Hello there. My name is Oda Sonju, I'm a uk based artist and illustrator. Below you'll find examples of my latest work as well as little things in life that inspire me. Enjoy! And if you have any questions, or if you like what you see and would like to commission me for any creative purpose at all, don't hesitate to email me at:
All illustrations copyright C 2014 - Oda Sonju All Rights Reserved
A couple of years ago now I received a project from my lovely studio Dynamo to colour up a board game for Ravensburger. It was a really fun project to work on and gave me a chance to explore digital colouring for an application that I hadn't come across before. I worked with a pretty talented pencilist on this which was really helpful, but I find that being the colourist on a project is especially rewarding because as well as being able to play with mood and lighting I can elaborate on what's been sketched and add lots of tiny little details at this finalising stage...I painted in lots of little eyes, and creatures and random stuff like little mushrooms and then went crazy with the textures! I even scribbled my boyfriend's initials on a tree and got away with it teehee ;)
notice the little eyes inside the log beside the cottage
Yup I love dragons. I also love tea. Combine the two? Great idea!!
( this is just a development sketch / idea...yeah ok, so a lot of the stuff that I have been putting up on my blog recently have not been totally finished. I just get excited ok? When this is done, fully polished scales all detailed up and super-highlights in place, it will be popped up on here asap! )
A tiny (and still unfinished) taster for a comic I am currently working on. The 4 pages of prequel and 3 pages of sequel for the latest Mandy Monster Hunter story - a big collaborative project, with lots of talented artist involved, for Hellbound Media - will be finished in the next two weeks, so hold tight...there will be full artwork updates coming soon ;) (What you're seeing here is without the full shading and detailing)
If you're interested in buying original artwork Hellbound and I will be (on separate tables) at Cardiff Comic Convention on the first weekend of March :)
As well as doing the internals I am doing one 'Pin-Up' poster to slot in at the end of the comic.
I leap at any opportunity to do a decent digital painting, and this one is almost there...this is what I have done so far:
I've learnt it's always good to do a value painting before applying colour, it makes it so easy to mess around with different palettes. I think the last one (accented analogic) works best!
A couple of years ago I did some artwork for a new book series that came to me through my brilliant studio Dynamo, although nothing came of it in the end. Because I massively enjoyed creating the artwork I thought I'd share some of it here :)
I really liked the first cover sketch above, but the client preferred to show the back of Sherman, the main character, looking shocked to see his new classmates in front of him, standing at the entrance of the school, so the sketch and final version below was what we went with in the end.
Looking back I can see that my painting skills have improved a lot since this project!
It was fun though, shame nothing came of it because the concept was great and it would have been a fab story to illustrate!
(If anyone is interested, definitely contact Steve Richards from Dynamo as I'm sure it would be super popular - there'd be loads of kids that would get so much enjoyment out of these books!)
I was asked to create some samples for an agency a few months back, to go on dis-used shop windows in new shopping centers all over Europe. It was a last minute thing and as I had a lot of other work on at the time I'm sad to say the illustrations I provided were a little rushed. The images below are some of the ones that were sent to the client to show what I could potentially do for them
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I didn't get the job....but luckily that meant the artwork remained mine to play with!
I think the image below shows that sometimes a little extra time and pressure-free attention can go a long way!
And this one shows how small colour-adjustments via 'hue/saturation' can make big changes to the artwork
I'm not done with them yet, and will keep adding to them, merging them together and messing around with colours...and then popping them on here for you to see, of course!
I've created a little portraiture business - that is to say anyone who would like to commission me to do a Portrait (of themselves or of someone else), feel free to contact me! They make brilliant and unique presents and are a great way to record a special moment.
Check out my Facebook page of Portraiture: www.facebook.com/portraitsbyoda
Please give it a like and drop me a line if you're interested in commissioning a personalised doodle!
As you can see from this blog I work in a variety of media and styles, and can tailor my services to any budget and time schedule - just let me know your requirements and we will figure something out ;) You can also contact me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are a couple of examples of recent requests! I have to say I've found this little side-project of mine very fun and rewarding!!
I have been given a challenge by my very well-meaning, if somewhat bossy, other half. To update my blog more often! It needs doing, it's very true. I've been leaving my exposure far too much in the safe hands of Facebook and Twitter (yes, I know! I finally joined Twitter!). Time to get busy with the bloggin' again! Hello everyone!!
There are sh-LOADS of things that have been happening recently! The first update should really be about the latest Time Hunters Series, another one has just come out...I did indeed promise an entire post dedicated to Cleo the Cat, as he is truly a legend and I am very grateful that he leapt happily out of the storage-compartment in my imagination labelled 'Crazily Cute Felines' and onto the pages of the first series of TH through the tip of my Wacom pen. Those illustrations will be posted as soon as I am back in the Dynamo Studio. However currently I am visiting London, again!
I am here because I was invited to attend the launch party of The Legend Of Frog, written by the super-brilliant Guy Bass, which was held at the Hampstead Waterstones this Tuesday evening. It was a great little celebration with the lovely people from Stripes Publishing, Guy himself and a few awesome supporters including his brother, who happens to be a stand up comedian and an illustrator (HUGE fan of that combo!). There was even a cake in the form of Frog's face, which was very yummy. I may have come home with green icing on my face after having greedily scoffed a cheeky extra piece on tube! I have had an absolute blast illustrating the inside of this great book! His latest story is an epically adventurous tale about a green prince called Frog who turns out to be...not from here...and a tiny stubborn Princess, and a castle, and cool creatures like Rarewolves and Newnicorns, and The End of The Wurld and EXPLOSIONS....not to mention a sheep, erm sorry, Royal Steed, called Captain Explosion! And Basil Rathbone IS the best name for a sword EVER!! Check out the publisher's description of it here!
So yeah, my imagination was allowed to run wild - and with the help of Guy's fantastical and hilarious descriptions creating the inside doodles wasn't exactly a difficult task!
The INcredible Jonny Duddle did the cover for this first book. I was very honoured to follow his depiction of Frog for the insides! I'm doing the cover for the second book as dear Mr. Duddle is just too busy at the moment, a baton I really have not minded at all taking over. Better make sure I step up to the mark though, I have a lot to live up to!! Currently working on the rough for that, so watch this space!
I love the way they did the graphics around the illustrations in this book too - especially how during the latter half of the book things start going a bit...boom...the paper is made to look like it's burning up! Awesome!
So without further ado, below are some of the illustrations from the first bookthat I am most proud of.
Guy cutting the cake:
Below is one of the originals - I will post more as soon as I'm back in the studio and can grab them. It's the one they've used for the first pages, but in the double page spread they've cut out a few details in the corners so I though it would be nice to show this in it's entirety. Notice the little bunny-wabbit by the tree on the right for example. And I like the massive waterfall on the left. Had so much fun imagining this world!
Oh and don't forget get yourself a copy of TLOF, which you should be able to get from most books stores now!
Also check out www.guybass.com for all his other awesome books , including one of my faves: Secret Santa, where you find out that during the rest of the year beardy old Father Xmas is actually a SPY...whaaat...hehehe