Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

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Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 2nd, 2011, 3:21 pm

Before anyone says anything, I did just notice that there is a similar topic on the forums. So try to stick to the "is it racism" theme in your comments to avoid getting off topic here.

So I have been thinking a lot about this over the course of the last few months. And after hearing it AGAIN today from a student with the same major that I am looking into, it made me want to talk with others. Don't get me wrong, he was a nice guy who was just trying to help me out. But I wonder if he really thought about what he was saying to me. And the majority of us DON'T think about things before we speak.

I can't tell you how many times I have been told to "draw American." (In ANY way) There is a lot of hatred/dislike for artists who use the manga style in America. (And probably in other countries as well.) First you are told to "develop your own style" but then it is usually followed by the suggestion that you should try a more American style.

Well, what is "American"? And for that matter what is "Manga"? Last time I checked, NEITHER of those things are styles and they SHOULDN'T be. Every artist should have their own style, regardless of what outside influences you have. If you aren't copying another artist intentionally, then I believe that it has absolutely nothing to do with that.

Typically, I guess you could expect these answers:

American= Superheroes. Superheroes. SUPERHEROES. And Disney.
Manga= Pokemon... and EVERYTHING that resembles it. (Many times you will hear manga with things that look a bit more realistic as well.)

Has anyone realized how ridiculous that is? When you were a kid (or adult depending on your own story) did you tell yourself "I want to draw Spiderman" or "I want to draw comics." Because, quite simply, all of us do EXACTLY the same thing and it is so hard to get people to come together and understand that. We write and then we draw. We have preferences and these preferences, if you want to call them styles in that case, are no different from impressionism, realism, cubism, etc. Why are we told so often to take note of the processes the old masters used but not take inspiration from the modern world?

No style is better than another. It doesn't matter what country created the style. They are COMICS and not all comics are drawn in the same style. If you think that is true, then you haven't REALLY looked. You are just running your mouth. We all strive to be distinct. Why? Because we are artists. If you are a true artist, you have either found or are trying to find your own style. You should never model yourself based on another artist but it is perfectly ok to be inspired.

I don't think we should be racist or discriminate against artists simply because of a "style". NO one has even been able to give me a clearly cut out answer of WHY they do it. It's a social thing. Really think about what you are saying. Japan didn't do anything wrong. Children of our generations are just inspired by this "thing" we call manga and teachers make a point to crush that as soon as you step into their classroom. "Is it art?" Of COURSE it is art! If you disagree, tell me just how it isn't!

Just because someone likes manga doesn't mean that they are ONLY going to use that style. I am 100% capable of using any style I wish to create for myself, for example.

Encourage exploration but not just because you don't like something. Learn some tolerance. Be an adult. No one is hurting you. There ARE American manga artists, in case you haven't noticed lately.

Think. Would you tell a Japanese man that his art was inferior? Would you tell an American not to use that style just because they weren't born Japanese? Would you tell an Asian man to "draw Asian" and not "American"?

Is it racism or discrimination?


(Opinions Anyone?)
Last edited by Guest on April 2nd, 2011, 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby eishiya » April 2nd, 2011, 3:51 pm

Before manga, it was the exact same thing about people drawing superheroes. It's not racism, it's just discrimination about the current in-thing with artists. Some of it has solid basis (ie, most of these people are copying superficial traits rather than learning the important theory), some of it is just the plain old "it's new/popular, so I hate it" mentality.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 2nd, 2011, 3:53 pm

eishiya wrote:Before manga, it was the exact same thing about people drawing superheroes. It's not racism, it's just discrimination about the current in-thing with artist. Some of it has solid basis (ie, most of these people are copying superficial traits rather than learning the important theory), some of it is just the plain old "it's new/popular, so I hate it" mentality.


Well, that's one level-headed opinion lol It's agreeable too. The world is such a sad place.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Antitime » April 2nd, 2011, 5:44 pm

I was actually thinking along the same lines, but I didn't bring up the racist argument just because I feel that racism has a stronger conotation than just 'people don't like this style.' But I agree with you otherwise. 100%. I'm actually glad you made this topic because people were misconstruing my last one into thinking I'm going to go full-out American just because my teachers don't like me.

