Supporting Children's Dreams of Becoming Creators - 1: Initiatives with Kinko Town

 


How can I become a creator?

This is a question often posed to Wacom’s team members who interact with customers and are engaged in communities. According to the "White Paper for Elementary School Students Web Edition" by the Gakken Institute of Education (September 2022 survey), professions like manga artists and illustrators are among the top choices for children's future careers. With evolving social changes, such as the growth of digital infrastructure and the expanding international content market, it's only natural for children to aspire to become creators.

In response to this trend, local communities and educational institutions are starting to take more steps to nurture creative talent. The aspirations of these young individuals to become creators have truly inspired Wacom’s team members and is a major contributing factor driving various initiatives. Yasuhiro Todoroki, an evangelist on the BtoB Enterprise Lead Management team, is one such person who is extremely committed to cultivating creative talent. He devotes his energy to collaborating with professional animators so children have more hands-on opportunities to nurture and grow their artistic aspirations.


What kind of initiatives are you involved in with Kinko Town?

Todoroki: In December 2022, we collaborated with the MIRAI(future) creation project in Kinko Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, to conduct a workshop for children interested in animation production. Approximately 15 children took part in this workshop, all ranging from upper elementary to high school students. During the workshop, they received guidance from professional animators, added color to previously created drawings, and learned the technique of "inbetweening" to introduce movement into their drawings.

The process of inbetweening, or tweening, is typically a challenging skill that one acquires after going through specialized animation training. However, with the support of digital tools, even children can easily get a taste of the process. Once they grasped the fundamentals, they quickly became proficient and were able to create a simple animation in just half a day. While the workshop provided them with only a glimpse of the extensive work involved in animation, I believe it allowed them to appreciate that each frame is crafted by hand and requires labor-intensive efforts.

Our collaboration with Kinko town's MIRAI Creation Project was originally conceived as a special project, but the event received such positive feedback that we decided to hold it again the following year. We hope that the children found inspiration in learning about the professional production process and receiving constructive feedback on their finished works. Our aim is to instill in them the belief that they can turn their passion into a career.

   


What was the driving force behind launching this initiative?

Todoroki: It all began when we received a request from a manga artist who had participated in a workcation as part of a regional revitalization project in Kinko Town. The workshop he conducted was very well received, and thanks to the manga artist's desire to contribute to the vibrancy of Kinko Town and the enthusiasm of Kinko Town's Future Development Department, we were able to turn this idea into a reality. After learning that Hideo Uda, the president of Noovo Inc., an animation planning and production company had ties to Kagoshima, we decided to collaborate with him. We believe it's essential to work with creators and studios connected to the local region.


How did the children react to this initiative?

Todoroki: The children's response was overwhelming! Their expressions of sheer delight and the sparkle in their eyes said it all. Children these days are digital natives so digital tools are already a familiar part of their world. I sensed that by merging the joy of expressing their own ideas and creativity with these tools, they could instantly dive into the realm of creativity. I hope that the experience we provided will become a cherished memory for these children as they encounter animation works in the future.

We also received inquiries from parents about supporting their children's aspirations of becoming creators. It's only natural for parents to desire a stable and lasting career for their children when considering their future. I reassured them that creators are technical professionals, and with the right skills, they can sustain a career in this field for 40 or even 50 years. I'd like to encourage both children and parents to believe that pursuing their passions can lead to a fulfilling job and to motivate them to start honing their skills as early as possible.


It appears that there are other initiatives underway within the local community.

Todoroki: Indeed. Children represent the future of the creative industry and we want to give them the chance to pursue careers as creators. To fulfill this vision, our Creative Business Unit has been collaborating with local governments and industry professionals to organize workshops all over Japan. These workshops provide introductory, hands-on courses in fields like manga, illustration, animation, computer graphics, and more. Wacom supports these initiatives by facilitating partnerships with local governments, connecting them with creators and studios, and supplying the necessary equipment.

As digital and transportation infrastructure continues to advance, the path to becoming a creator is becoming more accessible because, more than ever before, we are able to give people freedom in environments and locations where creations begin. Considering my own background in a rural area, I'm particularly motivated to nurture as many talented creators as possible from such regions. By fostering local awareness of the creative endeavors of these artists, I hope to collaborate with the local community to create an environment that encourages children to embrace creativity, with all the challenges and beauty that come with it.


Tell us your thoughts on how you support children who are aspiring creators.

Todoroki: Many renowned creators are individuals who have harbored a deep love for drawing since childhood. They consistently honed their skills and eventually turned it into a profession. When I observe the creativity, drawing speed, and productivity of these professional creators, it's evident that they have dedicated a significant part of their lives to drawing. I want to persistently convey the message to children aspiring to become creators that their passions can indeed lead to a rewarding career, and that drawing can evolve into a skill.

The realm of creativity is exceptionally enjoyable. I want to help create opportunities for children to engage in this world for an extended period of time. Above all, I have a genuine affinity for connecting with people and engaging in conversations. It would bring me great joy to see more works produced through Wacom products, inspiring local creators and children, and ultimately brightening the world.


 

.

Explore projects

Our Sparks. “Join The Journey” by Arian Rahmatzai

The 'Our Sparks.' pages showcases community creators whose works inspire and collaborate with us. This time features Arian Rahmatzai's artwork, a German talent who interned at Wacom.

Read more

Supporting Children's Dreams of Becoming Creators - 1: Initiatives with Kinko Town

The aspiration of children who dream of becoming creators is what ignites our team members’ enthusiasm and drives many of our initiatives. One such initiative involved teaming up with an animation workshop in Kinko Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Read more

Initiatives in China – Bringing Digital Ink Technology to More People

Lannie Zhang, the only product manager in the Ink Division in China, took the time to talk to us about the initiatives planned to increase awareness and promote the use of digital ink technology.

