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Artists Organize an Awesome New Take on Katamari Damacy

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Katamari Collab Illustration by Juliana Chen (fivepaninis)

For nearly ten years, Katamari Damaci, a Japanese puzzle-action video game (whose name literally translates to "clump soul") has captured the attention and hearts of millions of gamers.

As an ode to the game, Renee P. (aka Rolos or @gelatobear) decided to use it as a theme for an online art collab (short for collaboration), inviting her artist friends to choose their favorite characters, illustrate them, share them via Twitter and email them in for assembly into a giant, Katamari-loving poster.

Though submissions are still coming in, the collab is nearly complete -- and the illustrations offer an undeniably fun take on the game.

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Katamari Collab Illustration by Lyn (shunao)

I recently interviewed Renee P. about her experience with this collab, which is near completion. Keep an eye out on Twitter for the final poster!

Simone Collins (SC): What inspired you to kick off this collab?

Renee P (RP): I was inspired to kick off the Katamari Damacy collab (or the "Katamari Collabari" as I like to call it) after being inspired by other art collabs on twitter that were happening. My biggest inspirations for this idea were Justin Chan, who I think started it all with his Kanto Pokemon collab a while ago, and Tim Welman (Classyraptor)'s Super Mario collab (plus many more ones that were just starting at this time). Twitter collabs were becoming a fun activity to participate in or start your own, since everyone was eager to join in the fun, especially around December of last year. The art community I'm in on twitter was also very friendly, plus word spreads around for these projects easily, so starting a collab seemed like a less daunting project to open up and to complete.

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Katamari Collab Illustration by Padmini Black (batsa)

SC: Why Katamari Damacy?

RP: Katamari Damacy is one of my favourite games, being quirky, colorful and having gameplay that is just pure fun and silliness! I could go on and on about how much this game makes me happy. Not only that, but I know other people think the same thing -- and the more people who knew and loved the series, the more people would want to join in the collab. I also chose it because of the wide variety of characters that people can choose to draw, so many artists could join in and draw their favourite character.

SC: What's the present status of the collab, and what sort of final piece do you hope to present?

RP: As of right now, I'm happy to say that pretty much all participants have completed or have kept me up to date with their chosen character! I've given extensions to some artists so that they may have more time with it. For the final piece, I'm planning on putting everyone's characters in one giant illustration! This is my big part of the collab, drawing the backdrop for the collab and organizing all the characters into one wonderful piece.

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Katamari Collab Illustration by Timothy Welman (classyraptor)

SC: What is it about collabs that you think makes them so much fun? What do you think motivates artists to participate?

RP: I think all the collabs have been so much fun because its collaborative and it's a fun, free-for-all type of project. Most collabs I've seen are really simple: pick a character, draw them and post them! And it's that easy! They have a lot of creative freedom for artists: art can range from quick sketches to full painted pictures, for example, and some collabs are open to all styles and mediums.This opens it up for more artists and helps artists have the chance to try something new with their art, or draw fan art when they normally would've not been able. Not only that, but seeing other artists' work and meeting new artists is also a big part of it! I've met so many friends and artists just by hosting or joining these simple collabs, and that's a reward in itself.