Yamashita Shunya 山下しゅんや is a Japanese artist, well known in specific circles such as PVC anime statues and game design. His name might not be immediately recognisable, but some of his work is very widespread across the internet; often used to make wallpapers and used in a myriad of promotional material.
Born on November 15th, 1970, in Saitama Prefecture Japan, Shunya started work for an image production company, and then moved onto character design for Square Enix. In 2000, he worked on Final Fantasy X as a NPC and weapons designer. After working on some other game titles, he then moved onto becoming a freelance illustrator and action figure designer. His recent action figure designs have become increasingly popular.
Apparently Shunya likes 70’s rock music and plastic models. His website has RICK-O-SOUND labelled around it which is supposed to be his English nickname or something related to his work; I don’t know if this is a reference to Rick Astley or not, but it’s a bit random.
Shunya’s work reminds me of a mix between Masamune Shiro 士郎 正宗 and modern character design for games. He often depicts classic fantasy as well as futuristic aspects to his work. Shunya is especially amazing at drawing different and interesting costumes, in addition to his skill in drawing the female form. No wonder he has gone on to make designs for plastic figurines. You can see the professionalism he’s developed from his time working in game design in his artwork, every piece is very clear and striking.
Shunya has a distinctive palette that is dominated by pinks and purples. Whilst he must prefer drawing the female form, he also has some amazing designs for male characters and monsters. Shunya is a well-rounded artists, who’s found the perfect niche for his work to be expressed. He works with realistic proportions but manages to make his characters become impressive due to the costumes he designs and the overall feel of his artwork.
My favourite piece of Yamashita Shunya’s artwork :
Some of his work was also made into those mouse mats with rests the shape of boobs :
Those things are generally so popular they are always out of stock to deliver to the West, the high quality ones anyway.
Yamashita Shunya’s Related Links
Personal Website : http://shunyama.web.fc2.com/
Twitter : http://twitter.com/ShunyaYamashita