Tell us a bit about your art and yourself as an artist. How long have you been doing art? What kind of art do you do?
I've been drawing ever since I learned how to pick up a pen. My sister liked to draw, so I imitated her. I draw Japanese style only (I'm not very versatile *laughs*).
Your profile states that you are a Freelance mangaka and illustrator. What kind of work does that entail?
I have published manga/comic, and nowadays I work on illustrations mainly. I work for Japanese companies drawing cards for games or designing characters, and also for some European and American publishers focused on how-to-draw-manga mainly. I think companies started contacting me after I posted many commissions (illustrations for personal use). Nowadays I work on both at the same time (companies + personal use pics).
Did you have official training in art, or are you mostly self-taught? How do you think that affects your work?
I'm 100% self-taught, and I think it affects especially on the fact I only learnt to draw what I found fun to draw. It still worked for me so far, but sometimes I wish I knew how to draw more things for certain jobs.
What program(s) and tablet do you use for your digital work? What are the particular benefits of that program(s)?
I use Cintiq 24HD, which is awesome. It's a 24" screen where you draw kinda like drawing on paper (but digital, of course). As for software, I use IllustStudio for illustrations and ComicStudio for manga. Most people I know use SAI instead, but it didn't work so well for me when I tried it.
Do you use any special techniques in your work?
I use many layers, yes (laughs). I also add textures at the end and edit the lineart by changing its color and the layer mode.
What inspires you? Where do you get the concepts and ideas for your artworks?
I get my inspiration from Pixiv most of the time, or from mangas and artbooks I buy. Nothing can help when I have an art block though.
What are some tips for beginners looking to get started in anime/manga style works?
I don't think there's a particular hard side to anime/manga style. Each artist will struggle over a certain part, depending on what they're best/worst at drawing. For me I have a huge problem with neck + shoulders, I never seem to get them right and my poses end up looking too rigid (in my opinion). I guess studying/reading anatomy books helps (I try from time to time).
Do you have any tutorials/walkthroughs of your own, or any recommendations you'd like to share? I saw your gallery of tutorials, so are there particular ones in there that you think would be the most helpful for beginners?
Most of my tutorials are about how to use a certain software rather than how to draw. I cannot make how-to-draw tutorials at the moment because of a contract with an American publisher, but if you're interested in learning how to use the basics of MangaStudio 4.0 EX, you can check my Youtube channel.
And some final words of advice and encouragement from inma:
We are all learning, and if we keep trying daily, we will become better than we are now for certain. There will always be people who learn faster than us and people who feel like they have nothing else to learn because they're perfect already... let's try not to let that get us down. We'll hardly become the very best in our subject, but if we can make something people like or if we can live from this, then becoming the best is not the goal (I'm encouraging myself here too *laughs*).
Thanks for the interview (^^)
Questions for the Reader
- What are your goals with your art? Is art a hobby of yours, or is it something you plan to make a career of?
- Many of us strive to improve our art, often being encouraged (and sometimes discouraged) by the numerous skilled artists on DeviantART. What are your experiences with trying to "become the very best" with your art?