Kasaix: Hello friends and foes of Doujins! I’m here with aikuxa, a really talented artist I’ve been following for a while now, and each new picture just draws me in. Seeing Rosa playing the switch in a black thong convinced me to reach out and ask for an interview. But I digress.
Thanks so much for hanging out. How’s it going?
aikuxa: Great thanks for offering to ask me a bit about myself - it's quite nice to be able to tell my story to folks on my streams, so this is a great avenue for people to start to get to know me. I'm glad you liked the Rosa piece - that was somewhat of a unique commission as I have a few friends who often commission me quite loosely, and would like to see me come up with my own ideas for a given character with relatively few guidelines. Rosa's piece was influenced somewhat by an artist named OptionalTypo when I had seen something of theirs involving Lilith - so I put my own spin on it with another character for a friend of mine
Kasaix: I'm always glad to be able to give artists such as yourself a platform to tell their stories. That Rosa picture, I just really love that one. The first image, Rosa relaxing with just a shirt and thong on, I love everything about it. You did a great job on that. I hope this friend loved it just as much.
aikuxa: Oh yeah, he absolutely loved it and we're already planning yet another piece in the near future with a totally different character - I won't spoil who it is but it's someone I've really wanted to draw for a long time now having grown up around fighting games a lot.
Kasaix: I'm excited, I can't wait to see it. But let's bring this back a bit, what first got you interested in art? Was it seeing these characters and wanting to draw them yourself?
aikuxa: So this is kind of the part I'm sort of excited to tell you about - because it actually wasn't too long ago that I first got started with art. I won't be a downer too much - but the short version of this is I essentially had seen someone close to me become physically and mentally disabled and it was sort of a wake up call to me to try something new and just dive off into something I've never done before in the slightest. I think around this time I was looking for something more fulfilling I guess than the day to day full time job of being a software engineer by day, and around this time I had discovered an artist who goes by Rtil and became fascinated with their work. From there, I just kind of accumulated more and more art and developed more relationships with artists to the point I had some sense of where I could see my art going.
Kasaix: That's amazing. You were inspired to try something new, and went for it. You should be proud. You went from software engineer to artist, which I believe is a heck of a jump. You're also extremely talented as an artist, so you should really feel proud of yourself.
aikuxa: Hah yeah, I'm pretty proud of where I've gone with this. People are pretty shocked when they hear I've been drawing a little over 3 years now as I think that's maybe a little faster than average growth. I think one could still tell I don't have the years of experience as many other artists, but I'm trying to catch up! That said, I think I owe a lot of my success to other artists as well who have supported me and offered critique and just general friendship to keep me motivated and all.
Kasaix: Are you all self-taught, or did you attend some school to get better as an artist?
aikuxa: I'm self-taught in the sense I didn't go to school for any of this barring a few random classes in high school or college. However, I do seek critique from 3 professional artists regularly and general art community discords every so often as well.
Kasaix: That's nice, I'm glad to know the art community is so welcoming and helpful.
Which character or characters do you like to draw the most?
aikuxa: So I like a few archetypes quite a lot. Primarily, I like your typical meganekko soft-spoken or shy types. I also really like your pure of heart or "wife" types - the girls you could see wearing those sexy aprons or maid outfits having made you a delicious meal just because they love you. Of course, I draw a lot more than just that - but those are probably my favorite kind of gals.
Kasaix: I love those types too. Wild girls are fine, of course, but the shy and wife types are just pure. Are there and specific characters that come to mind?
aikuxa: Pyra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 definitely comes to mind for those wife types. I actually need to do a redraw for her sometime, I did a few fun Christmas pieces with her and Mythra - but nothing with their real outfits in quite some time and I sort of cringe at the first drawings I did of them haha. I'm a pretty big fan of Skyward Sword Zelda in this kind of realm as well - though the funny thing is I haven't drawn her in this variant yet! I'll get around to it, surely. I've also recently finished the entire Danganronpa series too, so I've been starting to draw a few girls from that as well for some upcoming full color pieces.
Kasaix: Nice choices. For shy type, I'd give it to Hinata from Naruto. She was shy, but badass. She also got hot when she got older, so that's a plus. For wife type, I'd give it to Sango from Inuyasha. She has that maternal side to her, when she's not a badass demon hunter.
aikuxa: Yeah I've always liked Sango from that as well. I've caught a few episodes of these shows in my teenage years, but man are we spoiled in the era of streaming and being able to watch a show from start to finish!
I remember the first time I watched a show start to finish was Neon Genesis Evangelion and that was in the early days of Netflix. Remember when we used to actually get DVDs from them? That was a boon for anime viewers back then.
