Important Importables: Oekaki

December 12, 2009 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Oekaki

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, PCs, Mac, Windows, Web-Sites, Fan-Sites, Unofficial-Sites

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The holidays are coming up, and its a good time to get creative. I mean, there’s a good chance that you may be making home-made gifts for your family and friends this year, if you’re short on cash. So to help you get into a creative frame of mind, this week Hot Japanese Imports is going to talk about oekaki. Yeah, I know, I’m stretching for some kind of connection between this festive time of year and the whole oekaki message board thing. Humor me.

Besides, oekaki could come in handy for preparing for the fast approaching holiday season. You could practice your drawing skills on an Oekaki board, then create a design you could use for your own Christmas cards! I’d say Hannukah cards too, but it’s kind of late for that, since Hannukah ends December 19, 2009 this year and today’s the 18th.

So, let’s learn about oekaki, and some oekaki boards where you can start scribbling.

Jenni Lada Oekaki 2

What’s Oekaki?

As you can tell from the name, oekaki started in Japan. The word oekaki actually is equivalent to the English word “scribble.” Most of the largest oekaki boards online are Japanese, or in both Japanese in English. When someone is talking about oekaki, they’re normally talking about oekaki forums.

Oekaki forums are similar to standard message boards, only instead of having a number of different forum categories and discussions, people draw pictures with a browser-based drawing program and their mouse or tablet and share them with other members of the community. Other members can then comment and critique the piece, or contribute their own works of art.

For the most part, oekaki images are created in one sitting, in the browser. However, some forums do allow users to save work so they can work on a drawing multiple times before uploading it. Also, a small number of oekaki forums will allow users to upload drawings that weren’t created in the browser-based forum drawing program, as long as it follows the forum’s guidelines.

The majority of oekaki art is fan art, whether its for video games, anime, cartoons or other established works from different kinds of media. However, there are a large number of Oekaki forum members who devote themselves to creating original artwork.

Jenni Lada Oekaki 1

Oekaki board recommendations

So, now that you know what exactly oekaki is, you probably want to give it a try. Here are five oekaki sites you can visit to start drawing. Remember to read the site rules and such before registering and posting. And don’t feel intimidated if you’re not immediately as good as the other users – learning to draw on oekaki boards can take time.

  • GoNintendo Oekaki BBS: You don’t have to register to view the video game fan art other people have drawn, but you will have to sign up if you want to draw your own. Since it’s part of GoNintendo, you’ll find tons of great video game art here and its a great spot to draw your favorite Nintendo art.
  • Bulbagarden Oekaki: An oekaki board for Pokemon fans. As you can probably guess, all the art here is Pokemon related. You can view art without registering, but must register to create art there.
  • Oekaki Central: Probably the best collection of oekaki boards. There are 20 boards, and two paint chats. I’d recommend visiting The Training Grounds first, which is a beginning board. Also, some of the boards there are for adults and may not be work safe or appropriate for users under 18.
  • Mainly an anime oekaki board, but original characters drawn in an anime or manga style are also welcome. Users of all skill levels are also welcome to join and draw.
  • Another general oekaki board and site. It features art galleries, the ability to collaborate with other artists online, forums and everything you need to get started drawing.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Princess Maker Collection for the Dreamcast.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports offered import PSP game gift suggestions.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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