Contact us.

Subsign Spotlight #062.

We have found Ashiya on Instagram due to her Hungry series. From ice cream and sandwiches to ramen she has them all! Check out her answers to our questions:

Ashiya: Hi! I’m Ashiya Kisa, I work as a freelance designer and illustrator, mostly in watercolors, but sometimes in digital too. I draw since I can remember myself, spending every free second on it.

Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?

Ashiya: My childhood was kind of hard because of the economic situation in our country at that time and my father who left us with my mom. We barely had any money or stuff to eat and it really affects my collecting behavior now. That’s why I’m trying to have a big reserve of paints and paper for like 10 years in case I will be left out without money again 😀

I started to draw when I was like 8-9 y.o. after watching Sailor Moon series on TV, we, me and my friend, started to create our characters what could exist in that universe and I drew a lot in anime style after it.

Subsign: What did you want to be as a grown up?

Ashiya: I clearly remember that I said in my graduation video that I want to be a comic artist! But I didn’t have any patience for a big long continuous thing like a comic so it took me about 10 years to train myself to do this stuff! And I’m finally ready to launch my webtoon which I was preparing for almost three years! I’m super excited as well as super nervous. 

Subsign: How does your workstation look like?

Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?

Ashiya: Do you mean an art style or the style of working? If first, it’s kind of semi-realism, I don’t like to do things completely realistic but I also don’t like a complete cartoonish style. I really like background style of Studio Ghibli works and an anime called Tekkon Kinkreet, so I tend to direct my background style this way.

If it’s about my work style then it’s like… “draw until you faint” style, I barely have any barrier in terms of having proper rest or working time, which bothers me quite a lot and I’m trying to solve this problem this year because it’s simply not healthy.

Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?

Ashiya: Well, there are two ways of working, First, if I’m drawing an illustration for myself, I just eventually see the picture inside of my head, then sketch and paint.

If I’m doing something like a project, first I do some research for concepts and inspiration, then I do a lot of sketches to choose which one is the best and after that, I paint it. Of course in this process, there can be a lot of change steps from a client.

Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?

Ashiya: It’s kind of a hard question for me because after I finish a work, I’m looking for the next ones and don’t stick so much to things I already did. I think any detailed scenery-situation-like work will fit into this question, like Laundry or the very first work from the HUNGRY series which I’m doing right now.

Also, I can say that I like my ‘IN THE CITY’ sketchbook because all sketches are linked to one kind of story and I look forward to making more sketchbooks like this.

Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?

Ashiya: All accounts I follow in my Instagram are people who inspire me more or less (ok, I’m not counting the food accounts I follow as well :D) If someone starts to bring me some bad feelings I simple unfollow them, so it’s easy to track my current inspiration-artists list.

Also, as I mentioned before, Studio Ghibli and Tekkon Kinkreet have a big influence on me, as well as Makoto Shinkai’s pieces (but it gives me less inspiration because I like traditional art ways more)

Subsign: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?

Ashiya: To not wait to be perfect from the start. To learn basic things first. To experiment with tools and styles and practice, practice and practice. To stop thinking that the great artists just have that “talent” so they can create great things, no, they just practiced for many many years, so just have some patience and keep practicing.

Also don’t worry that much about having or not having a drawing style. It will come to you after practicing or you will just get that you don’t need one! I know a lot of good illustrators who change their styles for any work requirement (and I did that too!) and it works perfectly.

Subsign: If you would have a superpower, what would it be?

Ashiya: I thought about it for twenty minutes and can’t figure out anything except that I just want to have a constant perfect health so I don’t have to worry about it at all. I sound like an old lady, I know 😀 But well ok, teleportation would be great too since I want to visit so many places but it all consume too much money and time :’D

Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song, and a movie?

Ashiya: I’ve recommended a lot of books on my IG so far sooo… I don’t know if I have to choose, I still don’t want to tell any exact title. I can recommend you any artbook of the artist you like because they are freaking inspiring and you can learn a lot by analyzing their works.

For the song, well… I’m a big K-pop fan so I can name Butterfly and Spring Day by BTS, Black Suit, and Lo Siento by Super Junior, Move-by Taemin. It was super hard to choose even these, so don’t ask me to choose only one please 😀 

I recommended movies twice in this interview so yeah… Oh, I also can
recommend a Korean movie called “Beauty Inside”.

Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

Ashiya: I’m not a fan of parties and a big amount of people in one place so no, thank you, I would rather not.

Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why?

Ashiya: I just want a small comfy gathering with some artists I like to talk about arts and tools while having a yummy meal or tea time with blankets and cats around!

Thank you, Ashiya, for being a part of it!

If you know an artist that should be in the spotlight, contact us at .

For more of Ashiya’s work, you can follow her on the links: Ashiya’s YouTube, Ashiya’s Instagram, Ashiya’s Facebook.


Read More.

"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki