Continuing our artist interview series, today’s interview is with Mukai Makito, who has illustrated two Waypoints manga so far: “What do You Want?” and “Willing and Able.” This interview was conducted by email, and has been translated from Japanese.

First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I was born and raised in a pastor’s family, the first of three sons. I like reading — I read all kinds of books. I always carry several books in my back pack and read them on the train. I also like coffee, and make coffee every morning for myself.

When did you first become interested in manga and illustration, and how did you get started as a professional?

I have liked drawing ever since I was a kid, but it was when I was a junior high student that I started drawing manga. I studied animation at a vocational school, so I practiced drawing there. Shortly after graduation I was invited to work on Waypoints, so that was my first professional illustration work.

Who are some of your favourite artists, or biggest influences?

One manga artist I really like is Daisuke Igarashi. I especially I love “Umwelt,  his short story collection. His work has a mysterious and poetic atmosphere to it that makes me feel comfortable when I read it. His artwork has simple and elegant touch that is really beautiful. Both the story and the illustration resonate with each other  and interweave in a really beautiful way.

When I’m drawing I look at various animator’s art books for hints and reference.

I’m a Christian, so I hope somehow to be able to tell Bible- or faith-based stories. This is what motivates me.

What has your experience working on Waypoints been like?

I’m always excited about being involved in sharing these Bible stories. I believe that there must be something only I can draw, and enjoy this challenge.

In order to help the reader see the world of the Bible even a little more clearly, first of all I try to imagine things from the characters’ point of view, and then begin the work. Doing this, I discover new perspectives and messages I never noticed before. So I feel like rather than my faith influencing my work, working on this project has deepened my faith.