Two young boys’ imaginations and one loving father’s artistic skills continue to combine with amazing results.
As anyone who’s spent much time with young kids knows, their interests can change very quickly. The toy or hobby that seemed like their whole world just the other day can quickly get tossed aside when so much of the world is still so shiny and new to their young minds.
So while we thoroughly enjoyed the first four entries in French-born, Japan-based anime artist Thomas Romain’s Father and Sons Design Workshop series, we weren’t sure how long the project was going to last. The starting points for each illustration after all, are concept sketches from Romain’s sons (aged 10 and 8), which the elder Romain then polishes using the skills he’s put to use in helping to produce the visuals of anime including Space Dandy and Symphogear.
But luckily for us, the kids seem to still be thoroughly enjoying making art with Dad, and the series has been chugging along with Romain sharing a new entry through his Twitter account at a pace of roughly one every seven days or so.
▼ Original concept on the left, finished illustration on the right
親子デザイン工房 (No.05) コズミックロボ 原案:長男 イラスト:パパ Cosmic Robot Original design: son Illustration : dad Be original, be yours… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) January 29, 2017
Kids are very quick to pick up on anything that could be construed as unfair or imbalanced, but Romain looks to be keeping everyone happy by alternating between his two sons’ designs. So after finishing the Cosmic Robo shown above, which sprang from the imagination of his 10-year-old, next up was the younger boy’s Tulip Brothers.
親子デザイン工房 (No.06) チューリップブラザーズ 原案:次男 イラスト:パパ Tulip brothers Original design: son(8) Illustration : dad Have a nice,… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) February 05, 2017
But don’t assume that the friendly flower siblings mean the little brother is always opting for cuter characters. Big Brother’s Sand Golem…
親子デザイン工房 (No.07) サンドゴーレム 原案:長男 イラスト:パパ Sand golem Original design: son Illustration : dad Without ideas, skills a… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) February 11, 2017
…was followed by Little Brother’s Snake Fighter, which isn’t a man who battles snakes, but a multi-armed giant viper carrying an arsenal of medieval weaponry…and also a glistening lollipop (because, after all, the designer is still eight).
▼ Although according to Romain’s notes even the candy raises the Snake Fighter’s combat capabilities.
親子デザイン工房 (No.08) 蛇戦士 原案:次男 イラスト:パパ Snake fighter Original design: son (8) Illustration : dad The lollipop grants… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) February 19, 2017
▼ Further fantasy with the Fire Guardian…
親子デザイン工房 (No.09) ファイヤーガーディアン 原案:長男 イラスト:パパ Fire Guardian Original design: son (10) Illustration : dad Kids, don't… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) February 26, 2017
▼ …then back to sci-fi with the twin-torso Killer Ball robot
親子デザイン工房 (No.10) キラーボール 原案:次男 イラスト:パパ Killer Ball Original design: son (8) Illustration : dad Old school robot de… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) March 05, 2017
▼ The Cloud Dwellers giving a sendoff to a fallen comrade
親子デザイン工房 (No.11) くもの上の住人 原案:長男(10) イラスト:パパ Cloud dwellers Original design: son Illustration : dad Lost a friend t… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) March 12, 2017
And finally, we come to the most recent entry, the robot K-3, a pun on the Japanese words for “three” (san) and “calculation” (keisan), which explains the mathematical markings.
親子デザイン工房 (No.12) K-3 (計算) 原案:次男(8) イラスト:パパ K-3 (Keisan) Original design: son Illustration : dad Do you like math?… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) March 19, 2017
As the series’ popularity has grown, Romain has begun offering glimpses at the production process. Here, he breaks down the sketching, inking, and coloring of the Cloud Dwellers illustration.
Process☁️ 親子デザイン工房のイラストの描き方。 下描き➡️ペン入れ➡️水彩 https://t.co/wz1LHzYV0Y—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) March 14, 2017
And while his job in the animation field means Romain spends most of his time at work creating in a computerized environment with pro-spec technology, for this family project he uses much simpler materials, such as paper notebooks and 100-yen (US$0.90) markers, and it’s a change he has no complaints about.
This is what I use. 2H pencil, 100 yens marker, watercolor, different sketchbooks. But remember, tools are not what… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) March 03, 2017
Process. Rediscovering the fun of drawing on paper after years of digital artworks. 紙で絵を描く楽しさを忘れていました。 https://t.co/yoUrbaDpJZ—
ThomasRomain ロマン・トマ (@Thomasintokyo) January 31, 2017
Romain is also quick to give credit to his kids’ key role in the creative process, stressing that without their ideas, their awesome collaborative artwork wouldn’t be possible. Perhaps coolest of all is that as time goes by, his sons’ concept sketches are becoming more detailed and defined, so in addition to enjoying the finished products, following the series lets you see the children’s development as artists’ themselves.
Let’s just hope the boys don’t get too good and go solo too quickly, though, so that we can look forward to the teamwork of the Father and Sons Design Workshop continuing for a long time to come.
Featured image: Twitter/@Thomasintokyo