This week, Nifty Zone had an amazing chance to reach out to a stunning artist known as GreyRadian. She is a concept artist and illustrator who was originally from Australia but is now based in Tokyo – specifically in the Japanese video game industry. GreyRadian specialises in bringing the Japanese anime and kawaii aesthetic to character design as well incorporating Western aesthetics to Japanese projects. We’d like to think she has the best of both worlds! Some of her works have been in projects published by well-known companies such as Nintendo, Bandai Namco and more. Isn’t she impressive?
We were curious to find out how GreyRadian came up with the idea for her Himé Designs. She shared that the concept of NFTs and hyped up drops reminded her a lot the ‘gacha‘ system. If you haven’t heard of this, it is a randomised drop box system inspired by the Japanese ‘gachapon‘. This system is implemented in many Asian mobile games which often help to drive the sales. The main appeal of this game is usually the chance to win a rare or cute character (usually female). There is especially a huge ‘waifu‘ culture amongst consumers who are fans of Japanese pop-culture. ‘waifu’ comes from the English word, ‘wife’, where some fans feel attached to certain female anime characters and call them ‘waifus‘. We though that this was such an interesting concept!
GreyRadian elaborated that she wanted to bring the idea into NFTs but this time, as a solo artist. She felt that building an entire game and randomised system was beyond what she could handle, thus she decided to take this opportunity to market her skill sets. She is determined to include something that collectors can truly own when purchasing her NFTs – the commercial use license for her character designs. She added that she likes to call her characters, ‘Himé‘ as it comes from the word ‘ohimesama‘ (お姫様), which means ‘princess’ in Japanese. She believes that her collectors deserve ‘princesses instead of just a ‘waifu‘!
We also were intrigued by GreyRadian’s ‘Himé Designs‘ series and wanted to find out which artwork was her favourite. As of the time of writing, GreyRadian is working on her second collection of Himés. She shared that each Himé has a special meaning to her as she puts in a lot of thought into creating each design. She often tries to picture the collectors who’d be interested in her designs. She’s had a lot of fun designing ‘Angel Himé 02 – Aimi‘ because she was inspired by the community. The majority vote tied for the second collection between Angels and Cat Girls, hence with Aimi, I had the community in mind when designing her. “I had a lot of fun to make her the cutest!” For upcoming designs, GreyRadian is particularly excited about her third Angel Himé, who is designed to have a twist and will also be the first collaboration with another artist!
Currently, GreyRadian is living in Japan and the reason behind her move from Australia was because she was offered a position as a 2D artist at a game studio, where she was given the experience of working with anime-style projects. Our Nifty Zone team wondered if living in Japan has inspired or impacted her art and GreyRadian willingly shared that when she first moved to Japan she had some troubles fitting into the art culture. While she had some anime-style illustration works in her portfolio, she was told that her work looked a bit ‘foreign‘ and she was unable to capture ‘kawaii‘ effectively.
As a 2D artist in a game studio, GreyRadian was in charge of the illustrations and her work would go under review by several strict art directors who have an extremely keen eye in ‘kawaii‘ in anime illustrations. She slowly started to understand the specific proportions and shapes that were used to make the faces ‘kawaii‘. She opened up and said that this was something she underestimated. When she was in school, she was often told that anime ‘isn’t real art’ or that it was ‘easy’. Therefore, she underestimated the amount of study that was needed to perfect the style and make it appeal to Japanese consumers.