Mayumi Ogihara is a creator of fantasy illustration, colouring pages and colouring books, and one of the founders of Star Dust Art Collective on Facebook. Mayumi is a self-taught, traditional artist based in British Columbia, Canada. She was born in Japan in 1965, to an artistic family with wonderful imagination and skills in many different fields. As long as she could remember, she had always loved to work on a variety of arts and crafts, particularly graphite drawing. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, she was often commissioned privately to draw family portraits. Several of her drawings were included in art magazines and websites. Her art has been sold to private collectors and fans around the world, and licensed for PSP tubes. In 2015 she started creating colouring pages and published some colouring books.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I became a professional artist in 2009, but I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I was born into an artistic family with wonderful imagination and skills in many different fields. I was always surrounded by their beautiful creative work and they inspired me greatly. As a child I enjoyed spending time with my friends, but it was very important for me to have some alone time and let my creativity flow. It’s funny how I never thought myself as an artist when I was young. I think it was because art has always been a part of my life. In 2002 my landlord at that time hired me to draw a family portrait, that’s when I realized I want to become a professional artist.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many places. I get inspired by art created by other artists, books, movies, music, nature, people, colours, shapes, and more. Be curious and let your imagination run free.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
My studio is my favourite place to work. I don’t feel comfortable having people are around when I’m working.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
Good quality paper (Strathmore drawing paper is my favourite), mechanical pencils (0.3 mm with B led and 0.5 mm with 2B led), kneaded eraser, white charcoal pencil. I use several different brand coloured pencils: Prismacolor Premier, Prismacolor Verythin, Prismacolor Col-Erase, Van Gogh coloured pencils, Derwent Coloursoft, Tombow CB-NQ, Uni No.880, Uni Mitsubishi Arterase Color, Faber-Castell Classic colour.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
It’s hard to choose one. I create different styles of art, such as realistic portrait, fantasy illustration, and line art for colouring books, and I enjoyed working on every single one of them. The most memorable piece in recent years is “Belle Rose”, for it was my first time drawing a rococo style art, and the colouring page of this design was one of the most enjoyed by colourists.
Using good quality paper and coloured pencils helps to produce good quality art. Also, find artists who create the style of art you like and study their work. If they offer tips or share techniques, definitely try using them in your work. You may not get a satisfactory result right away, but don’t give up and keep practicing. It’s the fastest and the only way to improve your skills. And, most importantly, enjoy your creativity.