The Power of Love

Love is a powerful thing. More than a well-drawn manga, more than perfectly colored pages, what readers want; what readers crave is for a breath-taking love story that can make them fly away like cherry blossom petals.
And a Mangaka knows that.

Today, on Valentine’s Day, take a moment to reflect. Have you let your characters in your manga love who they want to love, or have you told them who to love?
Remember how it felt to love someone one. To miss them. To wish they were right there when you needed them the most. And maybe that person came and hug you. Feel that hug again and tell me if your manga has the same heart-throbbing moment. Maybe no one came and you ended up building shields around you to make sure you never believed in love again only to meet someone whom you couldn’t stop thinking about.
Feel that turmoil; that internal battle of control VS. fear. Love VS. rejection. Of yourself VS. the unknown and translate that into your work. Because if love is one of the main ingredients for a manga success, then you owe it to your readers to take them into the journey you know you are capable of.

Likewise, another great way to reflect on love and your work is by revisiting those Mangas that inspired you to be a mangaka in the first place. How did they create those powerful scenes? Was it a kiss? An argument that ended up in either character crying? A break-up?
What theme did the Mangaka explored? Betrayal? Deception? Second Chances? Love at First sight?
What an artists chooses to add or leave out in a scene is just as important so pay attention to that, too.

Last but not least, remember that romantic love is not the only love a manga has. A manga character loves many things. Friends, coworkers, classmates, places that means to them, family, their hobbies, their work, maybe they love a new pair of shoes they just bought, their diaries, tea, the list is endless.

Today, in Valentine’s day, I want to say: Thank you ^^ Thank you for all of your emails detailing me of how my posts help you. Thank you for commenting on my articles. Thank you for following The Mangaka in you in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and for liking our post.

You want to know a secret? You guys are my valentine! \(^o^)/

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone :D
Screenshot (122)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This drawing was inspired by all of you ^^

Have a post idea you think I should cover? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I will do my best to bring you my findings ^o^

Become a Better Manga artist- 10 Things you can do

Become a Better Manga Artist is the next step you should take after you master the manga drawing basics. Print this list, share it, bookmark it, or past it on your wall next to your desk. Whatever you do, make sure you cross them all out after you conquer them!

