Hi Jamie! Your blog is really nice! :3 But I actually have a question I want to ask!
I really like drawing and my dream is to become a fullfledged mangaka someday, inspiring people and making a good story. I really want to improve my drawing skills but I have got no idea where to start. When you look up in the internet about how to improve your drawings it says to simply draw everyday. But I don’t really get it… I feel like I don’t make a progress at all when I just simply draw everyday. I have got talent and my drawings are good, but they’re just not good enough… So I just wonder how I can improve.
Do you have any advice? Thank you!
They’re actually right! Draw every day. Draw as much as possible. Copy people and places that you see onto your paper, and you will definitely start to improve. It’s all that practice that will make the most difference!
You can also take life drawing classes, and copy from videos, things like that. Just get a piece of paper, a pencil or some other kind of thing that makes marks on paper, and draw! It doesn’t even matter what it is, really. Anything will help you get practice. They say that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing something to become a master. 🙂
I must say that it was very instructive to read all the things you have learned and experienced to become an mangaka. I recently found out that my ambition for creating my own manga ( and of corse working with manga for living) is bigger than i thought. You are writing about how to become an mangeka, but even if becoming a mangaka is something i also desire to become, is drawing not my greatest potential.
Do you have any knowledge about how to become and manga author?? I do recall that you mention, that the first step to become and mangaka is to draw an manga and simply just send it in. Is there a probability for that perhaps you could just send a manuscript of your own manga… and that way kickstarting you debut ??
Hello! I am a young artist who in interested in the art of manga, and possibly becoming a mangaka one day. I have two questions.
First off, I was wondering about the backgrounds. You mentioned reference books, and how manga artists use plenty, and often copy from them, but do they actually trace from the book itself, or simply look at each photo as a reference? How exactly does that process go?
Secondly, I live and go to school in the US, and I know minimal Japanese. I don’t have much time to study the language, but I’d love to learn it, and if I want to become a manga artist one day I need to learn it xD. How long did it take you to become fluent, and how much studying did you do with it?
Hey Jamie, your blogs are really inspiring to me. I was wandering if you can give me any advice for me to move forward in art. I’m not good at it but I am trying, I just really don’t know where to start. I haven’t done any art courses and wandering if it would help if there was any specific art courses I should do; I do have a couple art books but I don’t really know if it’ll help much. I’m sorry if I ranted on unnecessarily.
Hi jamie, can ı ask you something? I want to become a mangaka too but ı don’t have any degree and ı’m italian,ı would like to study japanese in japan for six months and so ı will have a studying visa ,then ı want to find a job and then find a way to become a mangaka assistant like you ,the thing that ı didn’t understand was,you were teaching so you had a working visa ,but the working visa is not given to mangaka assistant ,how did you do ?
Quit the teaching job meant that you had no visa or at least you had few months or years to live in japan .
In order for Italians to work in Japan, I understand that you need to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. In order to work in art, then, that degree needs to be in the same field. It’s difficult, but you can do it if you really try! When I was a mangaka assistant, I switched my visa from “Instructor” to “Cultural,” but like I said, you can only do that if you have a specialty in art.
Hello Jamie! I have seen your email address, so just let you know that I am sending both of this and email! You can answer this or that, either.
Even if you might have been busying right now, it is better me to ask away than never! *crossed fingers if I can get you on right time! >___<!)
Again, I hope my writing is not too distracted for you. Let me know if you find the unclear one, I can refresh this. It would be awesome if I hear about you! Thank you for your time! *bows*
Psst! I hope you are not in the dead week! @_@ So much exaggerated… /_\
Hellooo! I’m interested in drawing manga and anime and all that stuff. But I’m not the best in drawing. That’s why I’m going to get some books and stuff on how to draw manga. I’m wondering…did you start like that? And is there really no age limit to submitting manga? Cause’ I’m pretty young.
I started by drawing just whatever I saw when I was a kid. I drew cats, trees, buildings, people. Then, I imitated cartoons that I liked. I took life drawing classes in school too, and just kept on going.. I think that it’s more about the passion than anything else. If you’re passionate and draw a lot, then you can go far!
Nope, most comics places would take manga from any age. If you’re really young, it would be hard to get a contract to be serialized, though.
Your blog rocks! I love reading about your adventures and I feel very inspired to turn my passion into my job. I want to be good at writing – I’m a(n almost) published writer. My very first book (a collection of short stories) will be out later this year.
I want to become a manga writer. I don’t think I have great talent with art – I can draw up a few rough sketches, and even my doodles are kind of detailed, but I don’t qualify enough to be manga artist. Do you think I still have some chance for success in this industry? I live in the United States and I’ve found some forums where manga artists look for writers and vice versa. Do you think that would be a good way to proceed? I want to write shoujo manga, but I think I still have to do LOADS of research to get Japan’s school system right. Thank you so much!
