Yoshitaka Amano, the 56-year-old illustrator of the earliest Final Fantasy video games, says he is afraid of ghosts - not only that, he even saw one recently. 'I live with my wife and her mother,' the Japanese artist explains. 'My mother-in-law was in hospital at the time, but one morning, as I was coming downstairs, I saw her walking into another room. 'Ten minutes later, she came through the front door, and I'm still wondering what it was I saw.' What Amano sees is a question many people will be asking if they view his gorgeous new acrylic and ink paintings, which are on exhibition at Sheung Wan's Art Statements Gallery until October 10. In 2000, Amano became an international household name when he illustrated Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters, part of the highly-acclaimed Sandman graphic novel series. Amano's main character, fashioned after David Bowie, helped the novel win Best Comics-Related Book at the Eisner Awards. Over a career spanning 40 years, Amano says he has arrived at a simple formula for success: know what it is you really want to do, then do it, and don't think so much about what happens a month from now. 'I've seen many colleagues talk about their ideas and dreams, but they didn't work to realise them. People like that eventually disappear,' he says. Amano found his calling at the age of 16, when he was discovered by one of Tokyo's leading animation houses. The young suburban teen from Shizuoka, near Mount Fuji, went to visit his best friend in Tokyo, and the two hobby artists took a couple of sketches to one of the city's leading animation houses, Tatsunoko Production. 'They hired me on the spot,' Amano recalls proudly. His early days in the business were tough, and he had to supplement his income by moving furniture part-time, an experience that only made him more determined to pursue art. More than 40 years on, Amano is doing just that. 'Twenty years ago, there were so many things I wanted to do. Now, I'm focused on a single vision. Realising this vision is the most important thing to me right now, more important than money, more important than what others call success.' Amano is tight-lipped about this grand vision, except to vaguely call it 'big art'. Fans will simply have to wait to view what the artist sees next.