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Hidehisa Miyagawa: concept artist interview

Hidehisa Miyagawa

Concept artist, Illustrator

Japanese concept artist Hidehisa Miyagawa currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and has worked for Disney Imagineering on “Disneyland Resort: Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout!” and many other projects. Find out more…

Hidehisa's Website

3dtotal

Hi Hidehisa, good to catch up with you! Please let us know more about you: where you are and where you came from, and the work you’re currently doing.

Hidehisa

Hello! I am currently in Denver, Colorado, USA but I am originally from Japan. I have worked for the film, videogame, and theme park industry projects, including “Disneyland Resort: Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout! (2017)” (where I worked as a lead concept artist for the cinematics) and “A Wrinkle in Time (2018)” (working as a VFX concept artist for the “wrinkle” effect). I am now mainly engaging in the videogame project “Eternal” as a lead artist and working on many promotional illustrations and concept arts.

woman on horse

3dtotal

What’s been your favorite project and studio to have worked for in the past?

Hidehisa

“Disneyland Resort: Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout! (2017)” is my most favorite project, and Disney Imagineering is my favorite studio. I could have a big chance to do all of the cinematic concept art for that project. Literally all of them.  That is a huge honor for me to engage in such a starring role for the project which achieves memorable success. And also “The Marvel Experience (2014)” is my favorite too. I worked for Disney Imagineering through Rhythm and Hues. I needed to work on the concept art both for the cinematic side and theme park side. And I had a great opportunity to work for the concepts which integrates both the cinematic side and theme park side. That was not an easy one, since the part I worked on is one of the biggest highlights in that project – but also super enjoyable.

I have been using 3D, and I sense there could be much bigger possibilities to integrate this into my art aesthetics.

3dtotal

Your portfolio shows signs of evolution and variation over the years. Was this a conscious choice to open yourself up to more work possibilities, or simply for the love of variety?

Hidehisa

Actually both of them are the answer for this question. I definitely know that the wide ranged artistic ability gives me more possibilities and opportunities for work. But also, I recognized there was such a huge space for exploration in concept art/illustration, the more I learned. Evolution and variation will allow me to see the next evolution and variation – this cycle always gives me passion for the next artwork.

3dtotal

What do you find yourself doing differently these days compared to your earlier work?

Hidehisa

I used to engage with “simply looking cool” when I was working on artworks. However, I started to pay attention to the meaning of the color and composition to describe emotional value of each concept piece. I am trying not to go too logical for this, but I am trying to feel each artworks to figure out the best color and composition. Definitely, I also pay attention to the clarity of the design which I need to present.

man with falcon in desert
Kazakh's falconer

3dtotal

What do you think will be the next step in your evolution?

Hidehisa

I would like to engage even deeper to bring traditional art value into digital artworks. I am not willing to find an easy stable way to do artworks, but I am passionate to explore whatever unexpected creative avenue is available to produce the next artwork. Also, I really would like to dig 3D software/technique deeper. I have been using 3D, and I sense there could be much bigger possibilities to integrate this into my art aesthetics.

ship in a storm
Ship in the Storm

3dtotal

What are three key things an aspiring character artist should know about the industry before starting out?

Hidehisa

Style, grounded design and emotion – I believe these three are important to becoming a professional character artist. Since character is the biggest focus for the audience, character design needs to represent its IP’s style  and the company itself. Style can be the shape, level of exaggeration, choice of color, and rendering style.

Grounded design here means “reasons behind the design/ plausible value of the design”. Definitely, we need to pay big attention to the realism of the design if the style is realistic. But, you need to be ready to present your answer behind the character design even if the style is not realistic at all. The design with the strong reasons behind it is much stronger.

You also need to think about how to express the character's emotion by your artwork. It is not easy to express ambiguous emotions just by your artwork, but the audience loves the character who conveys emotion into its designs. There are many possible solution for this – gesture, color, and archetype.

castles in a sky city

3dtotal

How do you get into your “creative zone?” Is there a place, a time of day or anything else that gets your creative juices flowing?

Hidehisa

There are two different stages for me to create art. Coming up with ideas and expressing ideas. I can come up with creative ideas when I am in a relaxing environment, or when I am focusing on something else. For example, when I am at some cafe and having some coffee, or when I am driving.

But, I love isolation when I am expressing (drawing, painting, visualizing ideas which I came up with) something. Therefore, the time after midnight and/or super early mornings accelerates my creative ability.

12th century European port
Port scenery based on around 12th Century Europe

3dtotal

Thanks for chatting to us today! Where can people go to see more of your work and keep a track of your updates?

Hidehisa

I will definitely keep updating my 3dtotal page, and I am pretty sure that you can see my newest artwork here! But also you may see my updates via the links at the bottom of this page.

If you need to see my professional portfolio, you can do so here. Thank you so much for this precious opportunity! It is really fun for me to answer the questions which relates to the creative process. And I appreciate the people who read through this interview!

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