How to become a manga artist: mangaka

A manga couple colored with screen tones

One day, after reading your favorite manga, you start to wonder if you too can draw your own manga. Then all of sort of questions start to pop up in your mind. What does it take to draw manga? Who can draw manga? Anyone? Can you get paid for your drawings? If so, how much? Overall, has anyone really made a living (if not, a decent amount of money) to draw manga?

I really hope this is the first article you come across when you research “How to become a mangaka” because I myself have read lots of articles. I have followed the manga phenomena for about three years (and counting) now, so, even though I don’t claim to be an expert, I do claim to have learned something a long the way that can hopefully help you too. ^_^

  •     Can anyone become a manga artist?
    Manga artist and her drawing desk

    The answer is yes. According to Jaime, Here is her blog you can. The only thing you have to do is draw a manga and take it to publishers. I should also tell you that Jaime traveled to Japan herself and, in her quest to become a manga artist, she managed to get behind the scenes on what being a manga artist is like! Her blog/website is enjoyably delicious to read. So check her out, too!!

  • Is it really that easy? Well, you should know that the major blooming audience of manga is in Japan. So, learning Japanese might be one of the things you should seriously think about. As far as I know, Japan was the first country to produce Manga-style drawings. And the way it’s published and drawn varies from Western comics techniques such as marvel. In the United States, for example, comics are drawn right to left. In Japan, manga is drawn from left to right. This is just one of the many details you should know.
  • Can you get paid for drawing manga? Absolutely! Once you learn how to draw manga, and once it’s written in Japanese, then of course you will be paid if it gets published!! What I recommend is that you draw a couple of volumes before hand. This will give you a good head start. Because by the time they (the publishers) pressure you for your second manga volume, you can be secretly working on volume ten since you already drew up to volume 9. You meet your deadline and you keep progressing with your story and everyone is happy !! ^_^
  • What’s a volume? If you have the chance, please visit your near (major)bookstores. Here is an example of the volumes for Skip Beat!! Basically a manga volume is a book of at least forty-something drawn pages chronicling the story of your character. Other popular Mangas at the moment are Naruto, Kaichou-Wa Maid Sama and Vampire Knight.
  • Has anyone made a living out of drawing manga? Yes. The manga artists of the mangas above have made money. Lots of it. But I suggest you don’t get too much into “what’s the most anyone has made drawing manga” because, like with anything, there are people who have made millions, to people who have barely made any money.

If you are serious about becoming a manga artist, then give it your all!!! There is no dream you should give up just because the odds are against you. Japan has native artist that will give you a heck of competition. But, if you play your cards right, the fact that you are a foreigner might be to your advantage. I do think is important to learn the Japanese culture and language. I also think is important you find a manga you love and start studying it. Why do you love this particular manga?How does the manga artist drew the scenes? Did the artist include a lot of background details? Was it all abstract? How are the bodies drawn in this manga? Is there a lot of romance? Too much romance? None? How colorful is the manga? Is it black and white? Did the artist use a lot of screen tones? What are screen tones? How many different screen tones there are? These are questions to keep in mind. I advice you to think about this questions and start to write down the answers. I am literally a click away if you have any questions. You can also like my Facebook Page to receive instant notice when I make a new post. Follow TheMangakaInYou in Twitter where I also post new drawing tips.

  • And why have I researched so much about becoming a manga artist? Because I also want to become one. And hopefully, when I get my first manga publish, this website will help others achieve their dreams. Feel free to post any other blog you have found interesting in the comment section!!! Can’t wait to hear from you. \(^o^)/

By Naomi Husband

Ganbatte!!! ^o^

Naomi Husband
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Naomi Husband

Fun facts about me:
-My actual last name is Husband.
-I am obsessed with Cheese ^o^
-Before drawing manga, I studied writing, photography and the art of forgiving.
- I could use some physical activity.
-Although I have always loved dogs, lately a stray furry friend is stealing my heart.
Naomi Husband
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8 thoughts on “How to become a manga artist: mangaka

  1. this was very helpful, I am apart of a drawing community (Spray Can) and never understood why everyone and their dog were drawing Anime (manga) now I get it :) thanks for the explanation

    1. Awww :)
      I am actually glad that this post help you :)
      To be honest, not many people (outside of this website and the community I am part of) knows of my love for Japan and manga so when we sit down to talk, they actually show the same curiosity and frustration? about not fully understanding what manga is :) I also when over about what is manga in the intial part of my Claymore review here:


  2. I hope you fulfill your dream! :)

    You list come really good points (especially working ahead – one can never have too much backup when facing deadlines! >__<')
    And don't forget that not only Japan publishes manga ^^ Many countries have publishers specialised on manga that offer opportunities to local artists! So you can focus on drawing and writing instead of learning Japanese (though if you enjoy languages, give it a go!) I've been published in Germany and am very happy with that :D
    My journey to becoming a Mangaka / Manga artist
    I hope this can inspire you~

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