Deviant Spotlight: Meet The Artists

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Og-spotlight by marioluevanosDeviantArt and Laika Studios have come together to bring you the new Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest! Create an illustration showing Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle inspired by the movie trailer or your own personal experience for a chance to win a selection of collector Kubo items and cash prizes!

Meet The Artists

Learn more about the techniques and thought processes that went into creating these beautiful and inspirational scenes for the Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest!

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?


“Kubo is overcoming the obstacle of fear and embracing his heart for the sake of saving his village, family, and the world.”

How did you create your artwork?


“I created my piece with paper, watery acrylic and bleach.”

What was the thought process behind your artwork’s creative concept?


“My thought process was more on how much bleach I could use to create movement and contrast. I was trying to see how far I could take it before the piece could accidently become a big blurr cause to much bleach could ruin it. Everything else I was able to control well so the piece was able to come out to what i had hoped it would show.”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?


“I wanted to capture that feeling of being overwhelmed at the seemingly impossible journey ahead. I think it’s common to feel anxiety and doubt when there’s a looming responsibility, but I think surrounding yourself with positive influences helps keep you focused. For Kubo, he was given the task of stopping his grandfather all the while surviving against giant skeleton warriors, carnivorous sea monsters, and his crazy aunts but with the help of his family, he was able to overcome them.”

How long did it take you to create your piece?


“I’d hate to say it was kind of last minute, so I had about 6 hours the last night of the contest submissions. It was pretty fun experience though because a few friends and I all entered the contest so we hung out together while working on our pieces, and it’s awesome because most of us got in the top 25. Which kind of ties into my metaphor about having positive influences around you. I don’t think I would have had the same result if we weren’t in it together.”

How did the trailer for Kubo & The Two Strings inspire you to create your final submission?


“I wanted to keep the characters and symbolism from the movie while still trying to create an original composition. The movie is beautifully crafted, as to be expected from Laika films, so there was a lot to be inspired by.”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?


“The overall piece is about Kubo overcoming the hatred for his enemy, the Moon King. Throughout the course of the movie, we saw Kubo lose everything he loved to this man and his evil daughters, so the battle is justified with the kid’s hatred towards his god of a grandfather. In the end, though, even after losing his mother and everything he ever loved, he accepted his grandfather into his life when the god became mortal and weak, so defenseless. Rather than striking him down, Kubo’s maturity and humanity shone through in helping his grandfather find peace in this new body.

It is the love and humanity in Kubo’s heart that leads to such a fate for both he and his grandfather. Rather than slay the dragon, the knight heals it and peace is restored between foes. He doesn’t even defeat his grandfather with the sword nor armor, he uses his shamisen and the strings representing his loved ones.

Love is what saved him. It’s what saved them both.”

How long did it take you to create your piece?


“Longer than I expected, but mainly because I was working with vibrant colors I don’t usually dip into. A few days, perhaps 8 to 10 hours?”

How did you create your artwork?


“With patience, carefulness, and understanding — just kidding. I just sketched, prayed, looked up color references (a lot of festivals and city buildings at night actually helped with this), and every character / prop done on their own separate layers so they can be manipulated easier.

Most times I draw the linework along with a light sketch and place the colors and effects under it, just to save the final “over details” for last (which are usually the most fun parts).”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?


“The obstacle that he is overcoming is being there for others when things are scary and unknown. I chose to keep his instrument next to him as sometimes you gotta give up some things that you love to help others. Sometimes to help you gotta make your own sacrifices, even when things are getting uneasy and scary. At the top where Kubo comes from, the light is soft and more happy while the bottom is darker, more ominous and not sure what is lurking at the bottom. Its scary sometimes to help others, especially when you are risking your own happiness and safety. Though for those that we love, we would willingly go in head first smiling just to save them or keep them happy.”

What story are you aiming to tell with your final submission?


“No matter how scary and hard things get, keep pushing forward with a smile!”

How did the trailer for Kubo & The Two Strings inspire you to create your final submission?


“A lot of the scenes in the trailer had something difficult that Kubo had to overcome yet he always had a grin. Especially in one of the posters he had a grin, and I feel that the trailer showed a lot that he was a kid that would do anything to help the ones he cared about, and no matter what it was he would go in smiling.”

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Comments132
anonymous's avatar
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R--E--D--D--Y's avatar
I knew I was getting vibes.
KeziahNutmeg's avatar
These are all incredible pieces of artwork with such interesting stories to tell for each piece
BarbecuePumpkin's avatar
Silly question, but is this movie made with the stop motion technique or is it made with computer to look like it's made with stop motion technique? 
Either way, it looks amazing!
Notzilonie's avatar
Laika studios primarily uses stop motion with handcrafted sets and puppets(eg. Kubo, Coraline and Egg).However, they do use a computer to make background models to blend in with the main characters, but I think that one or two of the background characters are puppets as well in Kubo. The crew at Laika creates the character's clothing,props and sets are all hand-crafted. But most of the effects are done on the computer, since it's pretty tedious and can be very challenging to animate some effects in stop motion. Funnily enough, in the Box Trolls, Laika did create realistic looking water and reflections in one part of the movie. 

To answer your question, the majority of Laika's movies are made with stop motion. Only a small amount in comparison to an entire movie is created with a computer. I hope I helped answer your question. 
BarbecuePumpkin's avatar
Wow! Yes, this helped a lot :) thank you!
Notzilonie's avatar
You're very welcome! : ) 
SilentmanX's avatar
I absolutely love "Kubo and the Two Strings". It's such a great movie and i commend Laika for creating a beautiful piece of work. I hope to see more from them because this is an animation technique that should not be forgotten

God speed Laika 
SamGaylor's avatar
GREAT JOB! Every piece of Kubo art was amazing!
I especially love how they showed the process the making the art.
Notabimbo's avatar
mizueyes777, great job all in all
PitufiPucca's avatar
amo eta película *-*
y que gran trabajo <3
Eurichi's avatar
Una pelicula espectacular!!! :3
REVA2's avatar
GGonzaga's avatar
eu estou viajante com esta obra, a técnica é muito mais muitos inspiradora. bom trabalho.
QueenieNirvana's avatar
this is awesome! <3 Congrats
DimensionWarper833's avatar
One of the best action stop-motion animation movies ever since Caroline came out
Cr34tiv3-U53rn4m3's avatar
It's Coraline, no Caroline...
Ennonion's avatar
caroline is a part of my childhood :/
Cr34tiv3-U53rn4m3's avatar
It's Coraline, no Caroline... x2
ComfyDoggo's avatar
Caroline was super creepy though xD I was so smol when I saw it and it gave me nightmares lol
Cr34tiv3-U53rn4m3's avatar
It's Coraline, no Caroline... x3
anonymous's avatar
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