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This is the Nisan Sanctuary's little corner for all the talented folks out there that excel in the field of literature and visual art. It's our own way of recognizing those people who took time to put their thoughts and concepts on paper. Every week we'll feature fine young artists and their works, and if you think you have what it takes to be Artist of the Week, then send me your info, plus a few samples and I'll write you back for an interview if you're pretty much qualified. Click here. YOU can also view our past week's awardees, CLICK HERE

Julie Dillon is one exceptional artist in terms of anime-style art. Her fan artworks are very vibrantly colored and looks very much like the official anime, only better. She could easily encompass in her masterpieces a host of emotions the original work cannot portray. With all her talent (plus a covey of wonderful original and fan artworks) she maintains a site which proves to be a must see for any anime fan. Visit her site and you'll see that she even offers drawing tutorials!

Personal Info:
Name: Julie Dillon E-mail Address: dillons@pacbell.net
Nick: 'Julie' HP: http://www.jdillon.prohosting.com
Current Affiliation:
I work and live in Northern California, and am currently working on projects with Phantom Comics and USRPG (http://www.usrpg.com)

Nutz: So tell me what are the main mediums you use for your anime artworks. They seem so close to the original official work, sometimes even better!

Julie: At first I experimented with several different mediums, including colored pencils and animation cels. Animation cels were my favorite at first (despite the fact that they took forever to paint), but now that I have Adobe Photoshop, almost all my best works are colored on the computer. I always study the original pictures very closely when I work, and try to get my works to come as close to their style as possible. to redo the lines, or if the lines were inked, just add
color. =}

Julie's Dark Angel
Nutz: You must be applying some secret techniques in your art. As we could clearly see, you seem to put so much life in them, despite the fact that they're just from animation cels.

Julie: Well, I try to draw the characters either by doing something or expressing a particular emotion so they aren't just standing there, but other than that, there is no great secret that I know of, other than many long hours of practice... ^_^ I usually spend several hours on the sketch until I get the face and pose right, then another 10-15 hours coloring the picture. Paying attention to detail and trying to convey a certain mood or feeling is important in making nice artwork, in my opinion.

Nutz: What's your favorite artwork subject? I find that you are fond of anime, but do you work on any other character aside from the ones from Japanese titles?

Julie: Anime is definitely my preffered subject. ^_^ I love the variety of interesting styles that anime offers; it is a lot of fun to work with, and challenging, as well. Before I was introduced to anime, I used to draw more traditional fantasy pictures, but these past few years my work has focused solely on characters from anime and video games.

Julie's Citan
Nutz: What inspired you to make a fan art of Citan (from XG)?. Are there any particular characters you like about this game? What are your other favorite games?

Julie: Actually, I had been dying to draw Citan since I started playing Xenogears, but I had been too busy to start a picture. ^_^ Citan is my favorite character, but I like the rest of the main cast of Xenogears, too and would like to get around to drawing most, if not all of them. In addition to Xenogears, I like pretty much all other Squaresoft games (mostly those in the Final Fantasy series), but I don't get as much a chance to play any of them as I'd like. ^_^
Nutz: Any particular favorite anime and character? How can you relate yourself to him/her?

Julie: Hmmm... Well, my favorite anime film is Vampire Hunter D, my favorite series is Slayers. ^_^ As far as characters go, I have a hard time picking favorites (since there are so many interesting characters), but I would have to say that my all time favorites are D from Vampire Hunter D and Citan form Xenogears, though I wouldn't say I can really relate either of them to myself... I just find them particularly admirable and interesting (not to mention very nicely designed... ^_^)

Nutz: Have you won any art awards during your lifetime?

Julie: Unfortunatly, no, I have not won any art awards, other than from a few unimportant contests at school. I've entered several works in both online contests and community and state contests, but I never win anything.

Nutz: Being a woman in a man's world (let's admit it, the art industry is domainated by men, and gaming is too), do you find it hard to establish your name and maintain your art site?

Julie: Actually, I haven't recieved a lot of discrimination thus far. In fact, I've been chosen for a few jobs over other talented male artists. It is difficult to establish my name, but only because there are so many other great artists out there to compete with, male and female alike. If anything, I worry more that I won't be accepted into the anime and manga industry because I'm a foreigner, rather than because of my gender...
Nutz: Of all the masterpieces you have done, do you have one or two favorites?

Julie: Well, I wouldn't call them masterpieces, but my favorite works so far would have to be my pictures of D from Vampire Hunter D and Pirotess from Record of Loddoss War. I am particularly proud of the shading on those two pieces; they turned out a lot better than I thought they would. :)

Nutz: I believe you are giving anime tutorials in your site. Have you had professional training, and is it ok for anybody to make a request on whatever tutorial they want?

Julie: The only training I've had so far is a few high school level art classes, which I would hardly call professional. ^_^ Most of what I know is self taught. As for the tutorials, yes, people can request any character or subject they like, but I probably won't get around to making a tutorial anytime soon. Tutorials take me a long time to finish, and I already have a huge request list, so I probably won't be able to help right off. I take all requests into consideration, though. :)

Julie's Vampire Hunter D

Julie's Pirotess
Nutz: What can you advice us amateur artists to get our work at least as half good as yours?

Julie: Well, the best advice I can give is to not let yourself get depressed when you see work that you think is better than yours. I cannot tell you how many times I'd visit another artist's webpage and want to give up right then and there because their work was so much nicer than mine.

Instead of getting depressed, try to see what it is you like about their art, and incorporate that into your own. Try out different coloring styles and poses that you think look interesting, and always be willing to practice and put in the effort necessary to improve. You won't get anywhere if you aren't willing to put time into your art.

Julie's Original Character
Nutz: Thought you might want to take this chance to plug for yourself (lol). Anyway, somebody out there might read this and might be more than willing to recruit your for a job!

Julie: Hm... what should I put for the plug? o_o Just the link back to my page is fine with me... (See URL above)

Free comment part. You can say anything you like. =D

Julie: In closing, I just want to say it was an honor to be featured at the Nisan Sanctuary. I love this site, and anything Xenogears-related, and I hope to have some more Xenogears fan art to post in the near future. :)

So from the bottom of our hearts, we thank Julie for her time, and we bid her goodluck in every future endeavor. If you want to see more of Julie's works, you can visit her Homepage mentioned above. Take note that she offers drawing tutorials in her site, so you might want to check it out!