In November 2014, we launched our first drawing contest. We wanted to give everyone a chance to win so we hosted two separate contest: One for beginners and one for experienced artists.
Vivian Z. was the winner of our 2014 Beginner contest and we were thrilled!
Her style impacted us. It was bold, powerful and innovative.
It has been over a year later and we wanted to catch up with her, so Naomi-chan sat down with Vivian Z. to find out exclusively how she came to be the artist she is now.
Naomi Husband: Feel free to introduce yourself!
Vivian Z.: Minna, Ohayo gozaimasu! Hello everyone! My name is Vivi Z. Most of the people know me by my nickname Eirlys in Twitter. I’m 17 years old and I’m from Greece. I’m working currently on my first book called ‘Mesochronos’ and also on my manga ‘Eye for an Eye’ (Me ni wa me wo)! I wouldn’t thought of call myself an author or a mangaka but as someone who wants to be one, here I am. It’s a pleasure to meeting you!
Naomi Husband: It’s a pleasure to have you. Being a mangaka means different things for different people but at the end, it comes down to how you bring your unique personality to your work. What do you do in your free time? Any Hobbies?
Vivian Z.: Well, I don’t have main hobbies because I have many! I like playing volleyball, ping pong, chess (though I’m a begginer :/), reading books, writing, learning languages (without forgetting my own XD), watching anime, movies and series (haha, almost everyday) and I also love photography!
Naomi Husband: That’s a lot of hobbies! (Laughs). But I guess that’s where inspiration comes. Talking about inspirations, who are the artists that have inspired you in your drawings?
Vivian Z.: Mmm, if I think about all of them I cannot count them. ^^ I love many works of different artists. For example I love writers from King to Fisher and of course more! About manga artists I love them all! They all doing such a great and splendin work! I wish I can be one day just like them. The mangakas that have inspired me most are Mashashi Kisimoto, Tite Kubo, Hiro Mashima, Hajime Isayama, Nakaba Suzuki, Iwaaki Hitoshi, Mizuho Kusanagi, Norihiro Yagi, Toboso Yana, Tsugumi Ohba, Takahiro, Akira Toriyama, and lots more!
Naomi Husband: That’s an exciting list of artists to be inspired from! What made you decide to become a manga artist?
Vivian Z.: Good question! Well, to tell you the truth it all started from anime. (It’s the same as my book. It all started from movies XD). Since I started to watch anime, I couldn’t stop! One day without anime was like a nightmare. So, I said once to myself, “I want to make an anime”. When I realized that this was kind of difficult I thought of manga. I love writing and drawing and I thought that if I am lucky maybe one day my manga can be an anime! I wish that dream becomes a reality.
Naomi Husband: And I wish you the best of lucks! The drawings you submitted in The Mangaka In You contest back in 2014 were promising! I would have never thought of using actual fire because it such an unpredictable element! A lot of artists when drawing, wonder what to draw or how to finish their drawings. Tell me about your creative process: is it spontaneous, do you look for inspirations? Do you keep a log of drawings you have planned to do?
Vivian Z.: I think about it first. I have it in my mind. What I want to draw, what colors should I put, etc. And I try to get inspired from my life and from almost everything! Because if you look around you very close and very well, you will be even able to write a whole book!
Naomi Husband: One of the drawings you submitted, had a unique angle. What are your drawing techniques? Do you care about perspective? Do you draw with a pencil and build from there?
Vivian Z. : To tell you the truth again, I don’t have any techniques. I just draw. I care of course about perspective. The only technique that I can say that I use is shadowing. And yes I draw with a pencil and built from there.
Naomi Husband: Once the drawing is done, how do you decide to color your drawing?
Vivian Z. : I always have the picture in my head with colors. So to find what colors I should put is easy. I prefer to color by hand with whatever I have, but for the manga I color from my tablet.
Naomi Husband: Please, tell me about your drawing on fire. Very Unique! How did you think of that?
Vivian Z.: (laughs) Thank you very much for your nice words! :D Well, actually I wanted to make something more “Wow”, and not just a simple drawing. I thought about fire, from one drawing I saw on Internet where Natsu’s hand (from Fairy Tail) was on fire! It was awesome! Also I wanted to charcoal another painting but I haven’t done that yet.
Naomi Husband: If you could give a drawing advice to people who are afraid to submit their drawings for competition, what would you say?
Vivian Z.: Well, I would and I will say one thing: Do not be afraid! It’s not something bad! Many people (including myself), we say: “I draw awful!”, “Drawing is not my style!”, “ I can’t draw!”. This IS wrong! Everyone CAN draw! Everyone has the skills. You just have to improve them. You just have to give yourself time and learn to draw and improve. Nothing is impossible!
To follow Vivian Z. in her future adventures, follow her on twitter @Eirlysl \(^o^)/