iMy Experiences Making My Own Dakimakuran/a    Readers' selection (2016-02-28)

Today I'm going to talk about my experience making my own dakimakura.

JUST TO PREFACE THIS my dakimakura is not NSFW at all. It's not even particularly suggestive, but if you're sensitive to anime characters sprawled out on a bed, then viewer discretion is advised.

For some reference, I'm not a super amazing artist, though I'm sure that statement will definitely piss off a bunch of people. Probably people are gonna look at my art below and think "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOU DRAW PRETTY NICE." The thing is, as an artist, you're always going to inevitably hate your art so having your own printed out on a body pillow is just a high risk type of deal. Once you have it printed out what if you hate it? I didn't give much thought to it because I was too high and giddy by the idea of MY OWN PERSONAL DAKIMAKURA OF MY FAV CHARACTERS YEAH!! But as time went on after I ordered it, I began to wonder if I was going to regret it.

Well, it's been about a year since the dakimakura came into my possession, and I'm just glad to say that I still think my art looks good and I'm very glad I don't absolutely despite it like some other pieces I've made in the past.

To start, I love the Vocaloids SF-A2 Miki and Kiyoteru Hiyama. A lot. I really adore them a ton. Images of them below for reference.
http://www.ah-soft.com/images/products/vocaloid/v4miki/img_miki.jpghttp://www.ah-soft.com/images/products/charactor/009.jpg

One January night around 3AM, I got the bright idea to start drawing a dakimakura as a joke.
Now, I'm none too good at drawing full bodies and stuff and I decided it might be a good challenge. I mean, no one else was gonna ever make a dakimakura of these lesser known characters so it was up to me to do it if I wanted to have a stupid body pillow with them.

Here are some pictures of my sketching and drawing process, which is none too glamorous but here it is. I did look up a few refs for ideas for what kind of pose, but honestly half of it was asking my college roommate at the time to pose for me (which they did almost way too willingly I might add).
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My initial sketch, I did start line arting Miki a bit.
http://40.media.tumblr.com/52ed4b39bb4c6985faf6ddf88f31d875/tumblr_ni5y81VAaW1s2kttoo1_500.png
Line arting the top part of the bodies. I suck at drawing legs and I kind of ended up avoiding drawing those for as long as possible haha.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/cca408a8c3a1be7b331e75d8ee529407/tumblr_ni72rrYAY71s2kttoo1_500.png
Colored in the flats, I did add a notebook for extra sensual™
http://24.media.tumblr.com/8791fbee3a92f25d889f88f153056aea/tumblr_niiolxwzcx1s2kttoo1_500.png


And finally, after the art was (mostly) done, I shoved the images into a custom printing service just to see how it would look and I sort of ended up regretting my decision a bit here haha
http://40.media.tumblr.com/09cd8fab7c5ff76b39ef45abf545048c/tumblr_niioz182Pc1s2kttoo1_400.png
Of course, I did add shading and sheet wrinkles and some extra fancy schmancy art magic to jazz it up a bit before submitting the order.

And finally, after ordering it, I received it sometime late February. I didn't actually have a pillow for the cover, and didn't end up getting one until half a year later which made me wonder why I thought it was a good idea buying it pffft.

The unadulterated covers I received about a year ago:
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http://24.media.tumblr.com/2e0052ffafce15ef166dc9bd15de49cf/tumblr_inline_nm426xAWDV1r307jh_500.jpg
http://24.media.tumblr.com/a7ed5f79ea5aa74e2ad38cc0a26447b7/tumblr_inline_nm420vj1wj1r307jh_500.jpg


The dakimakura now (pictures taken today):
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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CcLTce-UAAABW2S.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CcLTdN3UYAUmMl7.jpg


If anyone is interested in making their own dakimakura, I'll talk a bit about how I got it done.

So basically there's a site called ArtsCow (I do recommend it, it's a nice site and I have ordered other custom items from the site after making my dakimakura) and they offered a custom printed "body pillow." Of course, someone on tumblr found it and people started en masse making their dakimakuras and now on the ArtsCow website it's even listed as a dakimakura.
See for yourself.
Two sided version also.
The basic gist here is that you take the ideal image size (in pixels [W * H] :6000x2100 or Higher) and make sure it has a decent enough resolution (at least 300dpi for god's sake). When I started drawing my dakimakuras, it was actually as a joke so my own dakimakuras were not the ideal image size. Ordering and buying it was actually an afterthought believe it or not.