  1. Learn other drawing styles. Though your main goal is to become a better manga artist, learning and being able to draw other styles will broaden your skills and bring a new twist to your manga drawing. There are a lot of styles involved in the most successful mangas. Skip beat and One piece are just a few of them.
  2. Imitate at least one published mangaka. Imitating a published artist is important because it will teach you to draw in different styles. There is a beauty that can not be described when you are finally able to recreate a drawing done by someone who is already published in the industry. But this should be done for practicing purposes. I wouldn’t recommend you post or sale this drawing because, in the end, you are exploring. Only showcase what you feel confident to the world and what truly represents you as an artists. Anything else should be stored for your eyes only.
  3. Set yourself a deadline. This is fun and will keep you focus on your goal on becoming a better manga. Give yourself a month to come up and produce a one-shot story. Do this for at least three or four months. Then, push yourself to produce a one-shot story in three weeks now. Then in two. Then one. Repeat this over and over until you learn the fats and thins on what it takes to come up with a complete drawn and developed story. In a blink of months you will have a file full of finished stories. Who then, can turn and tell you you are not serious about drawing manga?
  4. Time yourself when you draw. Personally, I never thought about this. But in an interview I watched from Japan, a former mangaka said that when he is interviewing potential assistants, or when a publisher interviews a potential mangaka, two questions will be primarily asked: Show me some of your drawings and how long did it take you to draw each one of them.
    This interview was a realization. I needed to start timing myself to know how long did it take me to draw. I don’t think publishers ask you because they are only looking for the faster artist. Speed is important, that’s for sure, but I think that the publisher’s main goal is to know how long does it take you to produce a drawing. This will let the publisher know when to expect your finish work, so don’t lie when you are asked these questions. But now you know, time yourself.
  5. Know how to structure a story. Set yourself a whole Saturday (or whatever off day you have) and take notes of how the stories are played out as you read manga. It’s not rocket science, but it is important. Once you study at least four of your favorite manga, summarize your findings and keep this on your desk or make this the cover of your notebook. Use this summary as a compass to drive your story to success.
  6. Have a business card! In Japan, it is a custom that anyone in any kind of business owns a business card with their name, contact information (company information if applicable) and a description of who they are. This is both professional and smart. Imagine you are visiting New York, or any other major city, and you find out the person sitting next to you is someone who could potentially further you in you manga drawing career? Wouldn’t you want to have a business card that had your website in it in case you and this person started chatting about drawing? I bet you would! So, whenever you can, get yourself a business card with the most important information. And if you want to be even on a safer side, find a way to get a Japanese business card written in Japanese. Of course, you wouldn’t want to buy five hundred Japanese business card, but do get yourself at least one hundred if you can.
  7. Draw at least 500 different pages. It could be the same story, it could be many stories. But if you are serious about becoming a manga artist, then you should spend a good time drawing. Coming up with 500 complete drawings should not be done in one month. This should be done as a learning process and you will realize how far you have come when you compare your first drawing to your 500th. Five hundred drawings seems crazy, but there are many benefits from doing this: Not only will you be able to come up with faster drawings, but you will also have a portfolio. Lines will become more natural, poses and buildings you never thought you could draw, will be second nature. Just set your 500 goal, and go for it. Make sure you draw the characters in different scenarios, different time periods, and so on. Take these 500 chances to practice to challenge yourself to draw what you thought impossible.
  8. Come up with a set of main characters. The author and artist of Skip Beat confessed that Kyoko, the main character in her Skip Beat Manga, was a character she thought of since her teen years. Over time, this character went through several transformations and now Kyoko sits in the front sections of the Shojo Manga shelf. You could have one, two, or even five main characters. Draw them, get to know them and stick with them. By the time you are ready to jump into a story, any of these main characters can be the hero or heroine of your story.
  9. Come up with something that makes your stories or drawings unique. Ikeyamada Go is a well known manga artist in Japan. But at least three of his most successful stories talk about second loves and how can a character find through love after experiencing the lost of the first one. Not only does Ikeyamada Go writes stories with similar themes, but he also makes some of his character look similar to previous works. It has gotten to the point that I don’t need to see Ikeyamada’s name in his book. With only a glimpse of his characters, I can tell it’s him.
    You, too, should have something that makes your drawing unique. It could be a theme that means a lot to you, or a certain character you draw and redraw in similar ways over and over again. Whatever you decide, stick with it so when your readers find your work, then can recognize you even when they haven’t seen your name in the book yet.
  10. Believe in yourself. Though this is something you as an artist hear quite often, it’s almost impossible to remember how important this is. Belief in your skills, in your dreams and in your intuitions. I believe in Skip Beat, Inuyasha, Dragon Ball Z and many other mangas but only because at least one person believed in them first: their creators.

How to draw a manga couple

Konnichi-wa!!! \(^o^)/
Here is how to draw a manga couple step by step:

Today I finished drawing and painting a manga couple!!!! It took time to draw (too long in my opinion, but not because it was hard but because I draw like a snail ^^) and here is how I did it so you can also draw yours!!!!!
I mean, don’t we all love those scenes that makes your hear beat???!!!!

Okay, so first, you need “the skeleton” of your drawing. Meaning a rough sketch of your manga characters.

Manga couple

 

To me, the most magical thing about a Manga couple are their faces and that’s where I like to start.
To give it a more dimensional look, instead of wanting to draw them “flat” on the screen, I decided to drew this scene in an angle. Something you should practice a lot to understand the way shapes behave when the stand on their sides ^^

To differentiate the characters as I drew, I used different colored pencils.