My point was my teachers shouldn't give a shit how I draw and should just teach me how to improve upon what I'm already doing. Also, I don't even really understand how half of my art counts as anime. I draw full noses, lips, smaller, move oval eyes ect, so I don't like people looking at my art and going "you draw anime" like I don't have my own style. It really varies from picture to picture how I feel like drawing.

but enough about me, do I think it's racist? No. Obnoxious and ignorant- yes. And I both hate and appreciate to know someone else other than me is going through this.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Ddraigeneth » April 2nd, 2011, 8:38 pm

It's not racism, but it is discrimination.

I will say, as a general rule, I'm turned off by manga. Part of that is that I have more trouble processing purely black and white images (as so many decent comics are done in), but I also absolutely cannot stand the way it's spammed. Hearing everyone and their sister talk about being a mangaka, and how they're learning to draw by doing manga, just makes me cringe.

I have no problem with serious artists adopting aspects of the style (and I would say it counts as a style, since there are various traits shared between artists, in a way that makes the category distinctive), but I most certainly believe that you should learn to draw in other ways before excluding yourself to it.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 2nd, 2011, 9:41 pm

Antitime wrote:I was actually thinking along the same lines, but I didn't bring up the racist argument just because I feel that racism has a stronger conotation than just 'people don't like this style.' But I agree with you otherwise. 100%. I'm actually glad you made this topic because people were misconstruing my last one into thinking I'm going to go full-out American just because my teachers don't like me.

My point was my teachers shouldn't give a shit how I draw and should just teach me how to improve upon what I'm already doing. Also, I don't even really understand how half of my art counts as anime. I draw full noses, lips, smaller, move oval eyes ect, so I don't like people looking at my art and going "you draw anime" like I don't have my own style. It really varies from picture to picture how I feel like drawing.

but enough about me, do I think it's racist? No. Obnoxious and ignorant- yes. And I both hate and appreciate to know someone else other than me is going through this.


I don't think anyone understands the full-blown problem until they try to start a professional career. You're right, teachers shouldn't care. And they DON'T really care until they see a kid who enjoys a more simple manga-inspired style. I'm going to school to improve, personally. I am not going to school to have someone change my style to something just to satisfy them, but at my own discretion. I know for a fact that that is why most "manga" artists end up going the self-publishing route. There is more artistic freedom and you can't get that without ultimately losing control over your work by working with a company.

I am going to be a trouble maker in school... not good XD I've never been a trouble maker in my life but I feel that I won't be able to hold this in for long. Not that I should.

Ddraigeneth wrote:It's not racism, but it is discrimination.

I will say, as a general rule, I'm turned off by manga. Part of that is that I have more trouble processing purely black and white images (as so many decent comics are done in), but I also absolutely cannot stand the way it's spammed. Hearing everyone and their sister talk about being a mangaka, and how they're learning to draw by doing manga, just makes me cringe.

I have no problem with serious artists adopting aspects of the style (and I would say it counts as a style, since there are various traits shared between artists, in a way that makes the category distinctive), but I most certainly believe that you should learn to draw in other ways before excluding yourself to it.


Understandable to an extent. I see you like more developed pieces with color instead of just drawings, which is seen in manga but not commonly. But here are some examples of things that are labeled "manga" when they are really not alike. They are just comics from Japan. Two or four of the images I linked to could actually pass for "American."

Spoiler! :
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And have you even felt compelled to try manga? It doesn't seem like you would even if you did color it, judging from your response. But it is something you would never have to worry about because no one would try and force you to change. So my question is: why should a manga artist feel the need to change? I'm sure you would be very unhappy if someone DID try to make you change.

The mangaka thing is something to blame on our society. We call manga "manga" because it is just the word for it in Japan (not literally in a language sense..), as is "komikku." The way the words sound have a negative connotation in our language just because they sound annoying in comparison to what we are used to. We separate Japanese from American. So, when kids grow up, they grow up separating the two and that feeds the discrimination. The art and the storylines are vastly more popular with kids than "American" comics right now. So, that would be the reason that it is heard so often.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Ddraigeneth » April 2nd, 2011, 10:19 pm

Good point with the examples--I was certainly oversimplifying it. I suppose what Americans consider "manga" is more a set of styles, rather than a style in itself. And I would hope that the more detailed pieces, such as the first example, wouldn't get you so much trouble from teachers. I haven't personally considered doing a large production in any manga style, because I'm still working out what my own style is. My current techniques evolved while I was doing avatars for a cartoony MMO, though I feel I've made significant progress since starting those. I have done mimicry pieces, in a number of different styles.

