Chihiro Howe is an Illustrator and Manga Artist who bridges Anime and Disney styled art beautifully.
My name - so the HR will know where my desk is.
Family photo - I need to update this, because I have another baby now…
Minnie - needle felted by me. I wanted to try it out, and it turned out all right so she came to my desk.
Tsum Tsum figures - I think they’re cute, so I’m collecting them.
Elsa and Anna Nendroids - they were cute, and I thought they might be a good reference for chibi drawings.
Copic color chart - it helps when I’m choosing colors.
Sailor Saturn - she was my favorite growing up.
Delphox - my favorite pokemon. I love pokemon…
Zoro - my favorite character from One Piece
Sumikko Gurashi - I think it’s a polar bear…? I got it from one of those blind boxes.
Calendar - of my kids, which my husband gave to me on Mother’s Day.
Dried Hydrangeas - they came from my co-worker’s yard; they still looked pretty after they dried out, so they’re still here…
Random papers, drawings, references, notes - what I’m currently working on. It’s a handy place to put them.
Desk lamp - for when I need an extra bit of light.
Disk/Light Box - Disney animators used to use this one (actually the whole desk came from Disney). It turns into a light box too.
Notes - work notes, personal notes, color testing, etc.
Tapes - regular tape and masking tape.
Drinks - water and hot chocolate. I don’t drink coffee, so hot chocolate is kind of like its substitute. And it keeps me warm during summer from the freezing AC.
Snacks and breakfast - chocolate, candy, fruits and yogurt. I always have chocolate.
Multiliners - I have at least one of each size in each color, so I can change it depending on the drawing I’m working on.
Container with a box of tissues and mint gum - tissues for art and other purposes, and gum for when I want to refresh my mouth.
Blanket - it keeps me warm from the AC.
Copic markers - I share this with my friend and fellow artist (who sits right next to me), so they are all stored in a roller cart from IKEA so we can roll it back and forth.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
Disney, Eiichiro Oda (author of manga One Piece- he is probably my most favorite manga artist), Arina Tanemura (author of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Shinshi Doumei Cross, Full Moon wo Sagashite- I love the details she put in her drawings), CLAMP (author of Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa, etc), and Hayao Miyazaki (from Studio Ghibli).
When you are looking at student work, what is some of the biggest issues that you see over and over again?
They are very talented, but there is no originality - I’ve noticed that they are heavily influenced by the “art-style” of the industry they want to get in. But actually the industries are looking for something unique. There are plenty of talented artists out there; if your artwork is just like anybody else’s, how is it going to stand out? It’s good to be able to do different styles, but having your own unique style will always get attention.
What is one thing besides art, that you simply can’t live without?
CHOCOLATES. I love love love chocolate! I have hidden stashes everywhere…
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
What would you prefer if you traveled cross-country. Get there as fast as possible, sit back on a train, or road trip to see the sights?
I prefer Automobiles. I like driving, and I like how you can go places in your own pace. And I have a lot of siblings, so I’m pretty territorial about my things. I like to have my own space where I can keep my stuff without worrying about leaving something behind, or someone taking them.