About 2 years ago, Nel2012 AKA neldorwen (on deviant art) started a thread in our fan art section that featured a lot of her past works. I’ve seen a lot of these pieces myself when perusing the web for Macross art and it was a pleasure to see the artist finally showcase her work on our forum. She stated on that thread that she is planning a huge anniversary piece that featured major characters from all the Macross shows. This instantly piqued my interest. Her art is very detailed and exquisitely colored, so I was wondering how far off she was from finishing this tribute to our favorite show. I couldn’t wait to see the final piece. But the fact that she announced her plans in April and didn’t post the first sketched until September had me worried. Will this be another big project that becomes vaporware on Macross World? We’ve all seen people start threads with ambitious goals and then just die out. The great thing about Nel’s project was that she was posting individual pieces that by themselves were finished works. Seeing these illustrations get posted month after month assured me that she was determined to get it done.
Earlier in September, Nel contacted me to let me know that she was near the completion of her project. Upon reading that I immediately got excited. We’re finally going to see it! Instead of just plastering it on our front page and across our social media, I asked her if she’d be willing to do a small Q&A, to which she agreed to. Without further ado, here’s Nel2012… the art, the artist and the Macross fan!
EXO: Why did you decide to do such a big project?
Nel2012: I wanted to do something really big to celebrate the anniversary. Putting a lot of the characters together in some sort of “epic movie poster” . That was an idea I always had for so long actually, so I decided to start drawing the characters separately, from before the anniversary date. Sadly I couldn´t make it for the 2012 celebration.
EXO: I know you meant it for the 2012 launch celebration… we’re you disappointed that you didn’t make it in time?
Nel2012: Yeah, but I always have so little time to draw for myself, that I left it and worked on it whenever I could. This year I had almost all the characters finished and the time of my holidays came so I said “I´ll finish it this week, no matter what”.
EXO: How old were you when you started drawing?
Nel2012: My parents say I draw their walls since I was little, lol!
But I have memory of starting drawing when I was 5 or 6, and it was thanks to the first anime series I watched on tv, like Minky Momo and Captain Harlock. Also because of TV shows like The Smurfs. I still have those drawings.
EXO: Does knowing how to draw run in the family or is it something you picked up yourself?
Nel2012: No, only me. And I never went to study how to draw. Only a few classes long ago which I had to quit due to work.
EXO: Are you a professional or is this a hobby. If this is a hobby, what do you do as your normal job?
Nel2012: I am not a professional. I do it as a hobby and thanks to my real profession (I am a graphic designer), I learned a lot of techniques to improve my way of drawing, like the digital painting and such. I work at a printing center actually, and is really hard work and tiresome. Drawing allows me to “relax” in my free time.
EXO: How old were you when you started drawing Macross?
Nel2012: It must have been around 1987, and I was 9 years old. I had so few sources, like cards and an album.
EXO: Who’s your favorite character?
Nel2012: Misa from the original series. And I love Alto and Sheryl as a couple.
EXO: Who’s your favorite over all artist?
Nel2012: That´s difficult, I have so many, but I must say it is Nobuteru Yuuki. He had such an impact on me when Escaflowne was released , it changed the way I draw that moment. My other faves are Haruhiko Mikimoto, of course, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Range Murata and now I love everything Kazuki Yone does.
Nel2012: Haruhiko Mikimoto, obviously. And Tenjin Hidetaka! I envy him, I am not made for valkyrias, but omg, he is great. I also love what the main animation director Hirotaka Marufuji ´s been doing in the latest Macross projects. Risa Ebata is great too, specially for adding the “female” touch to the franchise (she is the one creating costumes!)
EXO: Now that you’re done with the project, are we going to see more Macross art or will you need a break from that for a while?
Nel2012: Not at all, I still have lots of ideas in mind. I only need more free time. I am planning some crossover drawings.
EXO: A new series is coming soon. Are you excited? What are you hoping to see more of in the new series that you would be excited to draw?
Nel2012: Very excited. The day I read the news I had to pinch myself. I would love to have Mikimoto back with the character designs. But whatever Kawamori chose, I am sure I´ll love it.
EXO: What does the future hold for you and your love for Macross?
Nel2012: More Macross TV series, movies, OVAs, more stunning music and stories as usual, all that means more inspiration for me to draw endlessly.
Nel’s tribute still does coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Macross Plus and Macross Seven. Let’s face it, with the franchise reinvigorated as it is… It’s always a good time to pay tribute.