“To me, being an artist means being able to convey a message or feeling through your art. I remember once a teacher told me that human beings since the dawn of time had the need to tell stories, to tell messages. Being an artist is just another way to communicate through images. Everyone has a voice that would like to be heard – my voice is my art. I just like to draw what I love, the feelings I love."
Above all things, Nemupan considers herself a storyteller. Her work consists of characters wearing thoughtful expressions in creative and unique environments. But perhaps what may be even more interesting is her own life story.
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Ai, Kisegi and Mahoko at Fall 🍁🍂 The team behind @animeexpo asked me to take part of their Year-Round Artist Collaboration Project! The project consist on creating artwork themed for the season, and I got the honor of creating the first piece: Autumn! 🍁🍁🍂🍂 I'm still in shock, honored and grateful that they took notice of me and trusted my work to kick off this fun project 😭 They also made me a small interview asking about my relation with Anime and Anime Expo! Please check it out! ➡️ 🌐 http://www.anime-expo.org/2019/09/09/autumn-2019-artist-collaboration-spotlight-nemupan/ I can't wait either to see the rest of the pieces to come during the year, keep an eye on them! And see you at AX 2020 👀💖✨
Early Days: “I was a kind of lost in my own world type of kid”
Nemupan’s fondest childhood memories consisted of trips to her grandparents’ home just outside Santiago. Though she was “really bad at sports,”Nemupan was a pretty active kid, finding big pieces of cardboard to slide through slopes filled with dead leaves, swinging on tire tree for hours, and riding around on roller blades until the sun set.
Those carefree moments were, at times, an escape from a challenging home environment.
Nemupan opened up to us saying, “My relationship with my parents is kinda messy. My parents are divorced, I used to live with my dad, and I barely have any contact with my mom. Their divorce and one of their fights ended up causing some traumas along the way.”
No one’s childhood is perfect, and there are always some bumps along the road. But what her parents lacked in a relationship, they made up for in support.
“I was a kind of lost in my own world type of kid. My teachers even sent me to the school psychologist because they were worried on how I had trouble making friends (or even the complete lack of interest in making some). Once, my mom told me that in kindergarten, teachers were worried that I always played alone on my own will. My mom never made a big fuss about it as long as I was a happy kid.”
(Photo of Nemupan in her early days)
“I was still pretty happy as a kid. I used to draw a lot in class, and teachers would get mad about how all my notebooks had terrible anime drawings. But jokes on them, now, they now pay me to draw.”
Nemupan knew she wanted do something with art since a young age. While her peers were preparing for university entry exams in high school, Nemupan was building out her portfolio. She was eventually accepted into an animation school where she received a B.A. in Communications and Art.
Even with her challenging home environment, Nemupan credits a lot of her inspirations for her work from positive vibes.
“I usually don’t do my best work when I’m going through a hard time, quite the opposite. I actually don’t like when people romanticize the idea that the best art derives from suffering. At least, I think it depends on each case. I know it’s important to channel your feelings, especially the negative ones, into something constructive and healthy like art. I know it’s the case for various artists who can create beautiful and powerful work through by channeling challenging times into great art, but that’s not the case for me.
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Nee, oshiete Rilakkuma ✨ New print for AX! I just loved the show so much and took a lot of time to make this fanart, since I wanted to make justice to the show (and Rilakkuma's face was incredibly hard to nail, since it's so simple yet precise 💦💦💦) But yes, this will be available first at AX this July 4th (and maybe this will be a convention exclusive 💦)
Nemupan’s breakthrough came when one of her drawings suddenly went viral on Tumblr. Though a small first step, she continued attending local illustration festivals and gradually built up a base of fans – something that still surprises her to this day.
She told us: “I just couldn’t believe my art was reaching people that personally came to see me and talk to me about it.”
What Lies Ahead?
Nemupan has come a long way since her early days of sketching characters in her elementary school notebooks. Her list of accomplishments including invitations to artshows and conventions around the world, including Anime Expo, the largest convention for the genre. She even a short stint as a teacher at an art academy in Santiago and in Peru.
“What I most enjoy is the fact that I can travel to the US several times a year to meet my fans and show my art. It’s always surreal. I always end up being blown away by the fact that my art traveled so far.”
(Photo of Nemupan's work station)
Though she doesn’t like to think very much ahead in the future, Nemupan does have exciting plans to host a solo exhibition in 2020 in addition to a possible pop-up collaboration. Perhaps most importantly, over time, she hopes to keep pushing her boundaries, experiment, try new mediums, and simply become a better artist.
She says, “I love the life I’m living, I’m actually living my dream, and I wish for it to continue for as long as possible.”