I wouldn't ask anyone to change a style they enjoyed, and were comfortable with. As I said, I just think it's better to have a varied base before restricting yourself to "this is the only thing I draw."

You intrigued me by saying I "like more developed pieces with color instead of just drawings." I'm not quite sure what you mean by "just drawings," but I do often prefer colour. Black and white, especially with no shading or accents, just makes it more difficult for me to tell what's going on in some scenes. It distracts me from the flow of the story.
Some (mostly) monochromatic comics that I do enjoy include Black Dram, Half Death, Steampunk Soiree, Better Days/Original Life, and Sandra and Woo. I suppose that largely, I just like originality. Being able to look at a piece of art and value it on its own merits, rather than thinking of how it reminds me of such-and-such.

Going to spoiler the rest because it's a bit off-topic, but it's an interesting train of thought, for me...
Spoiler! :
Part of the problem may be the way my brain registers visual input. I don't usually notice the features of a person's face, for example. I would recognise my grandmother in a heartbeat, but I honestly couldn't begin to describe to you what her face looks like. I felt bad when I realised how much trouble I had differentiating between people in a single-ethnicity group, until I realised I do it with white people, too. So it's probably the same thing with artwork. I don't notice as many of the individual details that distinguish an artist's style, so my brain lumps them together in a group...
It's a shame, really. I know I'm missing out on certain things, but there you have it.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 3rd, 2011, 12:54 pm

Ddraigeneth wrote:Good point with the examples--I was certainly oversimplifying it. I suppose what Americans consider "manga" is more a set of styles, rather than a style in itself. And I would hope that the more detailed pieces, such as the first example, wouldn't get you so much trouble from teachers. I haven't personally considered doing a large production in any manga style, because I'm still working out what my own style is. My current techniques evolved while I was doing avatars for a cartoony MMO, though I feel I've made significant progress since starting those. I have done mimicry pieces, in a number of different styles.

I wouldn't ask anyone to change a style they enjoyed, and were comfortable with. As I said, I just think it's better to have a varied base before restricting yourself to "this is the only thing I draw."

You intrigued me by saying I "like more developed pieces with color instead of just drawings." I'm not quite sure what you mean by "just drawings," but I do often prefer colour. Black and white, especially with no shading or accents, just makes it more difficult for me to tell what's going on in some scenes. It distracts me from the flow of the story.
Some (mostly) monochromatic comics that I do enjoy include Black Dram, Half Death, Steampunk Soiree, Better Days/Original Life, and Sandra and Woo. I suppose that largely, I just like originality. Being able to look at a piece of art and value it on its own merits, rather than thinking of how it reminds me of such-and-such.

Going to spoiler the rest because it's a bit off-topic, but it's an interesting train of thought, for me...
Spoiler! :
Part of the problem may be the way my brain registers visual input. I don't usually notice the features of a person's face, for example. I would recognise my grandmother in a heartbeat, but I honestly couldn't begin to describe to you what her face looks like. I felt bad when I realised how much trouble I had differentiating between people in a single-ethnicity group, until I realised I do it with white people, too. So it's probably the same thing with artwork. I don't notice as many of the individual details that distinguish an artist's style, so my brain lumps them together in a group...
It's a shame, really. I know I'm missing out on certain things, but there you have it.


Originality is certainly something to look for and to strive for as an artist. They are often the most eye catching. All of the "how to draw manga" books out there are really screwing our perceptions up. It's nice to hear that your art has a distinctive touch to it. Once you get that, you feel more accomplished. =]

As for our off-topicness:
Spoiler! :
Well, humans tend to do that automatically I think. Unless you really sat down and studied someone's face.Or are you referring to Prosopagnosia?
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Ddraigeneth » April 3rd, 2011, 1:34 pm

Spoiler! :
I hadn't heard that term specifically, but the Wiki page was very interesting. I've suspected for awhile that I could possibly have Asperger's Syndrome, and aspects of Prosopagnosia can be associated with autism disorders. It's not something I'm worried about seeing a doctor for, but it's nice to think that there could be a reason I feel so screwy sometimes.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 3rd, 2011, 5:03 pm

Spoiler! :
Yeah, some people are just bad with names and faces. (Like me LOL)
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby KonaTobennh » April 3rd, 2011, 5:33 pm

Tohru-of-Marshmello wrote:Would you tell an Asian man to "draw Asian" and not "American"?


(Well if we all agree that Filipinos are Asian and not a separate race,) I've been told that by one teacher of mine. :P
The result?

