Beyonce would look just as great if she had her own comic book series. Their Instagram account is full of manga-style drawings of the most popular pop artists and musicians, including Cardi B, Beyonce, and BLACKPINK. They started their journey creating fan art for musicians they liked, but Queen Bey tapped them to create illustrations for a Tshirt and a Hoodie celebrating Black Is King’s first year. The groundbreaking visual album celebrates African culture. The merch includes drawings of Bey in a Loza Maleombho outfit in the “ALREADY” music video and a custom Mugler dress in the “MY POWER,” in FAF’s signature anime fashion.
In Hong Kong, they have worked closely with Serrini, Cantopop’s indie darling, to develop her album, single artwork, merch, and concert visuals. Heco and Jum stated that they are open for new opportunities and challenges but their goal is the same – to inspire joy.
Q: What inspired you to create FAF? How did you get started in merch manufacturing and design?
Both of us were educated in art and design classes at school. FAF was founded in 2005. We were both passionate about fan art and attended various conventions. Since then, we have made all kinds of merchandise and goods inspired by anime and videogames. We became close friends while traveling and setting up booths together. We decided to stop and rethink what we did as we couldn’t travel or attend any shows after the pandemic. We decided to focus on our original ideas and keep “fine” despite all the difficulties. We are fine, no matter what others think. We are happy with where we are at any stage in our development. We’re fine with criticisms and comments.”
Q: Many of your illustrations are female musicians and heavily inspired by anime and manga. How did you come up with the idea to combine music and comics?
We were captivated by cartoons like Sailor Moon as children in the 1990s. They were beautiful, soft, but also strong and empowering. Pop culture’s women are a perfect example of all this and more. We are inspired by the creativity and craft displayed by artists, from album designs to video visuals to stage design. They look almost like Sailor Soldiers. Our love for magic art is not limited by our gender. That energy is what we embrace and desire to be inspired by.
Q: What role does fashion play in your art?
We both have some experience in fashion and we consider fashionable clothing and collections to be art. We reimagined some of our earlier illustrations to show how the Sailor Senshi would look in modern fashion. Tattsumi’s new series features a character who wears a swimsuit every day – possibly as a way to express her mood. Her fashion sense is also evident in her poses. You recently illustrated two illustrations for Beyonce’s Black Is King merchandise. We are curious to hear about your experience working with Beyonce. Although we have not disclosed too much, this was definitely one of our highlights. We are humbled and grateful. Two illustrations were inspired by Beyonce’s songs “ALREADY” and “MY.POWER”, both taken from her album The Lion King, The Gift. We were able to see Bey perform onstage at her shows and feel closer than ever. We will never forget her work ethic and beautiful art.
Q: You’re also a frequent collaborator of Hong Kong singer-songwriter Serrini. How did you start collaborating, and what are some of your favorite projects together?
We met Serrini through a good friend of ours, Tommy, and we had an instant connection. The two of us began to explore collaboration possibilities and had a lot of fun together. We began by creating the cover art for her singles, “Spin with Me*” (Xuan Zhuan alongside me*), and “Try My Worst (Yao Zuo Geng Huai De Shi ), last year. We grew to love her more and more as we collaborated on many projects, including merch production for her two concerts this year. It was a challenging task as this was our first time designing and laying out an album. It was great to be part of a project such as this. We were able to learn and grow. We gained many valuable insights, and there was always room for improvement. Tattsumi and I will continue to collaborate with Serrini. A public art show would be a nice idea if we have the opportunity or are ready. We would love to collaborate with fashion brands to create new products. We know that we have the potential to do more and will continue to learn. We want to make ourselves and others happy.