Kuro Kairin (kurokairin) - Super Special Interview #13
1) Introduce yourself!
Hello! I am a digital artist who also writes the occasional fiction, some game reviews, and very rarely, music. For the most part, I publish my works under my artist pseudonym, KuroKairin, which is also the handle for my social media accounts.
2) Why do you do what you do?
Generally, art serves as a natural outlet for me to express my emotions and the stories I want to tell. When I am not too tied up by responsibilities in life or glued to video games, my mind would throw me ideas that I could only convert to drawing, writing, or music.
Drawing is my avenue to the familiar and happy as it has been the case for me since I was young. I remember doodling little grapes and deformed hamburgers on the walls and furniture at home, and some years later, drawing pages after pages of comics in the blank single-lined exercise books during my school holidays. In contrast, I prefer to explore the less cheery stuff through writing, and my earliest memory of attempting creative writing outside of school assignments was when I wrote ghost stories together with my best friend in primary school. I have never composed music until I joined the choir in secondary school where I was sometimes intrigued (e.g. R. Murray Schafer's Gamelan) and sometimes touched by (e.g. Don Besig's Flying Free and Alberto Favero's Te Quiero) the choral pieces we were taught, though music still remains more of an experimental area for me today.
As for writing game reviews, it became a path for me when I noticed how much I enjoy playing video games as well as analyzing stuff. Initially, I started out volunteering as a beta tester for games ranging from Intragames' PC ports of Otomate's otome visual novels Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and 7'scarlet to Brave At Night and No More Robots' management sim Yes, Your Grace. Then, I moved on from writing bug reports and feedback to writing reviews because the two share similar content anyway, only that the intended audience is different. And I gradually prefer to share my thoughts with the general public because I feel it is also important to keep game discussions alive, in particular for indie games that do not get as much coverage as big releases in the first place.
3) Who or what inspires you?
The anime and manga series that sparked my interest in drawing include Cardcaptor Sakura, Digimon, and Detective Conan. There was a stretch of time when I was focused on school and did not draw, and what brought me back into drawing again was Mystic Messenger and other video games such as The Witcher 3 and Final Fantasy Type-0. Mystic Messenger was also the one that helped me return to creative writing, starting from fanfiction. I was able to learn the kind of stories and themes I enjoy writing the most, and from there, I began to write prose that I would later submit to literary magazines.
When it comes to music, it is difficult for me to pinpoint who and what influenced me beyond the initial interest cultivated during the years I was in the school choir. I would say I broadly enjoy music that evoke emotions or imagery. Many times, these emotions and imagery are subsequently transcribed into stories and artwork, so you can say those music inspired specific pieces of my art and writing. Conversely, it is rare for someone's work to inspire me to compose music, but it nevertheless happened thrice so far. For example, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series directly inspired this ballad [https://www.soundclick.com/music/songInfo.cfm?songID=6475988] whose beginning notes simply began to play in my mind soon after I finished reading the book.
4) How is your experience being a creator in Singapore?
I am pretty much a stay-at-home creator at the moment, and my presence is limited to only online. That said, I try to keep an eye on online-based activities involving local creators. I suppose the first online event I ever participated was Alternate Universe SG's DTIYS (Draw This In Your Style) contest of their mascot. The most memorable event I joined was the Secret Santa organized by then-active SG Artist Society in 2020. And the latest event I am most interested in is COMIX.SG's monthly art challenge. I really appreciate various groups hosting such events, which provide me the opportunity to find other local creators to follow or connect with online, all from the comfort of my home!
5) What do you wish would happen in Singapore to help creators?
I am afraid I am too out of touch with the local scene to make any good comments about this.
6) What are your goals?
My current loftiest goals are to illustrate children's books and create visual novel games. My most urgent goal, though, is to open commissions so I can fund things for myself with my art.
7) Where can people find and support you?
All of my social media websites, along with portfolio samples and links to published works, are collated on my Carrd here [https://kurokairin.carrd.co/]
8) Anything else you want to share?
If there is something I hope I will always remember, it is this: life is not a competition.
9) Give a shoutout to other SG creators!
Please check out the following amazing creators in SG! Listed are their respective handles on Instagram:
@jonathanavinash.art for thought-provoking abstract art
@wdgtenshi for uplifting and vibrant anime-style art
@zainzui for gentle drawings in mainly traditional medium
@jazh.mine for cute cat illustrations, and clean lineart and fruity colours that are just so satisfying and soothing to look at
@yipyewchong for incredible life-like murals
@chiralcomics for comics ranging to action-packed to funny ones drawn in expressive panels (my favourite is Save Me from Chloe)
@chinykian for fun, local-flavoured casual games, e.g. A Slight Chance of Sawblades featuring Merlion
@elseth_games for some funny and otherwise emotional visual novel games