We Interviewed Artist Oniri Boy (Romain Campargue)!

We had the pleasure of interviewing Oniri Boy, also known as Romain Campargue, a French artist who spends their time creating stories and characters that come to life through animations, video games, and comics! They talk about their comic ‘Strawberry Star Bits,’ art inspirations, and more.

1. Tell us about your work? What inspires your art?

Hello! I’m a 2D artist working in the video game industry. I mainly work on animations, pixel art, and character design for various indie studios and developers. You might know me from my animations on Youtube like Mushroom Falls or the Apple Juice Song, or from my DreamBound mockup demos! In my spare time, I work on several personal projects. Most of them are only concepts for now, but I have several ideas for an RPG inspired by the Occitan folklore and the Pyrenean mountains, a dark fantasy comic with witches trying to escape from the underworld, and a story of a knight who wishes to become the best of all in a Renaissance setting filled with wacky monarchs. Recently, I’ve mainly worked in the shadows on a comic called Strawberry Star Bits!

I’m very passionate about history, folklore and languages from all over the world. There’s so much to learn and it’s a huge source of inspiration! I think my art style makes it obvious but I have been influenced by Nintendo since I was 9. As a result, I would say I have a cartoon art style with a Japanese influence, or maybe the other way around haha! I’m also pretty interested in discovering new indie projects, most notably those with unique and experimental art styles.

I hope one day I’ll be able to release a project that people will enjoy and get inspired from. Maybe Strawberry Star Bits will be the one!

2. Tell us about Strawberry Star Bits?

Strawberry Star Bits is a sci-fi adventure comic with a comedic flair. It features a unique art style with a limited color palette to give a retro sci-fi look. It’s got wacky fights, funny characters, and even emotional scenes in fantasy space environments! The main character, Chuchu, is a jolly slime girl who can stretch her arms and change her form depending on what she eats! Will she be able to save the penguins of Bubble Beach Galaxy from the tyranny of Queen Litchi?

If you like Nintendo, you’ll certainly recognize inspirations and nods to Super Mario Galaxy, Kirby and many others! The comic will be a one-shot, around 250 pages long and will be posted online on several websites for free. For now, I’ve been pretty quiet about this project, but I’m very excited to share everything when it’ll be ready!

I can at least give you some elements to the plot! The story opens in Bubble Beach Galaxy with Cuicui, a little penguin desperate to become a hero and save his people. In fact, they’re all under the rule of the Moon rabbits led by the arrogant Queen Litchi. This pesky family steals the poor birds’ precious bubbles and watermelons for the queen’s silly parties. One day, a strange creature crashes on Bubble Beach Galaxy. Her name is Chuchu and she’s a stellanaut: a space explorer! Cuicui is filled with hope, she might be able to save them from the Moon rabbits! Will she be up to the challenge?

I’ve already worked on several comics, but it’s my first time doing one that big, and to set a public release. It’s a bit stressful, but I hope people will enjoy it! The script is done and I’m currently drawing the rough pages, I can’t wait to share them! I plan to release it in 2024, in summer if all goes well!

3. Advice to new artists?

The most important thing is to be curious. As an artist, all knowledge is useful! For any piece of media you cherish, don’t hesitate to learn more about its inspirations and how it was made. Look for obscure and passionate projects by indie people!

Improve more and more in what you’re good at. You won’t be able to be the best in everything, so choose your own path and become better and better in it! Finally and it’s a bit obvious, have fun! Do what you like! Even if it doesn’t get the attention it deserves (seriously, don’t look at numbers). In a world in which social media is everywhere, it’s tempting to only follow trends and lose your own desire to create. I mean, it’s not a bad thing, but you’ll have more fun if you work on something because you want to. That will definetely help you better understand yourself as an artist and improve.

4. Goals for 2024?

My main goal is to release Strawberry Star Bits during the year. As for the rest, I have a Wario Land animation that I’ve put on hiatus and which I’ll have to get back on, and I’ve got some new ideas for DreamBound. The most difficult part is to choose from all these possibilities! 2023 was my first year devoted entirely on personal projects instead of fanart. It’s been kind of tough, so I hope 2024 will be more peaceful.

5. Where can folks support your work?

I’m mainly active on Twitter (https://twitter.com/OniriBoy), but you can watch my animations on Youtube (http://youtube.com/c/OniriBoy) and check out my portfolio on Artstation (http://artstation.com/epdur). I might do a Kickstarter or Patreon for Strawberry Star Bits to help boost its development. If that happens, I’ll make a proper announcement!

Thanks for having me, and I wish everyone the best for their own projects 😀

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