I have loved Makoto Shinkai’s work since the first time I saw Voices of a Distant Star over ten years ago. Some people have compared him to Hayao Miyazaki, and that is a valid comparison. The Art of Makoto Shinkai – A Sky Longing for Memories collects art from four of his earlier works.
My favorite part of his art is the same thing that first drew me into Miyazaki’s works: the clouds. I love clouds. I have thousands of pictures of clouds, and I revel in their endless changing and appearance. This is part of what drew me into Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō and Someday’s Dreamers, too. Shinkai includes amazing clouds in all of his works.
One of the nicest things about The Art of Makoto Shinkai is the variety of images it shares. From vast sweeping vistas (like on the cover) to the everyday views of streets and school rooms, Shinkai has the ability to seamlessly blend the ordinary and the amazing. Many of the images make me nostalgic for the few years I lived in Japan because they are so accurate. It makes me want to return just to see them all again.
Shinkai, like Miyazaki, has delicate touch with his colors. A hint of pink on a fluffy white cloud; various greens adoring vast fields stretching to the horizon; the deep purples and blues of stark shadows cast by the morning sun; the warm browns and oranges of the late afternoon sun filtering through the windows. The vividness is simultaneously subtle and striking. All of his images are inviting and alive.
One of the more interesting parts of The Art of Makoto Shinkai is found in the last 20-or-so pages. For anyone interested in creating art as breathtaking as Shinkai’s, we are walked through the tools he uses to create his works. These pages are filled with examples, tips, tricks, and solid information for the budding artist wanting to use digital tools. Shinkai shares many of the techniques he uses to create, step-by-step and in awesome detail. There are also interviews with a number of Shinkai’s associates.
If you love Shinkai’s works, get this book. If you love beautiful landscapes and cityscapes, get this book. The Art of Makoto Shinkai – A Sky Longing for Memories has a very broad appeal, and it is a solid addition to any art book library. The cover only hints at the beauty found within this volume. I highly recommend this to any art aficionado.
Release Date: June 30, 2015 (USA)
ISBNs: 1941220436 (9781941220436)
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Original Title: 新海誠美術作品集 空の記憶 (Shinkai Makoto Bijutsu Sakuhinshū – Sora no Kioku)
Original Release Date: April 24, 2008 (Japan)