Article Credit: Freelance writer Jane Francis
Manga is more popular than ever nowadays and this fascinating culture originated in Japan. While it may be possible to succeed as a Manga artist without a deep understanding of Japanese culture and language, doing so will be challenging. There is one Swedish Manga artist, Asa Ekstrom, who is doing well in this niche, but she spends plenty of time in Japan, and you may want to do the same. This guide will help you to understand what’s really involved when it comes to taking the Manga world by storm.
Do you speak and write in Japanese?
If the answer is “no”, you should strongly consider learning to speak the language. The language will unlock so many aspects of Japanese culture. Living in Japan for a while, or long-term, will probably be the most effective way to learn, but that’s not possible for everyone. If you can’t live and study in Japan, take Japanese language classes online or offline, and read plenty of books about the Japanese language and culture. Some books may be available in bookstores, libraries, or comic shops, but another option is choosing to have books about the Japanese way of life sent to you regularly, via a subscription box service. This is a convenient way to access reading material which may also be cost-effective.
Another idea might be paying a person who lives in Japan to do Skype video chats with you and help you to become comfortable with conversational Japanese. Learning a language can take a long time. It’s a true commitment, and not everyone is up to it. However, people who live and breathe Manga (and you may be among their ranks) are very involved with Japanese culture, including the language.
Discover the most celebrated Manga works
Aside from learning Japanese, you’ll need to know which Japanese Manga artists are legends and why. While taste is subjective, there are some celebrated Manga artists that almost everyone loves. They are widely considered to be geniuses at their craft. Hirohiko Araki, Sui Ishida and Kentaro Miura are all excellent Japanese Manga artists, but they aren’t the only ones who have made a big impact in this niche.
You probably love reading Manga, anyway, so performing additional research about truly great artists from Japan shouldn’t be a big chore. It may actually be a pleasure. Look at how these artists draw. Can you mimic their style? This is what you should aim to do.
Try to emulate the best Japanese Manga artists
You probably don’t need to be told that drawing well is essential and that art must suit the Japanese Manga style. Anything that you can do to refine your drawing skills to fit this ideal will be important. Some people are born with incredible art talent, while others have less natural talent, but more drive to learn. Both types of people can succeed in Manga. However, trying to be a Manga artist with little artistic talent or drive may not be a wise course of action.
When you try to copy the outlines, shading styles, anatomical elements, facial expressions, and other details in pivotal Manga by great Japanese artists, you’ll refine your art ability and gain valuable drawing experience. Once you’ve mastered the traditional Manga style of artwork, you may begin to express your own style a bit, but figure out the basics first. Look at Japanese Manga instructional videos online. You won’t need to understand the language perfectly to see how Japanese artists draw. It will all be mapped out on video, plus, platforms like YouTube often provide closed captions in English.
Now that you know how to become a success in Manga, you’ll be ready to unleash your creativity. It all starts with embracing Japan’s culture, language, and Manga legends.