Yoshimatsu workshop at SAC leaves UAE creators fascinated

May 04, 2023 / 12:16 PM
Sharjah24: Scores from UAE’s bustling creator’s community got a rare opportunity to discuss and dissect their works of anime art with acclaimed Japanese animator Takahiro Yoshimatsu on Wednesday. This came as part of a special workshop with the industry heavyweight on the opening day of the inaugural three-day Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC) being held in Expo Centre Sharjah until May 5 on the side-lines of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023).
The hour-long workshop by Yoshimatsu – known for movies “Vampire Hunter D”, “Trigun” and “Overlord” – drew a diverse crowd that included both aspiring animators as young as 8 and hobbyists in their late 20s.
Budding professional Yasmeen Alsinan said the inaugural edition of SAC, and particularly Yoshimatsu’s workshop, couldn’t have been better timed. “This event is a massive opportunity for the fraternity to not just hone their skills but also genuinely learn new tricks from the best in business. Having attended and worked closely in such events abroad, I always felt we had to have one of our own in this region and am glad the moment has arrived,” said the 27-year-old Saudi Arabian American who recently moved to the UAE from Tokyo where she worked as a marketing professional at a gaming company. “It is amazing to be able to show my creations and get some valuable feedback from someone of the stature of Yoshimatsu here in Sharjah.”
It was an equally inspiring afternoon for 11-year-old Lithuanian Meda J, who found the session fascinating for how it helped her understand the creative process involved in animated movies. “I really loved seeing, for the first time, how animation starts with shapes and silhouettes,” the year six student said after attending the masterclass that provided an overview of the basic techniques for drawing anime-style characters, including body proportions, facial details, and line style. But it was the opportunity to practice the techniques taught during the workshop by working on guided drawings led by Yoshimatsu himself that made the day for most attendees Omer Anwer.
For the aspiring Pakistani animator, the workshop turned out to be a ‘brilliant gateway to unlocking future possibilities. “I had been waiting for an event like this and a masterclass of this nature for years. You couldn’t have had a better platform than this event and especially this workshop to learn how the animation industry works,” said the 18-year-old Dubai resident who dreams of pursuing a career in Japan after school.
The workshop was divided into theory and practice sessions with plenty of opportunities for participants to engage with Yoshimatsu one-on-one for constructive feedback.

Over the next couple of days, SAC 2023, the first-of-its-kind animation event in the region, will give fans of the genre and professionals in the field the opportunity to learn, network and watch industry leaders and Oscar winners discuss the craft of animation. The programme includes a series of workshops, masterclasses, film screenings, networking events with publishers and producers, and other leaders in the animation industry. The focus of the event is on art of writing, languages, themes, production techniques and technologies within animated cinema.
May 04, 2023 / 12:16 PM

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