During the month of November, a massive influx of Key fanart has started appearing on Twitter, seemingly out of nowhere. If you follow some Japanese Key artists, then you’ll have surely been bombarded with all the retweets. If you were like me, you’d be wondering what caused this to suddenly happen. Together with some of our forum members, we’ve done some digging and have found the answer. It’s called 「key版深夜の真剣お絵かき60分一本勝負」, or the ‘Late-Night 60-Minute Key Drawing Contest’.
To trace its origins, a Japanese user created software to serve as the basis for these late-night 60-minute drawing contests, and recently a Key-themed bot was created from it: @key_oekaki. The idea is that every day, people will visit this page to suggest and vote for a topic or characters which they want everybody to draw art of. At midnight (tokyo time) each night, the votes are tallied and a new topic is chosen. The next day at 10pm, the bot gives the signal for everybody to tweet their drawings with the hashtag, and until 11pm the bot will retweet all art posted with the hashtag, ready to announce the next topic at midnight. Votes for each topic are cumulative, and topics only disappear if they are chosen, or if at the end of the month they are not among the top-15, requiring users to resubmit them for voting. Recently in November, a bunch of artists started paying attention to it, and right now everybody seems to be drawing art for the contest each night!
As a Key fan myself, I find it pretty amazing to see my twitter feed filled with creative new Key fanart every single night. I have no idea how long people will continue producing art for this, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. The contest is open to everybody, so if you consider yourself an artist, maybe you’d like to consider representing the English-speaking Key fandom and contribute some art of your own! Or even if you don’t draw, there’s nothing stopping you from submitting your vote to get the character or topic of your choice chosen for the night. At the moment, my co-writer and moderator Bizkitdoh is campaigning to get Iwasawa Masami to the top. He nearly succeded tonight, having just lost to Sasami’s Cohort by a few votes. Better luck tomorrow, Biz! Personally, I would love to see some Mutsumi Suginami fanart since hardly any of it exists, so I’m gonna be trying to push her up the list!
We’ll be retweeting our favourite picks of each night on the @KazamatsuriOrg twitter account, so be sure to keep an eye on it! And also, feel free to post some of your favourite new fanart in one of the many fanart topics we have on the forums! It would be great to have an archive of all the best fanart from this event kept safe on the forum for everybody to be able to find in the future.