August 4, 2010: Hatena Featured Artist - helium (id:galliummoon)


Welcome to the Hatena Featured Artist section of our blog, where we introduce Flipnote creators from around the world.

We post the Hatena Featured Artist every week on Wednesday, and hope to introduce a variety of different artists that will inspire and entertain you.

Be sure to check back here every Wednesday to see some of the most amazing artists on Flipnote Hatena. Maybe we'll even feature you someday!

Today's Hatena Featured Artist is helium (id:galliummoon) from the Americas region.

★ "Popcorn"

Please introduce yourself.

Hi, I'm helium! I'm one of the older Flipnoters, since I'm done with school and have been working for a while. I never learned art, but Flipnote is just so tempting that I had to try it, even if I can't draw! I like to watch funny cartoons and anime, and want to be able to make things just as surprising and funny. I guess I'm very influenced by the cartoons I watched as a kid.

How do get ideas for your Flipnotes?

Usually it all starts with the Weekly Topic. I start thinking about what can I make that isn't the "obvious answer", because that's where the fun is -- in surprising people! If the topic's too difficult though, sometimes it just becomes a challenge to see if I can do it. I've never taken a real art class so I'm learning alot about drawing, shading, and animation effects from looking at Flipnotes here on Hatena. I was always more of a music person than an artistic person, so sometimes I'll create Flipnotes the other way around - music first, and then drawing second.

For Flipnotes where the main focus is the music, I'll draw out the notes so that people can try to learn to play the melody on an instrument. I apologize to those people that I don't know how to make the music for though, some instruments don't use the same key signature as a piano...

Some of my favorite Flipnote creators are:

fred (id:blankenburg), NEVERTIME (id:Nevertime), MdM (id:MdMbunny), Retro+Kat (id:retro_j) & Geo(id:RockGeo), Kate (id:Kate-chan), Limelight (id:Limelight), Squirt=3 (id:SquirtIsAwsomeUNerd), luvpie (id:luvpie1997), and penguin (id:PenguinAttack)

What do you do in your free time?

I like music a lot, and if it's not summer break, I sing in a choir. I learned piano when I was younger, and it has really come in handy when I need a soundtrack for a Flipnote! I usually have to practice a lot before it's good enough to record for the Flipnote though.

When it's nice weather outside, I like to go out hiking or bird watching and take photos of nature and animals. It doesn't snow much where I live in Texas, so I always look forward to being to go on snowboarding trips in the winter too.

And of course, I love my video games and internet surfing.

What kind of Flipnotes do you want/like to create?

Outside of the Weekly Topic, I also get ideas from every day things. I see a bird chasing a cricket, and I think, "Hmm... what kind of Flipnote can I make with a bird?" Or maybe it's just something funny that someone said, that I think would make a funny Flipnote. But if the topic is something that I can't make funny, then then I'll use it as practice for drawing and see how nice I can make it, or try to add sound effects or music. A paper airplane is more interesting if you show it being made, and eating breakfast is more interesting if you add a background or sound effects.

But my most popular Flipnote style seems to be the musical ones. So I'll definitely be making more of those. It's fun to make those because just like drawing, I used to think that I couldn't compose music either! People have been enjoy the voice-layering Flipnotes a lot, and I would like to see more people try that too.

★ "Sound layering (Tornado)"

What Nintendo DSi games have you played recently and which one is your all-time favorite?

Right now I've been playing "Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ" and "Picross 3D". When I'm done, I want to go back and finish "Chrono Trigger", which I started but haven't finished.

My all-time favorite DS game is "Daigasso Band Bros", which I imported. It really gives the feeling of being a player in an ensemble, since you have to "play" the notes at the right time, and if you're early or late, you hear what will happen. I wish an English version would come to the USA.

Number two is "The World Ends With You", because it has such a unique story, art & music style, and battle mechanics.

Flipnote Studio is my favorite DSi application. There's just so much you can do with it!

As you know, Hatena is based in Kyoto, Japan. Have you ever been to Japan? If you get a chance to visit here, what is the first thing or place you like to check out?

I've only been in the Tokyo airport on the way to other Asian countries. I definitely want to visit Japan someday! First thing that I'd do is eat a lot! I love trying new foods, and I'm sure that there will be a lot of dishes in Japan that I've never heard of or tried. I'd also like to go shopping in Shibuya, and see just how similar it is to what's depicted in games that I have played. There are no subways or trains where I live, so being able to ride those to get around would be a fun, although knowing where to get off might be difficult.

Oh, and I'd definitely keep an eye open for any frogs to take pictures of.

Is there anybody you would like to greet or something you would like to say to the Flipnote Hatena community?

Thank you to all the Flipnoters who contribute unique animations and illustrations. Those are what I enjoy seeing the most, but sometimes it takes some work to be able to find them! And to those of you don't think you can draw - try it out, don't just record music, try to animate to it! Change the characters in a spin-off, or take the soundtrack from a Flipnote and draw something different! You might be surprised at what you can make, and sometimes it's the idea that's important (like in jokes) and not how it ended up being drawn.

I'd also like to thank my fans and people who leave me comments - your feedback makes me happy. It's nice to know that what I draw is enjoyed by someone, it makes me want to keep drawing and improving my work.

★ "Dancing Waters"

Check out helium's works on Flipnote Hatena

Thanks for checking out the Hatena Featured Artist, and please let us know any feedback that you have in the box below. Also, please be sure to check out Flipnotes by the creator we interviewed here, and show them your support with your stars and comments!