Qatar-Based Filipino Artist Recalls Painting Anime Backgrounds For Billie Eilish’s ‘My Future’

Genesis Magat during the process of creating backgrounds for the official music video for Billie Eilish’s “My Future.”

Doha: Enter the world of lively places created by Genesis Magat, a Filipino artist based in Qatar! In striking colors and vivid detail, Genesis paints landscapes and backgrounds that encapsulate the full feel of an anime world.

What was just a hobby and respite from the daily demands of life, painting anime backgrounds, led to one of the biggest turning points in his life.

Genesis Magat is among the artists who produced the sets for the official music video for “My Future,” the title track from Billie Eilish’s second studio album, “Happier Than Ever.” Almost all of the backgrounds that appeared in the music video animation are created by him, such as the background of the well-known scene of Billie looking at the moonlight.

A screenshot from Billie Eilish’s “My Future” music video shows the background directed by Genesis Magat.

The hit single and video hit the two-year milestone on July 30 and has garnered over 100 million views on YouTube. To this day, new comments are still pouring in as listeners praise the music and enjoy the animation.

Recalling his first impression of the project, he said, “One day this Australian director left me a message asking if I wanted to work on a project.”

“When I found out what it was for, I was surprised and quickly signed the nondisclosure agreement. My jaw dropped when I found out it was for Billie Eilish. It was great opportunity to work with different artists from other places,” he said. added.

Genesis Magat hails from Laguna, a province of the Philippines. He has been residing in Qatar with his family since 2003. When it comes to creating artwork and sharing it online, he calls himself “Anime Background Junkie”.

His interest in painting anime backgrounds began in 2004 when he was captivated by the quality of the background paintings of Hayao Miyazaki’s films such as “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”. .

From then on, he endeavored to make his pieces in the style of Studio Ghibli.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio in Tokyo that is best known for its high-quality cinematography and artistry. Her popular works include some of Japan’s highest-grossing films, including the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle”, and “Princess Mononoke”.

Genesis also started its own YouTube channel due to many inquiries about its painting process. “Most of the uploaded videos teach what tools are needed to get the look and feel of Ghibli,” he said.

Talk to The peninsula about his creative process, the Filipino artist revealed that he started by taking photos of places he had been and using them as a reference. On average, a landscape work would take him 6 to 8 hours to complete. His longest work by far was a work he started in August last year and finished in April this year.

Although the locations of his paintings may seem to step into the fictional world of anime, his works of ancestral homes in the Philippines have a greater meaning. As modern architecture takes more root in his country, Genesis wishes to preserve heritage homes in decline through his paintings.

“The only thing I can help keep the culture alive is to draw the houses that were destroyed in their original form,” he said.


A painting inspired by ancestral homes in the Philippines

He also aspires to do the same for traditional houses in Qatar as he is currently researching references to use.

Looking back, the Filipino artist revealed he’s learned a lot since working collaboratively in Billie Eilish’s music video for “My Future.”

He said, “I learned how to improve my paintings. If I feel I will have difficulty accomplishing it, I accept it more as a challenge.”

“No matter how complex the illustration, no matter how long it takes, when I’m done I’ll look at the whole picture and ask myself, did I do this?” he added.

Genesis also advised the same for beginners: “It is important to draw what comes to your imagination! Hone your talent, read books and try to notice everything around you to inspire you.”


An illustration of an old window in Qatar.

Speaking this time of “his future”, Genesis Magat embarked on a personal project to produce an animation that he had already submitted to the Cultural Center of the Philippines last August, which unfortunately was not selected.

“…the work that I had to do to prepare this project, such as the scenario, the storyboard and the character sheets, was not in vain, because I will continue this as a personal project”, he said. he declares.

In doing so, Genesis also delights in illustrating the old houses of Qatar.

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