Manga style for the serious artist.

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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Hiei » October 10th, 2011, 2:17 pm

I'm kinda half and half with it.

Some anime/manga is pretty decent, but inevitably it was made to be drawn fast, just like any comic or cartoon style. Of course, you've got your stuff like Berserk that just goes crazy with the detail, but that's extremely rare.

I spend about 20-30 hours on realism while a comic panel takes maybe an hour. I'd say that's a drastic difference.

There's some gorgeous manga out there, yeah. There's also a massive amount of competition if you ever want to make a living (or get much income at all) as an artist because -everyone- is into the manga/anime thing and it doesn't take much effort to get it down. At least not in comparison to realism and such.

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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby mossi-mo » October 10th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Hiei wrote:I spend about 20-30 hours on realism while a comic panel takes maybe an hour. I'd say that's a drastic difference.


Take into account that in general comic panels are smaller, and very contained, they're meant to be minimal. I've seen a couple comics done in a very realistic style, so much so that they can't even be called western stylized, and the artists produced it in a reasonable amount of time. When it comes to drawing, realistically or not, it's often the process that the artist has that decides the speed. So yes, there are some comic artists whose entire style set is dependent on speed (it's a must in the japanese comic production market where you have to produce entire chapters on a monthly or even weekly basis, with time for editing.), but there are others with detail that is mind boggling.

Hiei wrote:There's some gorgeous manga out there, yeah. There's also a massive amount of competition if you ever want to make a living (or get much income at all) as an artist because -everyone- is into the manga/anime thing and it doesn't take much effort to get it down. At least not in comparison to realism and such.


There is a massive amount of competition for any sort of artist. It is very rare for any artist of any style to make a decent living on their work alone. Most end up working for advertising and animation firms, and do not get a chance to showcase their own ideas until they become an art director or the like. But I do agree that a lot of people are "into" manga/anime, mostly because it's a very accessible medium these days, more so than western comics and fine art, which have become very alienating to readers. But having more people only means that Sturgeon's law is more visible. There are people in each category of art who go into it with half-assed skills and give those who really try a bad name.

That's probably the reason why so many "art-school"-types look down on manga-anime style as a whole. They've seen too much of the 90% to take note of the 10%. But to be honest, if you stay true to what you like, the critiques won't stop you. It's really not all about talent when it comes to making it big. Sometimes you've got to be more clever at what you draw than how you draw. I mean, look at kris-wilson (cyanide and happiness). The man is selling books and books with snarky stick figures. (And then everyone else decided they could too)
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby akuruii » January 9th, 2012, 12:38 am

yeah, i get this argument quite a lot .I think it's just because our western society sees it as the popular thing now, and they always search for they 'avant garde' and that crap . they always look for something 'new', it's a valid argument because everyone always overlooks what's currently popular and are always trying to set the trend..it's the lifestyle of the art/design world .

i understand but i don't agree . i live in australia and i've been drawing anime seriously for give or take 6-7 years . it took my art stores at least 4 years to get the art materials i currently use and they don't even have the complete set of it . i always see cheap rip-off brands for manga in general which are basically western labels and it's so crappy . nothing compares to japanese brands . but i think they bash the style because when it gets brought to the western world it gets really torn apart to the point that the artworks do look pretty cheap [example, those 'how to draw anime' books . no offence if you like them, but there's no way in hell i'd want to draw anime like that]

i think it's just the crossover that starts the war, manga is interpreted differently and comes out of it looking like cheap, so there are people who think the manga style is cheap .

it's kind of like discrimination, how they say asians all look the same/are the same when we clearly aren't . then they all go 'ooh ni hao' when they see you but DAMN IT I'M FILO . when people are like 'oh so you draw like dragonball z' and i'm just like ..>_> . [i like dragonball z and chinese people btw . but i don't like the dragonball z art style and...i'm filo lol .]
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby desideraht » January 29th, 2012, 4:57 am

My manga style improved DRASTICALLY after I learned how to draw traditional art. I took a college class where I worked with pencils, charcoals, drawing shoes and gourds and other boring things... And bizarrely enough, it changed how I saw shape and form, and my art has come to life since then. I feel manga artists should give traditional art a good college try-- it may make your manga bloom.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Daedra » January 29th, 2012, 6:11 am

I understand how a lot of Art majors typically despise the Manga / Anime style, as I do despise the frequently used, bad anatomy (unless that's the distinctive style used, even then, anatomy is an iffy issue with me), super-ultra KAWAII style. (other styles irk me too, this tends to be if anatomy is not used correctly, such as eyes level with the nostril and crazy stuff like that. Don't even mention people who subconsciously mix cultures in their comics, that, just, ugh. So many artistic pet peeves pfff)
Then again, like spoken above, this is the 90%, and said 90% is given the rest of the 10% a bad name; being a majority and such.

