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Of course it’s important to learn all the right artistic techniques and perfect your drawing skills in order to make it big in the illustration industry. But knowing about the mindset of successful artists can be really helpful too!
Let’s take a look at some wise words and inspirational quotes from some artists whose work has featured in popular manga magazine Shounen JUMP!
1) “The fools running blindly towards the goal are the ones that make it in the manga world” – Inoue Takehito (“Slam Dunk”)
“Don’t look, just jump. ‘To draw for JUMP, I need to use this kind of drawing style, or create this kind of character…’ dwelling on this kind of pseudo manga theory knowledge can lead to you giving up on creating, and it’s never going to help spur you on. The manga world is made up of know-it-alls marching on the spot, and ignorant fools making a dash for the goal.”
Inoue Takehito encourages us not to dwell on the details. However much knowledge you have about the “theory” of manga, you’re not going to get anywhere without actually getting out there and putting pen to paper!
2) “Manga-ka don’t need a licence” – Hiroyuki Asada (“Tegami Bachi”)
“There’s no such thing as a “manga-ka license”. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life. All day, every day, even when you’re doing something else, you’re observing the world as if you’re writing it into a manga. If that sort of thing comes naturally to you, you’re destined to be a manga-ka.”
Hiroyuki Asada reminds us that a manga-ka, unlike so many other professions, doesn’t need a licence. As long as they have the talent and inspiration, anyone with a pen and paper can become a manga-ka!
3) “If you really want to get your message out there, don’t rely on social media” – Tezuka Productions (“Astro Boy”)
“If you really want to get your message out there, forget social media – write it into a manga and apply for our Tezuka prize. If your work catches the eye of our judges, the door to the manga industry will open wide for you! Then you can share your message with your fans, and gain loads of interaction”
Tezuka Productions, a Japanese animation studio founded by Osamu Tezuka, reminds us that sometimes it’s important to remember whose opinions can help further your career. Try and get your work seen, not only on social media, but by editors who can help you make your dreams come true!
Here at Anime Art Magazine, we believe social media is a very important tool too, but getting your work out there by applying to contests is certainly a great way to catch the eye of editors!
4) “There’s one way to make all your wishes come true” – Eiichiro Oda (“One Piece”)
“Why do you want to become a manga-ka? Maybe you want to make a living drawing what you love. Maybe you want to make a living creating stories. Maybe you want a job that entertains others. Maybe you want to be famous. Maybe you want to be rich. Well there’s one way to make all of those wishes come true. Draw an entertaining manga. The way you draw it is up to you.”
Eiichiro Oda makes it sound simple… too simple perhaps! But keeping your goals in mind when the going gets tough is always a good idea.
And in an industry where it’s often said that manga-ka make no money, it’s nice to see an artist being frank with us and letting us know he’s making a good living!
5) “If readers like the main character, they’re gonna read it” – Masashi Kishimoto (“Naruto”)
“In the end, whatever the manga’s like, if readers fall in love with the main character, they’re gonna read it. When thinking about how you can make your character likable, think about your own best friends – what makes you like them? Why do you enjoy being around them? This should give you some hints.”
Solid advice from Kishimoto-sensei! Likeable (or even just relatable!) characters are the key to a great work. If a character reminds you of yourself or someone you know, you’re more likely to get attached to the series. And when you’re emotionally invested in a character, you’re motivated to read on to find out what happens to them. So when making your own characters, be sure to humanise them, and make them likable and relatable!
There we have it – five great quotes from five manga masters! Hopefully this has given you a glimpse into the mind a manga-ka, and helped you get motivated to draw more yourself!
If you’re feeling fired up and ready to study, be sure to head over to our online courses and get started with your manga studies today!