Nekomata Ninja

Making Of / 07 August 2019

Done for the #cdchallenge: Ninja Cat!  

I had a recent conversation with a friend about who I am as an artist. While my current portfolio expresses my interests, I don't think they actually communicate who I am. This is the beginning of that. 

With the theme being "Ninja Cat", and close to what I want to do, I decided to do a Japanese Bobtail Nekomata. With evil soul magic! 

The design was based off a few images I found online. One of a young woman wearing a mino (a straw cape), and another of an archer wearing what I believe are called sashinuki hakama, which looked similar to the kind of pants Inuyasha uses!

While reading about Japanese cats, I found stories of the Nekomata, one being about a cat that was causing paranormal activity by carrying a shikigami in it's mouth, and another about the nekomata being necromancers. The idea then became that this ninja carries the souls of unfortunate people in her mouth and uses them as her ninja tools. 

In this series I want to blend the human, monster, and clothing elements in a way that seems they are all part of the natural body. Using the mino, hakama, various ninja and cat images, I built my character. Although part way though I did rework her ears and swords to something that I thought would be a little more visually interesting and thematic.

For me the most fun element was her mino, which is at the same time her hair, hood, and pauldrons. 

Thanks for looking!