Read more

wacom

Our Sparks. “At the beach in the early afternoon” by sammy

We would like to introduce the artworks by artists in Oiso Town, Kanagawa, Japan, where we have been working together to support the writing/drawing initiative.

Read more

wacom

Wacom Experience Center - A space for everyone to be creative

The Wacom Experience Center Portland was created for people to interact with the creative community in the city. We took a look back at its growth with Megan Davis, who has been playing an energetic role there.

Read more

Connected Ink 2022: What happens here is everything

Connected Ink 2022 opened with two key questions. Let’s take a look back at some of the sessions in Tokyo that explored them.

Read More

Our Sparks. “Wind Carrying Light” by Syuro

We would like to introduce the artworks by artists in Oiso Town, Kanagawa, Japan, where we have been working together to support the writing/drawing initiative.

Read More
oiso town tn

How can we support the “writing/drawing" initiative with Oiso Town?

The partnership with Oiso Town has developed into a city-wide initiative. We spoke with Tadakuni Tsubota of the Creative BU Retail Partnership about this initiative.

Read more

A side of the Connected Ink polyhedron - 2


How do team members see Connected Ink? The next team member is Yohei Himori who is involved in the planning and operation of Connected Ink together with Heidi.

Read More ::before ::after


s

A side of the Connected Ink polyhedron - 1


How do team members see Connected Ink? The first team member is Heidi Wang who has played a key role in the planning and operations when it all began in 2016.

Read More ::before ::after




th

How can we overcome barriers that exist in society? / Call & Response

In collaboration with Heralbony Inc. and the General Incorporated Association, Connected Ink Village, Wacom launched a new initiative called "Call & Response” in September 2021.

Read More ::before ::after



d

What Lingers in the Afterglow / Connected Ink 2021

Here’s a look back at the opening and finale of the nearly 70 sessions held that day and reflect upon what has happened since Connected Ink 2021.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Our Sparks. “The spark of love” by Jacky Yang

Our sparks meet constantly changing situations, unexpected challenges, and new opportunities. We called on our team members again to show how they see their spark in the world of today and the future.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Keep asking questions and moving forward / Connected Ink 2020

Connected Ink 2020 was the beginning of a new commitment and challenge for Wacom to continue asking those eternal questions that always play in our minds.

Read More ::before ::after

d

“Stage KOPPA”, a stage that connects stories

"Stage KOPPA" was created as a stage for Connected Ink 2020. It is a stage that changes its shape and role in response to different situations while connecting the various stories that occur there.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Our Sparks.
“Mam and Dad’s Child Interest” by Stella Wang

Our sparks meet constantly changing situations, unexpected challenges, and new opportunities. We called on our team members again to show how they see their spark in the world of today and the future.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Our Sparks.
"A moment on an autumn mountain" by Takahiro Yamamoto

We had an internal art contest for our Social Initiatives. Let us share the existence of the spark in our team members’ hearts with their artworks.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Online drawing class for elementary school students during stay-at-home period

Yoshinori Mita, a team member of Japan held an online drawing class together with FC KAZO and illustrator Suiiro to provide something fun for elementary school children to do during the COVID-19 stay-at-home period.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Wacom's new initiative through soccer

As an official partner, Wacom supports FC KAZO, a soccer club in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. We’re excited to introduce our new initiatives with this inspiring club.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Our Sparks.
"The spark is in you! Mirror portraits during times of isolation" by Oliver Madlener

We had an internal art contest for our Social Initiatives. Let us share the existence of the spark in our team members’ hearts with their artworks.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Online Sketchnoting workshop for children during school closures

Our team members in Germany organized an online workshop “Young Wacom” for the children while schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Support the "lives" of artists through customer support

Alex Duffey from our Americas Support team established a new program to support artists. We asked him about a story with Ms. Devon Bragg, the artist who inspired him to establish this program.

Read More ::before ::after

d

3. How KOPPA began /
The story of the Traveling KOPPA

KOPPA began in April 2019. Tamotsu wanted to make something that can be used again after an exhibition. We asked Team KOPPA about their thoughts.

Read More ::before ::after

d

2. No need to destroy it anymore /
The story of the Traveling KOPPA

We put it together ourselves, set it up, put it back, then travel together again. The Traveling KOPPA, our new display furniture came to be.

Read More ::before ::after

d

1.Meeting KOPPA /
The story of the Traveling KOPPA

KOPPA started out as a challenge: Tamotsu Ito, an architect from Japan, wanted to utilize leftover building materials. Our meeting was pure happenstance.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Our Sparks.
“That Spark Inside” by Simone Wolters

We had an internal art contest for our Social Initiatives. Let us share the existence of the spark in our team members’ hearts with their artworks.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Marketing lecture for future engineers

We gave a marketing lecture for students who are learning to be engineers at the National Institute of Technology Tokyo College.

Read More ::before ::after

s

For the Future of Education
Lifelong Ink x AI

"AI Ink for Education" was developed to capture eye movement information and pen movements while learning, in order to ascertain the characteristics of learning by each student and to create an educational environment suited to each student.

Read More ::before ::after

d

Wacom Intuos have been introduced in a school to make classes more fun and creative

Yoana Simeonova, a software designer working in Bulgaria, introduced Wacom Intuos in a school to make children's IT classes more fun.

Read More ::before ::after

The Company's basic compliance policy, such as codes, policies, and systems related to sustainability

Read More ::before ::after

Back to top
A+ A-
지원