Thejakhrienuo Yhome, more popularly known as Thej Yhome, is a self-taught artiste from Nagaland. She has a Bachelors Degree in Animation. She may be young but she is far from being inexperienced, in fact she has been freelancing as a digital artiste and comic book/manga illustrator for the last six years. Her comic book series titled Carnaby Black is available online.
What inspired you to take up art professionally?
I didn’t really have a moment in life when I suddenly decided I wanted to be an artist, to be honest. I grew up thinking that one day, maybe, I could do art on the side while having a ‘proper’ job. But the older I got, I realized how miserable I would be surrounded by people who had no interest in art or storytelling. And the concept of being stuck in an office, all day, doing something that I don’t have any genuine interest in is also terrifying.
What do you personally like about manga?
I love Japanese manga because of its ability to make you become emotionally invested in the characters and their stories. This style of storytelling helps the author and artiste convey more complex emotions across to the reader.
Tell us about your series ‘Carnaby Black‘, what is it about and how did you come up with the idea? Where can people read and buy the series?
Carnaby Black is a personal project of mine. It’s about a young boy on the cusp of adulthood who has just moved, with his parents, to a town known for its oddities. In short: it explores mortality and imagination and I also threw in a large dollop of magic just because I adore whimsy.
I’m putting up the comic pages (For the completed Chapter 1 and ongoing Chapter 2) online for free reading, so if anyone is interested they can find the pages at: https://tapas.io/episode/39319
Who inspires your art?
I’d say Hayao Miyazaki. His movies are absolutely mesmerizing. I’m always looking for ways to understand how he captures and portrays the realistic, the surreal and the fantastic in such believable ways.
Is being an animator or illustrator a viable career option in India? Do you think there is a demand for comics being made in India?
India has finally joined the entertainment race, so there are a lot of studios that are popping up and all of them are in want of good artistes and designers.
A lot of comics made in India so far have this trend where they concentrate on just one or more demographic and this is mostly done to spread or celebrate the culture of that demographic. The only problem is that it gets to a point where outsiders have no context to help them understand any of these comics. So, yes, there is a demand for comics made in India but so far the market is frankly concentrated and is having difficulty connecting with people whose first proper exposure to our culture is through these comics.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I don’t actually get much free time with all the work and side projects I have. Mostly I do some reading, writing, studying movies and going on adventures every once in a while to stop my skull from caving in from boredom.
I honestly do not know. Hopefully land a job at a nice wonderful studio with a parade of fun and creative people working on something that we’ll all love. Fingers uncrossed because I need them to draw.
By Meeta Borah
This article was first published in Eclectic Northeast December 2017 issue