Instagram is an integral part of many high school students’ lives. Students make the effort to post cute pictures with clever captions, but it’s rare to have an account dedicated to one particular interest. Senior artist Stevie Kum has a passion for anime style art. She runs her own art instagram, @Akkaai, and since her freshman year has built up a follower count of over 12,000.
“I don’t really post anything beside the style of anime, but I do draw anything that comes to mind. I’m a really impulsive artist. If I think of something and I really like it, I’ll stop doing what I’m doing and I’ll sketch it so I don’t forget,” Kum said.
Kum’s art is particularly impressive because most of the drawings on @Akkaai are characters and images from her imagination, drawn off inspiration from animals, other artists, and music.
“Sometimes I’ll do art based off songs, so if I'm listening to music sometimes I’ll be like wait that would be a really good idea to draw and I’ll listen to the song over and over again until i finish it,” Kum said.
Artists generally have a defining moment where they realize they need to pursue their passion. For Kum, it was watching films directected and animated by Hayao Miyazaki like Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.
“Hayao Miyazaki is the entire reason I draw. If I hadn’t seen his movies, I wouldn’t be an artist,” Kum said
Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s animation company, still uses traditional hand drawn animation techniques with little computer animation. Kum cites Miyazaki as a major inspiration because of the beauty and stylistic features of his movies.
On her instagram, Kum draws with pen, watercolor, and copic markers.
“My favorite color scheme is pastels, like mint, light blues, and greens,” Kum said.
While Kum mainly posts anime style art on her instagram, she uses pastel, colored pencil, and charcoal to portray a variety of other subjects in AP Studio Art.