After a two-year hiatus, the Malaysian convention AniManGaki is back again to bring together the animation, comics, and games (ACG) community under one roof for a celebration of fandom.
Featuring a plethora of activities, AniManGaki held its first full-scale on-ground event since 2019. This year’s pirate-themed convention took place at the MINES International Exhibition & Convention last weekend on August 27 and 28.
Needless to say, after attending the convention, IGN Southeast Asia can safely say that AniManGaki came back in full swing this year. From live performances on stage to the always busy Artist Alley, it was almost like a homecoming for longtime attendees.
IGN Southeast Asia spoke to two of AniManGaki’s event guests, Emirichu and RandoWis, on their thoughts on the current online landscape, especially when the rise of VTubers and AI-generated art.
Life in Motion
First up, there’s Emirichu, an American YouTuber with over three million followers on her channel. Emirichu’s animated videos center around conversations with friends and stories about her personal life.
Recently, Emirichu has also become VTuber, with her own Twitch and YouTube channel for streaming games as well uploading VODs. Emirichu was previously studied to become a teacher before becoming the storytime animator.
What made you decide to be a VTuber?
It was really a spontaneous decision, back when the VTuber boom was happening. I was admiring from afar, but I decided to stay in my lane in YouTube. Streaming has always been something I was curious about, but nothing I was gungho about.
I thought the concept to stream as a cute 2D character was really cool. One day, one of my favorite artists opened up model commissions and if I wanted a model for myself, it had to be made by her.
It took me a week to give her a concept for the character, and then I started streaming for fun. It’s a fun little side hobby, but it was completely spontaneous.
A lot of people ask why I don’t use my usual avatar for VTubing, and with how expensive models are for VTubing, so the concept was that this was my YouTube avatar’s part-time job and centered it on maid cafes and strawberries.
What is your proudest moment in your career?
The obvious main one is that I made pretty far in YouTube, but if I had to pick a specific moment is when I first got the email to VidCon in 2019. I was super excited because it wasn’t something I was expecting, but then Covid happened and it was postponed multiple times.
Finally, it happened this year in July 2022, I had a great time, though I did get Covid. But getting the email in 2019 was a momentous occasion.
Who were the YouTubers who inspired you to begin your career?
I don’t think I watched a whole ton of YouTube before I started, but I definitely watched more now that I am a content creator. Cover singers were my kind of content at the time, and I still love them today.
As for my peers in the animator scene, Solten Sketches is someone I really admire as he puts so much effort in every single frame of his videos, each frame could be its own wallpaper. I also love Elliemation, Daidus and Jaden Animations, definitely some of the best that come to mind.
A portmanteau of the words random and wisdom, RandoWis has been drawing from a young age and holds a diploma in digital illustration. What began as a way to make his classmates laugh has become a full-fledged career.
Anything that looks good and interesting, it doesn’t even have to be media, it could be clouds in the sky or music even. This helps when making We Live In An MMO?!, it helps the fantasy side of things to take inspiration from everything in life.
When it comes to my personal principle in drawing and creating art, I draw because its fun, to keep the job fun. It does suck to grind, the process can get so overwhelming. Personal obstacles can make you hate the job in general, but so as long as it is fun, it will be worth it in the end.
How often do you hit creative blocks and how do you tackle them?
I’ve been on a creative block for the past two years because of recent lifestyle changes, like my friends aren’t free anymore, some have left the country and some have started their own families.
The inspirations don’t come in the same way anymore, because nothing is the same. If you’ve encountered this, try to live a little differently. Try going out more, read more, there’s inspiration to be found in different sources, and that’s what I’m trying to do as well.
What are your thoughts on the rapid growth of AI-generated art, like Dall-E?
Whether we like it or not, AI will be part of the future, and it is all up to how we use it. AI is good and all but the human element of making small and simple mistakes will be lost and we would be able to tell if something is made with AI.
As much as an AI can make a perfect picture, we would still crave a human hand to draw art. There may be an interest in AI-generated pictures, but I think at the end of the day, we prefer human-made art.
It really depends on how we use it, like how 2D and 3D animations are blending together AI-generated images, we might achieve something similar when it comes to drawing in the future, though I’m not sure what it could be.