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About BOX=ART

BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.



BOX=ART artist

 >Ayami Kojima

As one of Konami’s premier artists the internationally renowned Ayami Kojima would help revitalize the Castlevania series with her breathtaking box arts.







The self-taught artist would start out illustrating covers for various Japanese novels including Majin, Cluster Saga, and Nobunaga's Ambition, before being discovered by Konami whilst working as a secretary.


She would get her big break in 1997 with Konami’s Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (SOTN) for the PlayStation European and Japanese releases.  


Not only creating its masterful box art she would also design the in game character art, giving protagonist Alucard and chums a delicate, effeminate look, not unlike artist Kikuchi Hideyuki’s infamous D (who she had previously worked with).




This new look would be in contrast to Castlevania’s previous box art style of depicting the hero as some hulking 80’s action hero.  


The new artistic approach worked, not only with fans but also with SOTN’s more considered pace and story driven gameplay and helped make Castlevania critically relevant once again.


The following year Ayami would be responsible for the SOTN’s Saturn box art -arguably its best attribute - and found time to produce the stylistically similar cover art for Koei’s Soldnerschild, also for the Saturn and later PS1 (1997) and Chou-Denki Card Battle for the WonderSwan (1999).  



She would go on to create many other classic Castlevania box arts with her final one to date being the PSP’s Dracula X Chronicles (2007). All would follow the same art style first seen in SOTN apart from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (2001). This box arts anime look would be deliberate, as it set out to appeal to the Game Boy Advance’s younger audience.


Since then she has created the artwork for download only Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and provided artworks for Koei’s Dynasty Warriors 7.  


A traditional artist in the art media she uses, Ayami starts by sketching with conté crayon sticks and then creates shadows with more conté and India ink. She then Adds depth and texture, usually to the background follows by spreading and shaping molding paste with a palette knife.  


Base colors are then painted into the work using diluted acrylics and finger smudging is used to create glows. To finish, metallic paint highlights are used and then enhanced with a gloss polymer.  This art method has been used on all box arts to date, and the artists reluctance to go the every popular computer-art route has been refreshing and revered by fans worldwide.





Posted - Mar. 9, 2013 by Adam Gidney

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1997

>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (EU/ JP) PlayStation.

>Soldnerschild (JP) Saturn.

1998

>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (JP) Saturn.

>Ishin no Arashi Bakumatsu Shishiden (JP) PlayStation.

1999

>Chou-Denki Card Battle (JP) WonderSwan.

2001

>Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (worldwide) Game Boy Advance.

>Castlevainia: Chronicles (EU/ JP) PlayStation.

>Castlevania: Chronicles (NA) PlayStation.



>





2002

>Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (worldwide) Game Boy Advance.

2003

>Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (worldwide) Game Boy Advance.

>Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (NA) PlayStation 2.

>Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (EU/ JP) PlayStation 2.

2005

>Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (worldwide) PlayStation 2, Xbox.

2007

>Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (worldwide) PSP.


If you like Ayami’s art you’ll love…

>Akihiro Yamada.

>Katsuya Terada.




Sources and further reading.


>http://www.creativeuncut.com/profile_kojima.html

>http://www.1up.com/features/castlevania?pager.offset=3

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayami_Kojima

                                        



Related BOX=ART pages.



Ayami Kojima box art catalogue.

Categories: Japanese artist| Konami| Castlevania

Soldnerschild| 1997| Koei.

Castlevania: Chronicles

Castlevania: Chronicle| 2001| Konami.

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles| 2007| Konami| The artists final box art to date.

castlevania-dracula-x-chronicles-psp-big.jpg Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night

Castlevania:The Symphony of the Night| 1998| Konami| The Saturn exclusive box art would be a gothic masterpiece complimenting Ayami’s debut PlayStation version.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence| 2003| Konami.

Ishin no Arashi Bakumatsu Shishiden| 1998| Koei.

Gcastlevania: Aria of Sorrow| 2003| Konami.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon| 2001| Konami| The artists most ‘anime’ styled cover. It would be a short lived design choice.


>Yoshitaka Amano.

90's gallery page| BOX=ART

90’s gallery page

Castlevania series box art page| BOX=ART

Castlev ania series page

Dracula XX review page

Dracula XX l box art review page| BOX=ART Symphony of the night box art review page| BOX=ART

SOTN review page