Dear all, It's time to meet our Creator of August! For this month, we would like to introduce Keisuke Itoh a.k.a keisukeitoc on eYeka. You may have seen his winning work "Old Umbrella" for Metlife contest - many of us are touched by the story. That's why we would like to share Keisuke's story with all of you as well! For those who hasn't watched the winning work "Old Umbrella", here it is ;) This is our first time introducing a Japanese creator, so please give  him a warm welcome ;)

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My name is Keisuke Itoh. I'm a Freelance Designer. After graduating from Art university and working as a Graphic Designer, I enrolled myself in a college that specialized in 3D Computer Graphics. I studied 3D Computer Graphics and Web Designing there for one year. I am currently working with creating images, 3D computer graphics, illustrations, graphics, accessories and web designing.
You joined eYeka this year. May I know did you find out eYeka at that time? And why did you decide to participate in the eYeka contest?
I first knew eYeka from a competition website. I participated in the contest because I believe it offered great opportunities working with well known companies. My wish is that my creations will reach more people from all over the world, and my creations will show them some way to happiness. I participated in eYeka's Metlife contest as I thought it was the perfect chance for me to realize that dream.
You only participated once (in Metlife contest), and you won ;) Well done! What made you create the story “Old Umbrella”?
My work "Old Umbrella" was inspired by a very personal experience of mine as the worn-out robot in the animation is myself. At that time, I was extremely troubled by my own timidity and I was so lack of confidence. But I know things might change if I have the courage to take action. I might be able to bring more happiness to someone's life. You never know until you try. When I realized this, "Old Umbrella" was born. I hope that the actions of the robot will give courage to those who are in need.

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Thanks for sharing your story behind the creation. May I know what's your usual creative process?
I created the work by myself. Once I had the idea, I will reduce the time on sleeping, cleaning, etc and devote myself completely to the creation. The fact that I was a good rival with the friends in my class also helped me in the process of my creation.
What are the difficulties you have faced during your creation? And how do you usually find inspiration?
When you're creating original works, you have to think of your living expenses. And I am making a living by creating only, so it's difficult. Also, I sometimes encounter technical problems when using 3D computer graphics for my work. And rendering is a time-consuming process as well. I always get inspiration from my own personal experiences. I actually get warm ideas when someone has betrayed me, when I'm heart broken, when I hate myself or when I experience hardships. It's mysterious :)

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Thanks for sharing your inspiration! And do you have any favorite artists that inspire you too?
I respect these animation writers - Yuriy Norshteyn, Frédéric Back and Paul Driessen. I love all of their works and Yuriy Norshteyn's "Hedgehog in the Fog" has especially influenced me. I'm fascinated by its warmth, delicacy and the characters' melancholic expressions. You just never get tired of watching it! It's a wonderful masterpiece.
May I know after winning on eYeka, what impact do you have in your life when participating or winning in eYeka contest?
Yes. It just so happened that there was a special TV program about the partnership between eYeka and the school where I studied the 3D Computer Graphics. I was interviewed by the TV, and I was given the opportunity to speak with the co-founder of eYeka, Alex Olmedo! I also received feedback from many different people on social media like Facebook after the "Old Umbrella" was broadcasted. I would not have had these precious opportunities if I had not participated in eYeka contest. I'm grateful!
It's nice to know the story. We also want to know, after experiencing in eYeka for a few months, can you share with us what are the things you like about eYeka and what are the things you think can be improved in the future?
If we were able to see the works of other eYeka participants, that will be wonderful. It's important to find out what others came up with when you've been given the same brief. Another thing that concerned me is: the announcement date for Metlife contest was postponed for a month, I worried about it the whole month. I would felt have relieved if I had received a notification during that time. I'd also like to be able to friend other eYeka creators on Facebook.
Thank you for your suggestion! Do you have any advice to your fellow animators?
I would like to say to all of you: You may think that it takes courage to enter a contest but the truth is, it doesn't. Entry is free, so feel free to participate. Someone in this world needs to see your work. I believe that a positive attitude is more important than the quality of your work! :)
Thank you Keisuke for your time for sharing your story with us! We hope to see more creative works from you and all the best ;)