Kasaix: I bought DVDs outright from time to time. I got the DVD set for Last Exile that came with a figure of that girl Claus and Lavi were protecting. Then years later they made that terrible sequel series. But I digress. Do you have any original characters that you enjoy drawing?
aikuxa: So regarding original characters, I'm one of those artists who have far too many haha. My main mascot OC is named Elzira, she's basically a shut-in weeb that I can draw in any situation and outfit because she ventures into various hentai game virtual worlds. One of the earliest things I worked on with Rtil was designing characters and getting motivation to draw from that - and in the meantime we worked on the script and a comic commission of her called Reality Plus (which you can read HERE). In addition to that, I've got an OC universe I've called Café XOXO - which are basically cafe drink inspired cafe maids that I of course draw in various lewd situations. I've really liked drawing these girls myself and I love seeing a few other artists who have drawn these girls as well. I keep a thread on my twitter of all fanart or commissions I've had of these girls at https://twitter.com/aikuxa/status/1100084919936737280 .
Kasaix: That's awesome. Great excuse to draw different outfits and situations too, I admire that level of creativity. Carte blanche to just to anything with a character.
Do you have a project you really want to work on down the line? A comic series, or perhaps dabbling with animation?
aikuxa: I have ideas for a few comic works - of course I have to choose carefully because I only have so much time and I would want comic updates to come at a reasonably quick pace. Primarily I'd like to do a Shantae doujin someday - I've got a few ideas I've jotted down I just need to figure out the best time for it. I would also like to get into animation, I'm a bit of a slower and more methodical artist to perhaps a bad degree, so I think maybe some animation might help "loosen me up" a little
Kasaix: Shantae, a fine character. Wayforward is as good as Tamsoft at making "appealing" characters. For obvious reasons, she's a game-seller who definitely kept the genie fetish going strong. I write adult stories myself, and I really want to write her in something.
I admire a methodical worker, everything set just right. Using animation to loosen up is definitely interesting. I can't wait to see what you put out there.
Considering your own great, and quite frankly inspiring, story of becoming an artist, what advice would you give to people looking to get into art and animation? Also, what would you recommend they use to work, like a certain type of device.
aikuxa: Well I think the biggest thing is to figure out what you want to get out of it - because if you want to be at the level of artists you admire it's probably going to take a few solid years of daily drawing. I would say the number one takeaway people should get from me would be to draw every single day to at least even a small degree. Even if all you can have time for that day is to draw a face or some random objects lying around - that's totally fine. I would say the next priority should be to get critique on your work because I also feel daily drawing of the wrong habits will only reinforce bad habits.Nowadays you can get a lot of critique just by associating yourself with art community discords - and even more detailed critique if you have a bit of cash to spare for a few critique rewards from Patreon tiers.
As for what I use, as I mentioned I'm a software engineer by day so I have money to spare for my hobby and I draw on a massive Cintiq Pro 24". This thing is massive and requires a certain kind of desk setup for it, so the cost of entry is going to be too steep for most people. If I were to actually recommend a device, it would be the largest Intuos Pro you can afford. There isn't a screen so less can go wrong with it, and a little talked about fact with these are that your hand won't get in the way of what you're drawing once you've overcome the learning curve of drawing on a digital tablet without a screen. Most of the best artists I know use these and even prefer them at times over the Cintiq line.
I think I'd also add in regards to advice that it's never really too late to start. I turn 30 in a few weeks (ugh) and it can at times be discouraging to see how far behind the curve you are compared to artists who have drawn since they were kids. Look at your age as a level of maturity and discipline you may not have had as a child or teen, and I think you can make up for a lot of "lost ground" so to speak.
Kasaix: That's really good advice, and I hope budding artists pay attention. Let’s wrap it up here so you can continue to hone your already incredible skill. Do you have any final words to all your fans?
aikuxa: Thanks for having me! Yeah I am extremely grateful for my fans on all my platforms. I've recently hit 4000 followers on Twitter which is the main platform I post on - and I have quite a following on Picarto as well nowadays. If people have any more questions, Picarto streams are probably the best way to ask specific process questions while I do my work (I stream just about every main full color drawing I work on). I'd especially like to thank a few of my art mentors as well, Rtil, OptionalTypo, and CuteSexyRobutts are the primary ones I work with - and their advice has really been helpful in overcoming some of the flaws in my work. Other than that - I hope you'll look forward to my next few works!
I’d like to give aikuxa another huge thanks to hang out. If you’d like to follow them, check out the sites below: