How do I pronounce your name?

"Shoji Ushiyama" is a Japanese name, but most English speakers (myself included) pronounce it "SHOW-jee oosh-ee-YA-ma".

If you are pedantic about the Japanese pronunciation, it's うしやま しょうじ u•shi•ya•ma shō•ji. Bear in mind if you're trying to curry favour with me, using this even while you speak English is possibly one of the worst ways to do so.

"Kavaeric" is pronounced "KAH-ver-rick", though many call me "Kav" for short.

You're Japanese, but are from Hong Kong? How does that work?

My father is Japanese, and my mother is a Hong Konger. I would say I identify more with my Japanese side, though. I do have a Japanese passport, after all.

What does your name mean?

"Ushiyama" is quite literally just "cow 牛 mountain 山". My Japanese ancestors were probably cattle herders in mountainous central Honshu, which would make sense as my father is from Suwa.

"Shoji" is supposed to mean "shogun" or something along those lines. I have also heard that it means "first child", but I find this unlikely as I have an older sibling.

"Kavaeric" doesn't really have a meaning, I sat down one day in 2015 or so and spent a couple hours mashing syllables together. I wanted something distinctive, relatively short, with two or three syllables, and that could be shortened to a single syllable nickname.

What is the meaning behind the triangle seal?

Like my online name, there isn't one. I was trying to make a mark that was distinctive and simple, but evocative of little, and easy to sign.

How long have you been doing art?

I probably started taking art as a "serious" hobby when I was about 12.

Where did you learn to draw?

I'm self-taught. But of course I'm not really self-taught, I just didn't learn from a school.

Perhaps the single best resource I can recommend is Ctrl-Paint, which really launched me into rendering better as well as getting a better mindset for art in general. It's taught by industry professional Matt Kohr, and is laid out such that the first sections can be done with traditional media, before moving onto digital.

Aside from that, it's a lot of browsing on Tumblr, Twitter, ArtStation, DeviantArt, and other sites. Start an art inspiration and reference folder, and save as much as you can in them.

Did you know that infantry-sized railguns aren't realistic?

I do.

Then why do you include it in your worldbuilding?!


What software do you use?

Adobe Photoshop CC. I've used Photoshop since I "started" doing art and I haven't moved since. Yes, I do pay for it - I use it almost every day so I can justify the cost, not to mention how I use it for a lot of other things beyond just painting and drawing, such as light design work and crude animations.

For the occasional bit of 3D work, Blender does fine. And I do mean "occasional", most of the time Blender just serves as something to create 3D reference models for me to draw over.

I also use Windows 10 and Firefox, in case you care about these sorts of things for some reason.

Why not switch to Linux?

I'm not a complete moron.

How about GIMP or Krita?

Please go away.