back to top
  /    /  HIRUNA



Meet manga artist and illustrator from Bangkok, Nattanicha Krachangwong aka HIRUNA



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I am HIRUNA, Freelance illustrator, novel cover designer, and manga artist based in Bangkok, Thailand. This year I will be 25 years old. I graduated with a degree in Visual Communication Design.  I’m interested in beauty, fashion and vintage aesthetic.  My art is inspired by Shojo manga, so I love to express the story with my perspective.


Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I was born and live in Bangkok where it is sunny all year and surrounded by famous food. Bangkok is a modern city, vibrant and lively but also has a historical vibe. On the other hand, I call it the city of contrast which you can see from buildings, surroundings, and inequality. When you look up, you will see beautiful architecture but the electricity poles will also cover your view. When you look on the ground, the footpath is an obstacle for all people who use it. Because of the intensity of light, it creates contrast on photos.

However, this is also the center of everything. It is more convenient here and there are more creative spaces than other areas in Thailand. Moreover, there are a lot of beautiful and aesthetic places here such as cafes, temples, the Palace, and old buildings that will bring you to the past. It’s quite enjoyable for traveling all day and all night if you don’t mind the traffic jam.


The best thing here is food. You can find tasty food easily here.


What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing here is food. You can find tasty food easily here. Thai milk tea is my favorite one, It’s called Cha-yen. The worst thing is the quality of life, high living cost, and transportation cost compared to our wage. It’s quite dangerous sometimes, for example, there are holes on the footpath and mistakes from construction that is the government’s responsibility which ruined people’s lives. Moreover, everything turns disastrous when it’s raining and flooding.


Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.





How did you start your career in art?

When I was young I fell in love with manga and illustration. I took a lot of contests since I was in primary school and got rewards from it. I wanted to be a manga artist since was 15 years old, I sent my 4 koma to Manga Magazine in Thailand and it got published. It was a very grateful moment and I thought as a kid that maybe my dream can become reality in one day.

I started to receive commissions from my friends for about $5 to $10 each when I was 16 and got a bigger job. It was a 2 vol. manga series based on a novel. It’s only $10 per page including colouring at that time. I did it with my friend for a year and a half. In the last year of high school, I went to art school to learn more art and design on the weekends before entering art university. When I was the first year in Silpakorn University, I worked for Comico and created my first manhua series with my friends and ended up with 38 chapters. It’s a very hard time for me at that age to do both things like making weekly online mahua and studying. After that, I started novel cover jobs and other illustration works instead. I had a lot of experience for many years until now. I have done a hundred cover illustrations I guess. I changed my mind so many times about my life goals because my experiences and my interests changed as I grew up. But it’s still in the art area.


When I was young I fell in love with manga and illustration.


Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

My family has always supported me since I was young, They never say that I can’t be what I want. Just do what I’m really interested in. But If I choose to do it, then I need to be serious.


What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I have been making a lot of commercial art for several years. Mostly they rely on my client’s brief. So I need to do art for myself and express more passion for myself.


I need to do art for myself and express more passion for myself.


If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

I would like to collaborate with Vivienne Westwood.


How would you describe the women around you?

I would tell you that there are creative working women around me. They have so much patience and they deserve all the respect.


I would tell you that there are creative working women around me. They have so much patience and they deserve all the respect.


Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

I looked up to them since I was young, They are so inspiring. VipadaVicmonCotton ValentIse Anan, Kaz, KanapyStechaUntitled29, and many more who never give up on their dreams.


Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I’m not sure because I never worked in a studio or got a permanent job. Thailand is not a country that supports art and I realized that female artists are not getting promoted easily. Most people in my country know male artists. But nowadays the gap between males and females is decreasing. Local people here know more female artist’s names because young people spend a lot of time on the internet, and they are interested in art. They start collecting art. Many talented female artists promote themselves by using hashtags.


Being an artist requires a lot of patience.


Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Being an artist is not easy. An artist is not just someone who was born gifted. Being an artist requires a lot of patience. Art is a medium to express your perspective. It comes from experience, experimentation, and your taste. No matter where you live, you can be an artist one day if you don’t give up.

Moreover, self-promoting is important for freelance artists. To get a job you should not wait for someone to come to see your portfolio and hire you, you need to promote yourself. You can use a hashtag on social media and update your work frequently.


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to pop, folk, alternative and rock music, it relies on my feelings.


What’s your favorite local food spot?

There are many spots you should go to in Bangkok. The first one is China town and street food. And you can follow the direction of BTS Sky train, Such as Ari, Siam, Thonglor, Or MRT Phra Ram 9, Hua lam pong, Wat Mangkorn.


What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

If you are a Freelancer, How can you manage your work-life balance?



Photos courtesy of HIRUNA