My comic style (outlines) is influenced with Asian art styles, but is being drawn out into various styles I call my own. (not to mention being easily able to switch from that to a realistic style, which proves to be incredibly handy)
I've noticed with quite a few people who focus majorly on drawing Anime / Manga art, whom try to mimic / imitate famous Japanese authors, are simply copying a style; not bothering to give their own touch to it or anything. This is another reason I think Art teachers/professors despise the nature of many Anime / Manga influenced works, as they are not defining their own style (then again, this happens in the Western World, with such comics as Marvel and various Newspaper comic styles; however, due to cultural differences, this appears to be dismissed).

As for people who are wishing to be an Anime / Manga professional, in fact any artistic profession, are going to be in rough.
Artistic jobs in both the Western world and Eastern are incredibly competitive in nature, no matter if you're going to be drawing a comic, or simply drawing commissions.
The competition is only magnified due to personal interests and tastes with how people "assume" others should draw, which makes everything more prone to criticism and denial. Not to mention, if you're a freelancer artist, you're most likely going to be walloping in your own self-pity unless many seek expensive commissions from you. (not directing this at anyone in particular, just pointing out)
I'm not saying for people who wish to pursue an artist to simply give up, work at it, not matter what others say, I'm just speaking the truth; reality is going to hit you hard.
Each country seems to have specific styles which are more preferred, such as American / some other English speaking countries (unless said country is open to various cultural influences; such as Australia) preferring more realistic or cartoony styles, and Japanese are more focused on anime / manga styles, despite appreciating the odd realistic piece. This needs to be worked into how someone decides to take their career, and taken into consideration.

As for what your Professor's are saying, I can understand them, due to cultural differences and (assuming you're in America) preferred styles, but, art is what you make it to be.
If you make enough money to support a living through an Anime / Manga style, you must be doing something right. Just remember, don't be shocked if a lone freelancer job is too unstable to hold a healthy living style.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Pochi » January 29th, 2012, 9:30 am

a huge part of the manga stigma really stems from ..simply..cultural preference/bias. :/ Manga isn't an established part of our cultural media, so it will never have the same rep as disney over here. Mickey mouse is a classic here, astro boy...not so much. Likewise, manga will never be as marketable since it's just not the preferred form of cartoon drawing.

A lot of hobby artists that start off drawing anime don't bother learning the fundamentals of the human body, and so that's the impression many people get from manga/anime influenced pieces.
A combination of all of these factors contribute to how art institutions view the manga/anime drawing style. It's not fair..but I'd honestly have to say it's a bit understandable, even if it's severely misguided.

Fortunately even if your art professors are not as supportive of manga, the style has always had a stable following online. :`D

For my own art...
Admittedly I would get miffed if someone asked me 'what anime is that from?' while looking at my art. I honestly prefer anime influenced art that's a bit stylized, as opposed to styles that are more similar to what we see in manga and anime being released commercially. I know it's bad saying this but I do find mainstream anime art to be a bit too cookie cutter for my liking. However, I would never say that it means an artist is unskilled for preferring the mainstream look. This is more of an aesthetic preference.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby JoKeR » March 2nd, 2012, 5:17 am

What is manga?

We translate it here http://honyaku.nifty.com/
漫画 or まんが or マンガ = cartoon/comic
If a comic artist says he don't like manga, then ... he is schizophrenic.

If he says he don't like the manga style, then ...... he is dumb, because something like "the manga style" doesn't exist.
Here a manga Hokusai-MangaBathingPeople.jpg Well, where are the big eyes and the kawaii school girl with her big fighting cyborg ninja from outer-space ???

If this comic artist says he don't like the current fashion how mainstream manga are drawn today in Japan, then ... he is right ..... but he will never say this.
Do you know how quick a well liked style can change to something totally different ??
Google for American cartoons/comics you will see there is more than one fashion ...and every decade dose it look different.

And last but not least...
There are no Serious Artists out there ...if you think you are serious you work for a banking institution or got an umbrella shoved up your a..... sorry.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby paulbr » March 2nd, 2012, 12:04 pm

it's utter foolishness to think manga style's all the same
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby momoismyname » March 3rd, 2012, 8:36 pm

Antitime wrote:Well if you think about it, in the illustration field that does make sense, because you're generally applying to a very specific niche when looking for jobs. They tell you to do separate portfolios if you wish to pursue different fields. I'm not sure how it is with sequential or animation, but that's how it's viewed in illustration. My school is known for actually preparing people for the workplace rather than just teaching us art skills, so I trust their word on it, but I do understand the importance of knowing a variety of techniques, styles and mediums.