It's sort of weird having a dakimakura, because it's just a huge red flag of "you're a huge weeaboo and everyone is going to judge you harshly" and I know I am judged VERY HARD for owning this but I still like having it on my bed even if I don't actually hug it that often.
One might say it's kind of narcissistic to have a body pillow of your own art, but something about it still makes me happy especially since even now a year after I drew it I'm still very proud of it!

If you're interested in seeing the full art of my dakimakura, you can see it on my pixiv here.
That's my story here, and I'm just sort of reminiscing on my 1st anniversary with this dakimakura I made. Thank you for reading this dumb thing.

View more // Comments (24)

01 year agoKosuraKosura
Kazkari (1 year ago) #6987904Are you good at copying?
Just alot of what you said rings true to myself. I can/could copy well.... I think I probably gave up along time before you though. I stopped drawling seriously when I was about 14 most likely, I kept getting asked stupid questions like why are you drawing those cartoons (stuff like Pokemon ect) when everyone else was looking at "sexy" actors/singers/anything that was popular.
I remember all I could do was copy I could never put any soul into anything I did on my own so it always turned out crap..... I just felt I'd never make progress so I gave up aswell as those idiots bothering me.
I think you should continue if you enjoy it though, I hope you can do some of your own work eventually, I'd like to see someone succeed in a way I didn't.


I used to be good at copying but even that is something I fail at now.

People never really bothered me because I was drawing. Most of them found it quite amazing what I could do. Most of my time in school was spent drawing or sleeping, because most of the classes were to simple. I never learned or anything and got trough school flawlessly. But there's the problem as I said, I'm good at everything I start but I don't get better, in most cases I get worse. And the more effort I put into it the worse it gets.

I used to really like drawing but it became so frustrating that whenever I really feel like I want to draw it just changes instantly to frustration just because I can't even think of what to draw :(

I never really cared for actors or anything either. I barely know any, only those that get named over and over again and even then I only know the name, no face or anything like that XD
01 year agoUntramenUntramen
Kazkari (1 year ago) #6987901I've seen Artscow, I've seen some good stuff on there but do they undervalue their items? I tried emailing them but I'm not sure their customer service understood my question. But anyway since the thing I want is abit ehhhh.... Its abit of a risk getting it caught in customs aswell as I think its stupid paying them for their shit service.
Anyway its nice to know how it works from a seller/creators perspective. How long does it take you to draw a full body in detail and what tools do you use? Is it just Photoshop? How do you keep the proportions accurate since you wont be able to see everything at once aswell?

Ok I have no idea what you are asking for undervaluing items. I'm a cheapskate and usually wait for sales and free shipping before I even bother ordering, so to be told that they're undervaluing their items confuses me. I mean cheaper is nicer in general isn't it? And ArtsCow has plenty of sales and free item credits and I've ordered about 5 items from them in the past year. I never had to deal with customer service since I just send in my order and then wait patiently. I don't really know anything about their supposed "shit service" but if you dislike them so much I'll tell you now that there are other alternatives to that site if it really bothers you so much.

And in regards to drawing proportions, it just is something you have to practice and learn to draw properly. Proportions are most important during the sketch and first line art phase, and you can fix it as you go along. And for the tools I use I use Paint Tool SAI. I have tried using Photoshop to illustrate and oh god it's so bad. Please don't use Photoshop as your primary art program, it's more trouble than it's worth.
And I can't quite give you a good estimate for how long it takes to draw a full body. I was hit with inspiration at the time so it took me about 3-4 days (school days, mind you) for me to complete it to the flat colors stage. I did a lot of post editing before submitting my order though




Also I have no idea why people are sharing their art quitting journeys here. I mean what can I even say aside from I wish you guys didn't give up and kept at it but hey, whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
01 year agoKazkariKazkari
Kosura (1 year ago) #6987628ship

Are you good at copying?

