Game Artist Profile
 Yoji Shinkawa

Yoji Shinkawa Yoji Shinkawa was born in Hiroshima Japan on December 25, 1971. His fame in artwork comes largely from his special attention to technically accurate details in his illustrations, as he is most comfortable when working with mechanical or structural designs. Shinkawa started working for Konami in 1994 at the age of 22, as a CG art director for the Policenauts video game. He was the first artist hired by the company to receive a perfect S-grade on his portfolio, and his artistic recognition soon landed him in the position of character and concept artist for the groundbreaking Metal Gear Solid project for the PlayStation.

Shinkawa is known for his black ink drawings. Shinkawa says he originally found his own art style by imitating the works of various other artists, which often included those of Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano. He doesn't quite consider himself to be a painter or an illustrator, just a game character designer, and is happy to remain in that role. Artists that have been of particular influence to him have been Japanese artists Yoshitaka Amano and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, British artists Willy Pogany and Aubrey Beardsley, French artist Jean Giraud (also known as Mœbius), and American artist Frank Miller. Comic book styles have also served as inspiration through the years, and his personal favorites are the American Jim Lee’s WildCATS and Hellboy, and the Japanese Ashita no Joe and Ganbatte Genki. Anime too has been a source of influence, with favorite series Gundam and Five Star Story being cited.

Early illustration for Metal gear Solid. The continuation of the Metal Gear Solid series included Shinkawa as returning artist for each installment. It was only by chance that he would be handed the job of mech design for the Zone of the Enders series too. Though not originally planned, Shinkawa noticed the development team for ZOE was having a lot of fun, so he showed producer Hideo Kojima some of his robot sketches from his early student work, and the mech design position was handed to him.

Mech design for Zone of the Enders. Shinkawa says he tries to keep his work fresh by using new styles all the time. He prefers drawing by hand, but when he does draw with a stylus and computer, Painter is his program of choice for line work. Photoshop is also used, but only for painting. Most of his designs start on paper with a Pentel Brush Pen, and the lines are later scanned into a graphic program. One technique used to get a rough look in his sketches is to paint over the work repeatedly with thin black ink and correcting ink until it gets crispy. In the end, matiére from underneath shows up as if it were oil painted. Yoji Shinkawa continues to work as a game conceptual artist, currently providing character designs for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
 Artist's Video Game Work
1994  Policenauts (3DO, PS, SS)
1998  Metal Gear Solid (PS)
1999  MGS: VR Missions (PS)
2001  Zone of the Enders (PS2)
2001  Metal Gear Solid 2:
          Sons of Liberty (PS2)
2002  MGS2: Substance (PS2)
2003  Anubis: Z.O.E. (PS2)
2004  Metal Gear Solid:
          The Twin Snakes (GC)
2004  Metal Gear Solid 3:
          Snake Eater (PS2)
2005  Metal Gear Ac!d (PSP)
2005  MGS3: Subsistence (PS2)
????  Metal Gear Solid 4:
          Guns of the Patriots (PS3)



 
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