HI, I’m Mitsuhiro Arita. I know I’m quite well known as an artist of Pokémon TCG, but I have been working on a lot of other projects that you may never know.
I was born in Fukuoka, Japan, and now living in Tokyo, Japan. I started my career as a professional illustrator in 1996, and the first project for me was Pokémon TCG. Sounds like a dream? But that was even before the first GBA Pokémon has not released. I was honestly worried about finding another project before the end of my contract. Anyway, I started work on Pokémon TCG in the prototype stage. I drew illustrations for the prototype and designed the first five energy marks as well.
While I’m working on first Pokémon TCG product, I got a connection with a small publisher, named SHINKIGENSHA. SHINKIGENSHA is the publisher mainly making books about mythology, history and fantasy subjects that is suitable for the reference material for artist, comic artist, authors, and game creators. I drew tons of cuts for their books and got knowledge about those subjects.
Meanwhile, I suddenly found out by KENICHI IWAO, who is well known as a planner and the creator of the world of Final Fantasy XI, named “Vana’diel.” He said he saw my drawings on the book “ARMS & ARMOR”(SHINKIGENSHA, 2004) and want to ask me to draw the world of Vana’diel. That was the beginning of my work for SQUARE ENIX.
I worked on Final Fantasy XI for over ten years. Mainly I draw cuts for the articles about worldview but also the announcements about season events. I also worked on the scenario “Seekers of Adoulin”(2013) as the in-game cutscenes artist. I think nobody knows, but I designed Final Fantasy XIV’s “Guild Leave Card” as well. Unfortunately, I left Final Fantasy XI because they decided to shrink the operation of XI and pass the baton to XIV after 12 years continuously expand, and that is the rare long life for ONLINE MMO RPG. They even made an exhibition in their official store, “ARTNIA” at Shinjuku, Japan, for one of their 11th-anniversary event.
During I had been working on Final Fantasy XI, I also did almost one hundred card illustrations for computer card & board game “Culdcept” series (OMIYA-SOFT, 1997-2016),
Illustrations for the series of novels “Guardians of Ga’hoole“,”Wolves of the beyond“, “Shark Wars“, “The Wild Ones” (Japanese translated version from KADOKAWA). In addition, Warner Bros made a 3D animation film named “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole“(Warner Bros. 2010) based on the series of “Guardians of Ga’hoole”, directed by Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch)
card design for “DICE-O“(BANDAI) that is based on the characters from “SENTAI TV series” well known as “Power Ranger” in western countries I think, key visuals for “GANBARIDE“(BANDAI) that is the card game based on the characters from the TV series “KAMEN-RIDER”(Masked rider), they are a sort of comic heroes in the western countries.
I also worked on some of animation film titles, unfortunately “BERSERK: The Dolden Age Arc“(Warner Bros.) part I (2012) part II(2013) part III(2014) was the only a title that released. You can see a bit of my work in another post. I’m looking forward another one, “Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari“(Warner Bros. 2017) will be released in safe that I worked on as a concept designer for a year.
Leave from the story of my commission work. I don’t have any background to do art. I went a collage and studied about electronic engineering and studied mainly about Software engineering. Then after I graduate, I become to be an illustrator in some reasons. Of course, I didn’t have enough skill to do professional illustrator, So I have to teach myself to survive It was natural I started to do sketching in daily life. I learnt almost everything from sketching. I mainly used to use pen, brush pen or fountain pan for years to do that, but recently I started sketching with watercolor even in the train. Every time I have t go far from my hometown, I drew something during the trip. I’m posting my sketches time by time, so please keep following me on Facebook or Twitter if you like.From the experience of self-taught, I’m talking while live drawing a picture at the collages and companies. I did live demo in many places all over Japan in last seven years, from northernmost state HOKKAIDO to southernmost state OKINAWA. I also had a live demo tour in China in 2013 for a week, and did in public library in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. in 2015.
From the experience of live demo, I started get asking to do demo at the Comic Con. When I attended Tokyo Comic Con(2017), I painted a creepy old man on the big (3Mx1.5M) panel and took a picture with Lance Henriksen (great actor, greatly known as BISHOP in “Alien 2″1986)!
I did official Pokémon signing events at Seattle (2000), Orlando (2004), and Nashville (2018), all in the U.S.
I’m attending as an international guest artist when I get the invitation.
- Ocala Comic Con 2014, 2015, 2016 (Ocala, FL, US)
- Collective Con 2016, 2018 (Jacksonville, FL, US)
- Tokyo Comic Con 2017 (Tokyo, JP)
- Cartoomics 2018 (Millan, IT)
- Middle East Film and Comic Con 2019 (Dubai, AUE)
- Japan Expo 2019 (Paris, FR)
- Hyper Japan 2019 (London, UK)
I also had a business trip to China to do a live demo and Taipei to cooperate in making advertising stuff for ASUS.
I do commissions, signing, and take a picture with fans at the event.
I’m still having difficulty living as a freelance artist. So, I started to try to create my job by myself. At first, I started YouTube Live Painting. It’s just showing my practice as live streaming. I want to show you that I’m not special, and I’m still trying to be better. Second, I started my online store. I’ll sell my official items and auction the originals that I drew in the YouTube Live Painting. Please subscribe to our newsletter on my store and support me.