Talented teens practice the art of winning

August 5th, 2011

Our Liliha Library Anime Art Contest story thus far: nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi and I managed to whittle this:

… down to this:

… with the ultimate goal of picking nine pieces to feature under this:

… as part of this.

And now, without further ado: the winners of the summer 2011 Liliha Library Anime Art Contest.

Best black and white, grades 6-8

(As a refresher — or for those of you who may be new readers to Otaku Ohana, welcome — you can click on each picture to see a larger, more detailed version.)

This was the category we tackled first, mainly because it was rather sparsely populated. If the photos I took of the table were any indication, there were only 14 entries that were in this category … and the difference between the first- and second-place winners and the others was relatively steep. In the end, it was a two-person race between eighth graders Chandelle Oliver and Nicole Baptist. The edge went to Chandelle and her original piece, “Plush Animals,” for the variety of plushies in the background and their different poses.

It just as easily could have been “Birds,” though, a study of birds flying with a rather whimsical twist.

We were impressed with what second-place winner Nicole did with her Fullmetal Alchemist-inspired piece, “FMA Fan Art.” The brothers Elric, Mustang, Hawkeye, Scar, et.al. have undoubtedly been featured in a number of fan art pieces, but all together? That takes dedication to draw them all. But bonus fan points have to be awarded for including Pinako Rockbell, grandmother to Winry and caretaker of Ed and Al. You hardly ever see any fan art love thrown her way.

Best color, grades 6-8

Eighth grader Nicole Nguyen scored an honorable mention at the last Anime Art Contest for her piece “Bleach in Hawaii,” but this time it was a pair of gothic lolita pieces that caught our attention. Taking first prize was “Miss Alice,” a piece we loved for the way the white space on the cards and the girl’s dress made the reds and blacks really pop off the page.

Also gaining serious consideration was her piece, “Still Doll.”

That would be the end of that story if not for something that piqued my curiosity on “Miss Alice.” Note the name in the window frame in the upper right corner.

Curious as to whether there was any significance, I Googled it, finding a Wikipedia article that mentioned this:

Kanon Wakeshima (分島 花音 Wakeshima Kanon, born June 28, 1988) is a Japanese singer and cellist. Produced by Mana, Wakeshima debuted under the DefStar Records label on May 28, 2008 with the single “Still Doll,” the ending theme for the anime adaptation of the manga series Vampire Knight. She also provided the voice for a maid that appears in the eighth episode of the series. Wakeshima’s second single “Suna no Oshiro”, released on November 12, 2008, was used as the ending theme for the series’ second season (subtitled Guilty).

And here’s “Still Doll” the song … with the opening words “Hi, Miss Alice.”

Amazing stuff. Also, I have a new song to add to my list of favorites, and a new artist whose discography I need to look up.

Coming in second was seventh grader Megan Uchida for “Sakura.” We loved this piece in particular for its cheerful Japanese scenery and its chibi, dotty-eyed subject.

But really, when it came down to it, any of her submissions could have been contenders. Here are some of her other pieces; clockwise from top, there’s “Friends,” “Sakura,” “Celebration” and “Princess.” One thing’s for certain: The characters are ALL. SO. CUTE. Seriously, I would pay good money for prints of these.

Best black and white, grades 9-12

Taking first place here was junior Bo-bae Kim, whose detailed, bold pen and ink work really stood out on the two pieces entered: the rather simply named “One” and “Two.” We weren’t really sure how to determine which was which, sooooo … here’s the winner, which we’re hereby dubbing “One.”

For the record, here’s what “Two” looks like.

I should also note here that Audra and I were asked to jot down a few thoughts on each of the winning pieces. When I wrote my comments on Bo-bae’s work, I couldn’t place my finger on the professional artist whose style seemed to influence what I was seeing. Still can’t figure it out, but the name Mitsukazu Mihara seems to stick in my mind.

Second place, meanwhile, went to senior Charli Infante and her portrait of delicate beauty, “Flower Princess.”

Best color, grades 9-12

Finally, we come to the toughest category that we had to judge. Talk about deja vu, though … both of our winners in this category earned honorable mention nods in the first contest. It’s a testament to their persistence, for sure.

Our first place winner was junior Joelle Takayama, whom we honored last time for “On the Roof.” Her big-eyed, eminently huggable character designs won us over once again with her prize-winning piece, “Magician.” As with Nicole’s “Miss Alice,” we liked the use of white space in balancing out the spots of color on the page.

Although there’s also something to be said — all good, of course — about her piece sitting next to “Magician” while we were judging, “Ice Cream Love.”

Coming in second was sophomore Marin Yoshino, the girl whom you might recall had one of the most intriguing paths to winning in the first contest. It was Marin’s mom who snuck into her room last time while she was away, pulled a bunch of pieces from her sketchbook (including the eventual prize-winner, “Miimii Works”) and entered them on her behalf. This time, Marin picked and submitted her own pieces. Our favorite was “Summertime,” for the varied textures and tones she used in the water and the different expressions and actions depicted with the two girls sitting on the dock.

The grand prize winner!

Eight down, one to go … the cream of the contest crop. But first, a few words about what the winner will receive (aside from everlasting fame and adulation among her peers, of course). We knew going in that he/she would get:

  • From Sakura of America: A Manga-Comic Pro Sketching and Inking set, a red pen case and a Canson comic & Manga Artist Trading Cards
  • From Smith Micro Software: A copy of Manga Studio Debut 4
  • From Wacom Technology Corp.: A Bamboo Pen
  • A set of Copic markers

The X-factor was in what fellow contest sponsors Right Stuf, DC Comics, Kawaii Kon and Tokyopop would add to the mix. We didn’t really know just how much stuff that would encompass.

And then young adult librarian Linda Mediati started unpacking a big horkin’ box.

This was what was inside.

Pretty sweet, huh? That’s not even taking into account the swag that Kawaii Kon will undoubtedly be throwing into the pot on Saturday. For someone to win this, their piece had to be really, really good, something that really floored us. Something on the level of Kaili Mossman’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream – HI Style.”

This is that piece. Coincidentally enough, it also has the word “dream” in the title.  I proudly present to you … “Victorian Dream,” by Mililani High School sophomore Caytlin Yoshioka.

“Victorian Dream” is one of those pieces that really grows on you the longer you look at it. First, you notice the delicate, intricate line work. Then you notice the subtle color shifts, as well as the attention to detail. It’s just a gorgeous, focused piece that really stands out, and we were happy to award it the top prize.

With the positions all set, all that’s left now is to present the awards in person. Once again, if you’re in the area, I’d like to invite you to meet the young artists, Audra and myself at an awards ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Liliha Library conference room. The library’s at 1515 Liliha St. And if you can’t make it, I hope to have pictures from the day’s events posted here in a few days.

2 Responses to “Talented teens practice the art of winning”

  1. Wilma Jandoc:

    Beautiful work, everyone! Congratulations to all the winners! ^_^

  2. Otaku Ohana - Hawaii News - Staradvertiser.com:

    [...] Homes Top Stories Otaku Ohana « Talented teens practice the art of winning [...]

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