Just alot of what you said rings true to myself. I can/could copy well.... I think I probably gave up along time before you though. I stopped drawling seriously when I was about 14 most likely, I kept getting asked stupid questions like why are you drawing those cartoons (stuff like Pokemon ect) when everyone else was looking at "sexy" actors/singers/anything that was popular.

I remember all I could do was copy I could never put any soul into anything I did on my own so it always turned out crap..... I just felt I'd never make progress so I gave up aswell as those idiots bothering me.

I think you should continue if you enjoy it though, I hope you can do some of your own work eventually, I'd like to see someone succeed in a way I didn't.
01 year agoKazkariKazkari
I've seen Artscow, I've seen some good stuff on there but do they undervalue their items? I tried emailing them but I'm not sure their customer service understood my question. But anyway since the thing I want is abit ehhhh.... Its abit of a risk getting it caught in customs aswell as I think its stupid paying them for their shit service.

Anyway its nice to know how it works from a seller/creators perspective. How long does it take you to draw a full body in detail and what tools do you use? Is it just Photoshop? How do you keep the proportions accurate since you wont be able to see everything at once aswell?
11 year agoKosuraKosura
weeaboo means something different to me ...
people blabbering out that little of japanese they know just from watching anime in between english or their native tongue.

That aside. I've thought about it myself because I couldn't find anything from certain characters that I wanted something of as well as something from my own character. I wanted to have a nice wallscroll from my lil Alice but it only took me a few seconds to realize that ... I can't draw for shizzle. I've been drawing for years (16-17 years to be exact) but every time I pick up a pencil it starts out good but the more I draw the worse I get which just demotivates me and makes me feel like crap. After all these years I'm still unable to really draw something out of nothing. I can't just make something up or even if it exists I can't create something from my own (a different pose and what not).

It goes with everything I do. I'm good at everything (figure of speaking) but the more time I put into a specific thing the worse I get at it, idk why it is like that but it is. It gets worse and worse up until the point that it just doesn't move anymore, it freezes, it's as if I just can't anymore.
01 year agoUntramenUntramen
Magitrash (1 year ago) #6962688T-Thank you for sharing this. I'll likely be commissioning someone for art in the future to have one of these made(w their permission of course.)
Good luck! I'm glad that my own custom daki experience is inspiring others to do the same haha.
01 year agoUntramenUntramen
Vat (1 year ago) #6962709Cute drawing of Miki, I don't see much love for her compared to other vocaloids. I actually looked to see if she had any figures and was disappointed lol :/
I would so make my own dakimakura one day once I'm a competent enough artist, none of my favorite characters are popular enough for me to hope someone else does one

The main reason I had to step up my game and draw my own LOL.
I mean when it comes to drawing something you're satisfied with it takes a lot of time to get it to a level you're comfortable with and I wish you luck if you do decide to try drawing one! Poses are hard! Ask a friend to pose like one of your French girls as reference, that's what worked out for me pfft.
01 year agoVatVat
Cute drawing of Miki, I don't see much love for her compared to other vocaloids. I actually looked to see if she had any figures and was disappointed lol :/
I would so make my own dakimakura one day once I'm a competent enough artist, none of my favorite characters are popular enough for me to hope someone else does one
01 year agoMagitrashMagitrash
T-Thank you for sharing this. I'll likely be commissioning someone for art in the future to have one of these made(w their permission of course.)
11 year ago (1 year ago)UntramenUntramen
Rueleer (1 year ago) #6961672Thank you for sharing this~!!!
I've wanted a daki for so long, but it is almost impossible for me to find one I like pre-made since
1. I prefer bishonen and there is a severe lack of bishie dakis and
2. The ones I can find are either super NSFW or not to a style/pose I like.
As long as I make sure not to stuff up on the drawing (no one to blame but myself if I did hahaha), I can display it proudly on my bed then. qwq
It makes for an even better conversation starter than a normal daki! I may end up with 4 daki covers now because of you.

No problem and thank you!
I agree there is a severe lack of good dakimakura designs (unofficial or official) of specific characters if there were any at all of that character. Sometimes you gotta fill in the void yourself haha.

And omg 4 daki covers may be a little overkill. But I actually was going to make another someday despite only having one pillow, so if you do end up making more than one daki, share with me some display options that don't require me to have my bed taken over by body pillows!

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