Lauren Matthews, a.k.a ‘Kagekabuki’ is 21 years old, known to most people as ‘the small Goth who really likes cats and Japanese stuff’. As a child she loved cartoons like Pokemon, Digimon, Cardcaptors, Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon. However, it was only when she was about 13 (and got access to the internet) that she started to learn about anime and manga. Since then, she’s been hooked on all things Japanese.
Lauren has been drawing manga/anime as a hobby since she first discovered it 8 years ago, but it has only been recently that her work has attracted attention on DeviantArt and her Facebook page.
Lauren takes a great deal of influence from alternative subcultures, both Eastern and Western; her work incorporates her love of Western Goth and Punk, as well as Japanese Gothic Lolita and Visual Kei. This has resulted in her work being quite dark, but often with a healthy injection of kawaii. Lauren has been working on her webcomic, ‘Sacred?’, since 2009.
1. Dark Mousy- DNAngel fanart for the SunnyCon Vic Mignogna Artbook Project
2. Kibou: A Prayer for Japan- created after the 2011 Japan Earthquake/Tsunami
3. Punk Sunny- for the SunnyCon British Sunny competition
How did you first get into drawing?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Originally I used to try and draw things like dragons, gryphons and unicorns; I loved mythical creatures as a child. I recently rediscovered how much I love drawing them, so this question was great!
If you draw fan art, which fandom do you like drawing the most?
I don’t really draw much fan art nowadays; the SunnyCon Artbook pieces were the first I’d done in a while, so they were really fun to do. I do however create a lot of pieces inspired by songs (usually Nine Inch Nails or Rammstein), I’m not sure if that counts. But when I was 15-16 I did a lot of fan art as that was how I learned to draw, copying (NOT tracing) my favourite characters. I was particularly obsessed with Final Fantasy VII, especially Vincent Valentine. Him and Sephiroth are really fun to draw.
Do you draw in more than one style? If not, please explain your style here.
Not really, no. I mean I draw chibis as well as more serious art, but both have the same basic principles; being dark and Gothic, most often with a splash of cute. But I guess there is a difference between my ‘creepicute’ work and my plain nightmare-inducing work.
Do you have any art from when you first started drawing? If so please show it here and re-draw it now you are more skilled.
I redrew a very early, very old piece called Vermilion (I’m not sure how old but I’d hazard a guess at about 2005/6, which is when I started to seriously devote myself to manga style). I’ve been meaning to do this for a while anyway, as it was a great concept…. but executed pretty terribly, as you can see I used the same media (watercolour, albeit with biro lines in the new version).
Lastly, please draw your version of AnnaMay.