As long as you’re good at telling a story with your art, I think that you have a shot! One piece of advice, though– don’t write a story set in a Japanese high school. Leave that to the people who went to one. Instead, tell a story about a high school like yours! You can write from experience and tell a story that a Japanese person wouldn’t know how to tell. That is way more unique! 🙂
Hi its nice to see you~ I am very inspired by your work and I plan to become a mangaka to! is it hard to work as one? And do you know a cheap way to get tools I dont really have expenses for them ha like a G pen or something X3 well hope I get a reply~
Unfortunately, it takes some money to buy things like Gpens and pen nibs and ink. But to make manga, you can use just pencil and paper if that’s all you have. It is really about the story, and not the materials that you use. For example, Fred from Megatokyo used just pencils and paper for most of his career, and he has been very successful.
Hello, im a boy of 15 and I always wanted to draw some mangas and work in japan. So I was wondering some things for my future and I know it’s a little bit soon to think about that but what kind of visa and advances we have to do to just get in japan and work as an assistant or whatever other works. Because I know how to be mangaka but if I don’t even know how to get in the country… 🙂
hi jamie! i really want to be a mangaka.and ı m learnin japanese. ı’m 15 and ı m going to fine arts highschool . ı am good at reproduction, but ı have a problem. ı cant draw a character on my mind. my imagination is bad i think. what should ı do for that ?
Hey Jamie ! I would be really grateful if you could answer. I live in Europe, so is it possible for me to like (send) my work to Japan, and (if) it’s good enough, it would get published ? Also, does manga have to be made by hand on paper or could i draw it digitally with a tablet ?
Grr! no wonder okay so I wrote this big long spewl that apparently did not get posted. 🙁 It was all formal and everything. Well I’ll do it again. Hello Jamie! I was very inspired by your story. I have a question for you though. In your series “How to be a Mangaka” you stated that the easiest way is to write up a manga and show it to a publisher. But, since I live in America it seems it’d be really difficult to get the proper tools for writing one. So I want to know if publishers would like something that would like something even if it wasn’t inked and everything? Like if I had a good story, and talent with art?Looking forward to hearing from you! 😀
Well, I think that’s fine, as long as it’s not your first time. The first time, the publishers will want to see your finished art (with ink and screentones, if you use them), so that they know what your manga will look like when done. I don’t think that they’d take anyone who only submitted pencil drawings, without being able to see the finished product. That said, you can get india ink and nib pens from anywhere! I’ve used JetPens.com to even buy Japanese manga supplies. 🙂
Thanks Jamie! I really admire the fact that you take the time to answer our questions. You’re the best! Also I want to say that it’s awesome to see your book is successful (as in I saw it in Otaku USA, and I flipped cuz your awesome). Yeah, so. Thanks!
I have to moderate comments because I get a lot of spam every day. But once you have one approved comment, as long as you use the same login information the next time, your comment will post automatically. Sorry for the trouble! 😀
I finished reading your How to become a Mangaka, part 1, and I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions.
I always loved to draw ever since I was a kid.I would find paper and crayons or just a pencil, it didn’t matter to me what I should use I just wanted to draw. Two years ago, I started showing my work to my art teacher, and he was amazed how far I got.Now I started thinking that I should go on a higher level, and start my own manga. I even have a story that I wrote a year ago, and so on.
Do you think a teen, in age of 15, could work with manga artists?
I always wanted to go to Japan and work there, and I think i found my passion.
At what age could people start working with them?
Do you think it’s possible for them to hear out my story?
Thank you for taking your time to read this, and for answering my questions.:)
I think that age doesn’t matter. Ribon magazine even has a competition specifically for people under age 14, and they publish the winners from that contest. So, you could say that there are mangakas who are younger than 14!
The links to your images didn’t work. Do you think that you could email them to me instead? My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello! I just came across your blog and you are soo awsummmee! I read your blog and you seem to have a lot of experience with different materials! you mentioned often that mangakas use copic markers right?(ooh they are so pricy). I’m a huge fan of pandora hearts franchise and jun mochizuki sensei’s art is so kewwl. Her style is really nice and I love the way she colors, though I’m not really sure what she use to color. It looks to me as copics/watercolor but I really have no clue. Can you with your experience help me determine the materials she use? Here are some links of her work http://blog-imgs-38-origin.fc2.com/3/c/h/3choume/20131006.jpg http://blog-imgs-53-origin.fc2.com/3/c/h/3choume/120528_024612.jpg
None of the links that you sent me worked for some reason, but I looked up her artwork anyways. She definitely uses a lot of CG coloring on her blog, and it looks like her older stuff is done in watercolor. Both watercolor and markers can get similar effects, though, so I think it’s best to just stick to whichever you feel most comfortable with. ^^
Hi! I’m also trying to make a manga and become a manga-ka as well, I’m really curios about ‘how’ it is to work for a real manga-ka, as in was it much work, how much it is that he/she pays, and how do you apply? You work as an assistance! Sore wa iidesu ne! 🙂