: Why La-li-lu-le-lo, then? Shinkawa: This wasn't my idea, but when certain people in the game try to say "the Patriots," they can't say so because they are programmed that way.

KCEJ: When you say "programmed," you mean brainwashed or something?

Shinkawa: I'm sure Mr. Kojima can explain it better.

-- Interview by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (KCEJ)

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