Location: Anime NYC 2019
Interview Date: 11/16/2019
(Note: Due to a scheduling conflict, I had to join this interview in progress)
On the different renditions of Monogatari in anime:
VOFAN: Every artist has their own style. I think they’re all great. I try to avoid being influenced by them, but occasionally I’ll see something I like and borrow it.
The origin of the name VOFAN:
VOFAN: It’s from a game. I’m a fan of a game called Vo.
On how his architecture degree has influenced his art:
VOFAN: I wasn’t a good architecture student. It hasn’t influenced my style as much as you’d imagine. Photography has influenced me a lot more.
On places in Taiwan that have influenced his art:
VOFAN: I’m from Tainan. You pay the least attention to the place that you’re from. I think that’s a shame. Tainan doesn’t appear in my book. I’d love to go back draw it.
It’s like that for everyone. A lot of New Yorkers have never been to Broadway.
On his fandom of Makoto Shinkai and the cover for Voices of a Distant Star:
VOFAN: I just learned right now that Vertical had no idea I was inspired by Makoto Shinkai. It was a complete coincidence they reached out to me to do the cover.
On places in Taiwan tourists should visit:
VOFAN: The East coast of Taiwan is harder to get to. It feels like a different world. Most of the tourists end up going to Taipei. That’s a shame, they should check out the East coast.
On his experiences from Anime NYC:
VOFAN: I find it interesting how people from different cultures view my art. For example, you previously referred to “Two monsters” in my art. People from Taiwan would recognize them as two gods, one taller, one shorter.
Anime Herald: How do you see your art style evolving in the future?
VOFAN: I’m going to keep learning and improving. There’s a certain humility you should bring to art. You should be a sponge and keep learning. Sometimes I’ll create a piece and feel pretty good, but then I’ll look at something that impresses me and realize I have a ways to go.
On anime/manga/light novels that have grabbed his attention recently:
VOFAN: I really liked Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and the works of Satoshi Kon, like Tokyo Godfathers.
On a genre he’d like to draw more illustrations for:
VOFAN: Murder mysteries, a bloody one. I like illustrating horror stories. It’s very different from what I normally do.
On what to expect from him next:
VOFAN: I’d like to work on a Monogatari artbook if they decide to make one.
Anime Herald: What software to you use to create your works?
VOFAN: I work in Clip Studio Paint. I’ll adjust the colors in Photoshop. I like using the blur effect. That’s where the dreaminess comes from.
We had a brief discussion on photography and where he might like to shoot in NYC. VOFAN likes abandoned places like ruins, factories, and warehouses. These aren’t places you’d find in a guidebook. He mentioned that he’s had a few run ins with cops in Taiwan. Thankfully, the cops in Taiwan are friendly and just asked him a few questions, then let him go.
One note from the Vertical VOFAN panel:
His editor, Mrs. Lin, was looking for an illustrated story. Something between a novel and a comic. Or perhaps between an art book and a comic.
Special thanks to VOFAN, Vertical Inc, and Anime NYC for making this interview possible.