As for their view on 'anime...' well that's what this topic is about really. I'm not complaining about myself personally- when I draw less anime teachers really like my work and think I have a lot of style and talent. It's just the principle of the matter- I have to change what I want to draw to please them, which is exactly what they preach not to do.


i got the same experience :shock:

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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Mannickin4 » April 1st, 2012, 8:56 pm

It's true that some art institutions look down on the manga style. I too have developed a realistic style and a manga style. It frustrates me that art teachers don't think that manga is "art". If they can consider minimalist, abstraction, and surrealism to be art, manga should also be in there too. I don't think manga's problem is that it's unoriginal or easy to copy. In fact, manga has a lot of variations and "sub-manga styles" (I don't know what else to call it). Anyway, my parents and teachers consider manga to be "cartoons", which is technically true since a cartoon is: "A simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in an exaggerated way", but I still don't like how they define it.

it's because manga is created in Japan, and is thus was not a part of the western culture until later on. Plus with the big anime boom in America, anime/manga art has sky-rocketed making it increasingly popular and overly-done. Which is probably why some art teachers frown upon it. And, anime is all about exaggeration, so anatomy is not always taken into account.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby melaredblu » October 8th, 2012, 1:13 am

I personally find it ironic that people often accuse Western artists of being copycats and so forth for drawing manga. After all, Osamu Tezuka, the man who essentially created the style was influenced by Disney cartoons. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by the arts in other cultures. Just look at Avatar: the Last Airbender, Fantasia 2000's "Firebird Suite", and The Powerpuff Girls (followed by The Powerpuff Girls Z!) and how distinctive they are, despite having strong or even obvious similarities to anime and manga. The cycle of influence has gone full-circle, and it's a beautiful thing. It's a shame more people don't acknowledge that side of it.
I think a major challenge with drawing in a manga style is finding a way to make it your own. Part of the bad reputation of manga in mainstream art stems from the fact that too many beginners copy the most shallow components of the style (big eyes, cliche expressions, spiky hair) without giving it their own flair and it ends up looking flat and uninspired. It's not easy to find your style--I'm still working on it!
That being said, it's good to study all styles of art. People who never try to draw anything but manga do themselves a severe disservice, as do people who turn their noses up at cartoon styles because they perceive it as "childish". Both attitudes are hardly conducive to becoming a well-rounded artist.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Guildadventure » October 20th, 2012, 6:44 am

I studied arts an i've found myself in a lot of situations like that, i usually then make people questions they cant answer, but anyways they keep thnking that way about manga xD.

For example, when people say manga is "easy" to draw, i ask them "why?" or i challenge them to do it. Then they usualy don't know more than doing a big eyes to a character. And that's it. They think manga is big eyes, and because caracters have big eyes they are anatomically wrong and thus you don't know how to draw. Well thats bullshit. Even skipping the fact that, if we are talking about art, realism is by no means better than non-realism, the amount of realism and detail you put into your work is up to the artist. A lot of manga artist have characters with big eyes, but then the drawing is very detailed, in fact one of the characteristics of manga comics is the mask effect, combining some simple details with extremelly worked details (while in american comics the common thing is to not even have backgrounds). But then the drawing is worse cause the eyes are not anatomically correct?, come on...

One time i challenged a friend, who draws realism, to do a manga character in my style, while i did a character in realism at his style. We found out that while i did know how to draw realism hair, and it was very easy for me to do, he didn't know how to draw well a manga hair in my style (i do hair more or less like tenjou tenge artist oh great), and it was more dificult to do than the realist one. It was clear that the statement that manga is easier to do is FALSE, but still he thinks that way nowadays.

Now if we are talking about comics then the problem is entirelly diferent, because there works are done fast, then is not that they draw "worse", they simply have no time to draw better. Is not the same to have 20 hours to do a realism illustraton than having 2 hours to do a manga page. The same drop in quality will happen if you have 2 hours to do 1 realism page, and the same improvement if you have 20 hours for a manga illustration. But then look at their illustrations or important pages and you will found out what tey can do wih dedication. And it's not like time problem is one of manga only.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby Mr.thought » February 17th, 2013, 7:57 pm

well I was once told that my art style

but if you stop and think about it alot of manga have been stereotype into being big eyes little children, but then again tell them to read a manga like death note, with a more serious tone. Most won't know what to say, personally I worked my ass off everyday to achieve a art style that makes whomever criticize the manga community close thier mouths because sure it's a given that some manga were very cheap and uncreative but there are some that not even worldrenowned artists could compete with.
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Re: Manga style for the serious artist.

Postby AiN » April 29th, 2013, 1:21 am

My high school art teacher was like that. >.>

I still did my class assignments in a realistic style, mind you, but when I was finished, I'd pull out my sketchbook and work on my manga. He told me one day that it was such a waste and that you don't have to have talent to draw anime/manga. So I made a deal with him. I told him that if he could draw a good manga-style drawing without eyeballing anything (straight out of his head)(not manga-esque, not western manga, but actual manga style), I would never drawn manga in class again.

I was still drawing manga on my last day of class. :P
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