Today I have the immense pleasure to present to you a little chat with Eriy, the author of the Romantic Country series. By the way, the English version of the Second Tale is now available at the Bookdepository HERE, I just got my shipping notice yesterday, I placed my preorder on May 16 so.. it’s been a bit of a wait but so worth it!
Eriy is a Japanese artist who draws her books entirely with toothpicks, dipping them in ink, definitely a unique style. Her Romantic Country books are set in the fantasy country of Cocot, a land full of warmth and joy, the images never fail to make me smile.
Iris: How old were you when you started to draw?
Eriy: I started to draw professional illustrations when I turned 21. At that time I was an art university student.
I: What was your favorite subject to draw then and what is it now?
E: I have always liked to draw landscapes, especially countryside, so that was and that is still my favorite subject.
I: How did the idea of drawing with toothpicks come to be?
E: It was about 10 years ago that I purchased ink for the first time, but I had carelessly forgotten to buy a dip pen. This incident originally got me started using a toothpick for drawing and it came to be very useful and interesting for me.
I: How did you come to creating coloring books?
E: I like to draw precise lines and details , so I thought my art could be suitable for coloring book.
I: Which of your books is your own personal favorite? Why?
E: It’s my first book which I have published because I have always dreamed of publishing the book about my imaginary country “COCOT” .
I: If you could live in Cocot, where would you live and who would you be?
E: I’d like to live in Yowguste Forest. Many witches live in there, and make a town. It is a very lively place where you can find anything you want!
I: How do you create a coloring page? What is the process for you?
E: At first I make a rough sketch, after that I use a toothpick.Then I make a coloring draft after which I start painting the coloring page.
I: How long does it take for you to create a whole book?
E: It takes for me 4 or 5 months to create a whole book.
I: What are the challenges of being an artist for you?
E: I’d like to make some items using my characters. And if I get a chance I want to hold a personal exhibition abroad.
I: Can you describe your day as an artist?
E: I usually do my work at 10AM to 5PM in my studio. After that I go back to my house and sometimes I draw my original illustrations.
I: What are the tools you can’t live without?
E: Definitely toothpick and liquid watercolour (I bring them everywhere, such as when I’m traveling).
I: Do you have any tips for complete beginners in coloring?
E: If you’re beginner and it is difficult for you to use colors, you can try using a smaller pack of colors.
I: Is there something in the works for the future as well? Can you share a bit about that?
E: I have some ideas and I have already talked to my editor. I’d love to present it to you when we finish it.
Well I for one would love to know what’s next! Thank you, Eriy, for taking the time for us in your busy schedule and hope we get to see more of your work very soon!
Coloring books by Eriy can be found on Amazon, Bookdepository and various other online sources. For example, I got my Japanese version of the Third Tale from CDJapan and can say I had no problems with that site.
Images by Eriy, used with permission.