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Then & Now

AnimeChicago proudly presents Summer 2022 Anthology: Then & Now published as a digital gallery for public viewing. Just like the plethora of remakes popping up in the anime sphere, we tasked our artists to recreate a work from their past. Unlike more remakes, the results are actually good! Each piece includes an artist’s statement that provides context into their creation. We hope you enjoy the work and consider joining us for a future Art Circle to create alongside us.

Thank you to all of our dedicated Art Circle Artists!

Meeting the Water Dragon (2006/2022)

by Kat DuWaldt (@Yamcans)

“Back in 2005-2006, I had a handful of original characters (OCs) that were some blend of “Avatar : The Last Airbender” crossbred with various other anime series I was a fan of at the time (Magic Knight Rayearth, Rurouni Kenshin, etc.). The resulting designs were … pretty heckin’ bad, but they kept me inspired to draw every day, and I grew up honing my art skills using those really derivative OCs.

I’ve long since abandoned those characters, but this anthology was a great opportunity to breathe new life into a very old memory, now redesigned and grounded in my own imagination, rather than clinging so hard to existing properties. Maybe I’ll revisit the other OCs sometime – this was fun! ♥”


Emerald Witch

Michelle N.

“This was made for a Halloween art swap. The original was a trading card size 2.5″x3.5″ and the new one is 9″x12″. I tried to make it more dynamic and fix some of the anatomy but, I had to take out the crow since it would had gotten in the way of the hat.”

Before – After: Kimono-ed Fan Dancer

Diana :D

“I chose to redo one of the sketches I actually dated.
This is a before and after of a cat girl character I created in 2009 (Yikes, 13 years ago!)
I really wanted to work on practicing my digital painting and making sure the proportions were a bit more believable. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, though there are still things I’d love to change about it now that I take a longer look. :D
But that’s the artist mindset, right? There’s always improvements to be made!”


Jon Bon Jovi: Anime Bishie?

Sheila “Keba” Serota

“The original was drawn almost 20 years ago, practically to the day. I think my thought process was that I wanted to doodle my kitsune alias, but I had a lot more room on the page, so I drew my very first attempt at Jon Bon Jovi. This drawing opened a floodgate of anime-themed drawings of Jon and the other band members. I still have a lot of the old drawings to this day, and I look back at them with both fondness and embarrassment.

In my redraw, I decided to just draw Jon. No kitsune this time. I think my understanding of anatomy has improved significantly, as well as my ability to make digital art. At the same time, I didn’t get the angle of his face quite as well as I had in the original drawing. So, I guess there’s still more room for improvement. In any case, it was fun going down memory lane and drawing a picture of someone that had such an impact on my life.”

It’s All Coming Together

Jeremy Podczerwinski

“Rather than use one half-finished sketch from my past, I decided to combine multiple different drawings that caught my eye from a stack of old sketchbooks. Some of these drawings go all the way back to prior to 2000! I did concept sketches for most of the designs you see on the final version, and some that didn’t make it. I will say this was quite ambitious, but it was fun bringing all these characters into one image. Try to imagine the story this creates!”


Buckingham Fountain

Vincent Kan

“I no longer own the ultra-wide-angle lens that I used to make the original so I experimented with using a multiple shot panorama technique to recreate the field of view during blue hour.”

Acorn beast

Trey Rachal

“It’s from a old drawing and I lost the original, but since I’m allergic to cashews I decided to draw an acorn monster.”