 

Manga couple part 2

 

 

At this point, you can start having a little bit of fun. Decide how would you like their clothes to look like. Also, how old they are? Who they are? those are questions that can get you inspire of where your drawing is taking you.
Also, when I draw, I like to draw things simultaneously. So, instead of working with the guy first and then the girl, I try to keep drawing them at the same time. This gives me time to think about these two characters and constantly compare the chemistry between them.
Yes!!!! Chemistry ^^

 

 

Manga Couple part 3

 

 

 

 

 

So, at first I wanted to draw her with this romantic laced dress but then I noticed how casual he looked and decided to make them both look casual. I threw the idea of drawing a skirt too. I don’t know, sometimes a good pair of jeans can hold you just fine :)

 

Manga Couple part 4

 

After finishing with the rough sketch, I went ahead and started inking. By now, if you have seen my previous posts, I love to ink almost instantly. I don’t know. I just love to get the inking process out of the way!!!!
I always wonder which inking style best suits certain drawings. In the picture above you can see how the girl’s body is lightly inked and the guy has bolder inking lines.

I stopped for a moment to decide which inking style I was going to use. At this point, is good to know if you are going to color your drawings or not or if you are going to use screen tones instead.
I decided that I was going to use screen tones this time, so I ended up inking my drawings with a thinner pen.

 

Manga Couple part 5

 

 

 

Hint 1: Notice how I haven’t bothered with the hands yet. Since drawings hands is complex, I always leave them for last. Dunno, it just puts me at ease to know that I can go back to it later.

Hint 2: Drawing the details, meaning the eyes and other things, can come later. The main thing is to get your inking done. This will help you visualize how bolder the details need to be.

 

 

Manga Couple part 6

 

 

 

Once my basic inking was done, I started to draw a few shadows here and there with my ink pen. Did you notice that they finally have hands????? ^^
Also, I know that drawing a manga girl with jeans in this position can be tricky. You don’t want to make her proportions look too big or too flat. I suggest you go with your instincts.  I drew her pants a couple of times until I felt they looked cute but not exaggerated since I wasn’t going for it. If you choose to draw a girl wearing the skirt, then don’t forget to add extra shadows on it to show that there is actually a body underneath that skirt ^-^

Hint: Please please please have fun being a designer for your character’s. Don’t forget that no one likes to dress with simple clothes and so neither should your characters. Even if you want to draw their clothes simple, add a form to their clothes so they look more realistic :)

 

Manga Couple part 7
And here they are with screen tones!!!
I love how they looked ^o^
It was a moment where I patted myself on the shoulder and almost ran to the kitchen to eat my everything in the fridge as a celebration!!!
But I paused myself   ._.
I had to. I wasn’t done :)

When you use screen tones, you can use different ones depending on what you are coloring. For clothes, if you have more than two people in the drawing, you can repeat the same screen tone for, let’s say, one screen tone for all the jackets another one for all of the jeans and so on.
Since it’s just the two of them in here, I decided to use different screen tones for each of their pieces (if you enlarge this photo you can actually have a closer look and discover them).
Certain pieces should remain white, just to give a little bit of variety.

And here is the final look of our manga couple!!! :

Ryan, a middle school student, always had a crush on his classmate Mary, but he was too shy. He comforted himself by looking at her from a safe distance. His parents, however, were forced to move south, and he transferred schools without ever working up the courage to tell Mary his feelings….
High school came and, after moving back to his old town, he realizes that not only does he still likes Mary but that he actually likes her personality the most, more than her looks, more than anything, he likes her. And seeing her makes his heart ache.
One day, without wanting to, he overhears Mary telling her bestfriend that she has always liked Ryan, even after he switched schools, but that she believes he is out of her reach now because he has become the popular guy at school and surely he must like prettier girls.
Not believing his ears, but not willing to let Mary slip from him any further, he rushes out of his hiding place and spins Mary around until she falls in his arms.
This time he will tell her how he feels and will convince Mary that, beside her own fears, that she can’t really live without him too ^o^

 

By

Naomi Husband

Ganbatte!!!  \(^o^)/

Manga Couple part 8