From action-packed films to posters; from books to novels, manga has become a force to contend with, with print sensations like Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan surpassing 50 million copies worldwide. There is something particularly attractive about this art form, known for strong visuals and storylines, and a style of drawing that is so descriptive, you can enjoy it regardless of whether or not you speak the language it’s written in. If you are a budding artist and you think you’d like to break into the manga illustration industry, read on to discover just a few tips that may be useful.
Honing Your Technique
There are many aspects that make manga art unique – apart from the fact that readers start on the right-hand side of the page and make their way to the left. Manga characters show emotions intensely, facial proportions are different, and fashion is a key element of getting a character right. If you’re studying art at university or college, then you may have had the opportunity to enroll in a specialized manga course. However, if you’re working or studying another field full-time and you would like to train part-time in manga drawing, there are many online schools that will teach you the fundamentals, including core skills, Japanese anime, popular poses and software such as DesignDoll, which will enable you to recreate various key poses. Just a couple of sites you might look into to find out what fits your level and aims the best are Manga Art School and Beginner Moho Pro/Anime Studio 2D Illustration-Animation.
When Accessibility Is A Priority
If you have a disability and are completing a course online, then a website with disability-friendly features will help remove obstacles. Depending on your disability, different features will be necessary. For instance, those who have hearing impairments benefit from sites offering video content with subtitles, while people with sight-related disabilities benefit from optimal audio, as well as large fonts and user-friendly web pages. The good news about most online courses is that you can go at your own pace, adjusting volume and brightness as required. When selecting a course, you will need to liaise with your schools of choice to see if they can facilitate information in a way you find useful. For instance, if schools can provide you with audio instructions in MP3, you can use digital dictation software like Uniconverter, Bear File Converter or 360Converter to transcribe it into text.
Immersing Yourself In Manga Culture
What makes manga unique is not only the drawings but also the cultural and historical contexts they operate in. Art is an open book, and you can always create a story with characters and scenes that surround you, but if you want to remain faithful to the manga ethos, then you need to discover it by immersing yourself in classic works. There are notable character differences that should be taken into account. For instance, American superheroes tend to retain the same amount of strength throughout their existence. Manga heroes, on the other hand, often grow in strength as time goes on. Japanese manga characters also tend to have a shorter life than American ones do, with series following a natural progression so as to avoid stagnation.
Whether you’re a devoted manga fan or an artist who wishes to specialize in the field, the best place to start is by buying classic, record-selling works like One Piece, Golgo and Dragon Ball. Observe the look of the characters but also their storylines, their speech, and the progression of the narrative. Consider online classes as a way to sharpen your technique, making it a point to learn more about Japanese culture and its most iconic works of literature.
Story submitted by freelance writer, Jane Benson