And I've grown a liking to the style ever since. Sure, I'm inclined to using "manga/anime/Asian" styles in my comic strips or art, but I really grow a fancy to this style I've developed.

Ddraigeneth wrote:Hearing everyone ... learning to draw by doing manga, just makes me cringe.


Well, I have to say, I did learn a bit by copying "Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi Show", so I guess I make you cringe as well. :p
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » April 3rd, 2011, 10:32 pm

KonaTobennh wrote:
Tohru-of-Marshmello wrote:Would you tell an Asian man to "draw Asian" and not "American"?


(Well if we all agree that Filipinos are Asian and not a separate race,) I've been told that by one teacher of mine. :P
The result?

And I've grown a liking to the style ever since. Sure, I'm inclined to using "manga/anime/Asian" styles in my comic strips or art, but I really grow a fancy to this style I've developed.

Ddraigeneth wrote:Hearing everyone ... learning to draw by doing manga, just makes me cringe.


Well, I have to say, I did learn a bit by copying "Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi Show", so I guess I make you cringe as well. :p



XDD lolz Well, that's another thing. As long as you CHOOSE to draw "American" no one will say anything. =3 I like your style btw!
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby KLSeunnapha » April 4th, 2011, 12:10 am

I completely understand the issue. I'm the kind of artist that dabbles in all kinds of art. Though mainly a manga-ish style I draw other styles too, even different ways of developing a style further through colour techniques or even inking style. I just like playing with and drawing all kinds of styles depending on my mood or story. In fact I like to give each of my stories different art styles, which is not only fun because I'm not stuck on one kind of art but helps me from having 'one character looks EXACTLY the same as the one in that other story you did' issue.

Personally, this approach works well for me, and I think is just fine, but apparently I think wrong... because it is not.

It's not just manga that gets the beating, though that IS the style most targeted today. I've been given the long boring speeches before, and no one seems to ever be able to make up their damn minds. 'Artists are supposed to stick to one style, it's preferred that you do and you have a much more likely chance of getting hired if you still to one style.' 'You should put all kinds of styles in your portfolio, people like to see that you're flexible in your art.' 'Don't include manga/anime style art in your portfolio, in fact just don't draw it at all.' 'Have you even thought of adding some manga elements into your work?' 'Stop making such cartoony images you need to go for realism.' 'You stuff is too detailed, you need to go for a more simple cartoony style.' And of course the infamous one I got from my councillor in high school 'Art is not a stable job, if you really want a job where you can apply your art skills to you should look into taking classes that will give you a nice future in making billboards adds.' Blah blah blah... yada yada yada.

Outside of the art world I'm often faced with comments when people see my manga-ish art and tell me "Why are you drawing this? You're not Japanese." While other people will see my cartoon-ish art and tell me "Why aren't you drawing manga? You're Asian."

All in all I have just given up on trying to please anyone, and have just decided to stick to what I was doing, as drawing is not only a passion of mine but a form of expression. It would be nice to make it to a profession of course but at this point I've decided to do it on my own terms. It will of course be more difficult but hey, anything worth having has to be worked for right?

It's probably not the smartest move, but for me it's the one I'm most comfortable with.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby KonaTobennh » April 4th, 2011, 9:09 am

KLSeunnapha wrote:"Why are you drawing this? You're not Japanese."


...That reminds me.
Recently, my uncle gave me an odd looking "Shonen Jump" like book... I read it, to the best of my abilities, and tried to look for the comics I haven't seen before!

In fact, the reason why I couldn't find these "manga" was because they weren't manga! They were manhua! Chinese comics. The lettering and the styles led me to believe that these were Japanese, they were a bit similar.

Here's my point though. The Japanese have made this art style famous, but in reality, most of Asia has adopted this style.
Even Korea:
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I think this is a bit... "discriminating" thinking that Japan is the one that usually gets the credit of having this style, but that's my three cents.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Antitime » April 4th, 2011, 10:12 am

It's not even just Asia. I think I mentioned it in my thread, but France and other parts of Europe have integrated more mangaesque styles into their mainstream. Not only do they have really stylish indie comics, but their cartoons, most notably Wakfu are usually in an anime type style. So I don't understand why America is so uptight about looking too Japanese. Maybe it's because we're scared because these countries are giving us a run for our money in so many categories?
haha, really, though, what I think it is, is the plethora of poorly done anime-like styles that are saturating the market and giving everyone else a bad rep.
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