Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby grimvalesti » September 17th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Well I'm not sure about everyone else, but art in itself has an unlimited number of branching paths one can take to improve and it all really depends on what the artist wants. When I started drawing in 2008, I had very limited knowledge and didn't know what exactly I wanted. I constantly asked for advice from my favorite artists, read through numerous Loomis books and even took some art courses in college... but in the end I didn't know what exactly I wanted to do with the skills I've been improving on. So I talked with a professor. While he hated alot styles outside realism, he wasn't satisfied. The only reason he stuck the realism was because he was taught to believe it was the most respected way to do art. While it does hold weight, that strive for perfection is also another vastly overrated concept. From there I learned that the majority of art professors are only professors because that was the only thing they could have done with their work.

From there I took whatever that was taught to me as fundamental basics to strive for what I want. For me, there's no wrong or right way to improve yourself, nor there is a certain rulebook that starting artists must follow. It's something Iearned from reading through Loomis' drawing books. I still have a long way to go.

As far as styles go, I dunno. I keep my influences really vast and pay close attention the devices that are used incorrectly from my perspective, while gaining and learning a few other things of my own.. either from other people or more observation. My influences include comics from all over the world, the process of animation and film. It's alot to study, but life is long.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Grotesque » September 18th, 2011, 10:16 pm

Regarding the issue, IMHO I see it like this:

• Americans/Westerners are just a little more rough/vulgar with word usage and choice, and could sometimes use strong words in half-jokingly messages. (Yeah, westerners use foul languages/provocative words like it's just a sentence enhancer = Patrick Star)

• Asians are just a little more proud/sensitive on conversations, and could feel offended on strong words which gives them impression that Westerners hate them too much. (Which is usually, not.)



And another IMHO: Art is varied by cultures, timelines, media, etc. But I believe myself that art is not something that should be exclusive, and could be appreciated by anyone no matter who he is, as long as we can see it as an art. Opening minds to new lights is a good thing too, to eliminate the "fear of the unknown" into another adventure.


BTW, I'm an asian, LOL.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Fyrebrand » October 1st, 2011, 12:05 am

It's often put forth that the manga/anime style as we know it today was originally heavily influenced by American comics and cartoons, especially Disney. So, with that in mind, manga style is actually a Japanese reaction to American styles, thus rendering the call to "draw American" even more ignorant than it seems at first.

As it's been stated, art styles don't know national borders. There can certainly be cultural tendencies that prevail within given regions, but no country ever developed an artistic history by itself, in a vacuum. Even if there were such thing as "drawing American," it would just mean doing like everyone else is doing. Being the same as everyone else is profoundly anti-art, and -- depending on who you ask -- anti-American.

That said, I can think of a number of reasons (some good, some bad) for the apprehension art teachers may have toward Japanese manga and anime:
1) They're probably older, and unfamiliar with it. They didn't grow up learning about this, it's not part of the classical curriculum, and they don't know how they should evaluate it. Manga and anime all looks the same to people who aren't familiar with it.
2) They think that because the style is so distinct and recognizable, that means it's just a formula which produces cookie-cutter imagery. They see manga not as a personal style, but as a way of parroting characters you've already seen. With regards to manga being formulaic, I'd have to admit that this is at least partially true. There is a specific method and formula you can follow with regard to character designs, faces and eyes, using specific screen tones or shading -- but, whether you're just copying things you seen or you're incorporating the strengths of a given style to inform your art is a difficult judgment to make.
3) Manga and anime styles are almost entirely tied to comics, animation, and video games -- which, if you ask most people, are for children and are not "serious" art. When it comes time to show off a few pieces of art to promote what their school is doing, they want a nice Impressionist landscape.
4) It is important to practice drawing/painting from life, so you get a sense of anatomy, proportion, perspective, light and color. To a degree, this means sticking to realism. Manga styles, and any method that uses abstraction and stylization, is a way of breaking the rules. Rules are best broken by those who know and appreciate them, and unfortunately that means drawing a lot of mind-numbingly boring stuff.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guest » October 26th, 2011, 5:38 pm

It's not just manga, it's the same way with hip hop. If you're white, you're probably not going to get much respect as a rapper. Or country music - if you're black, you may not be as welcome in that scene as a white artist. So yeah, I would say that there is a degree of racism involved. If you aren't a member of the race most closely associated with a genre, you're going to face an extra heavy burden to be acknowledged and respected. If you are a member of that race - look at all the black rappers or white country artists who completely blow, but they've got a marketable look and they're in the game.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby StupidGenious » December 31st, 2011, 11:51 am

Perhaps it is a little bit of both.

We have terms like the American way, and it doesn't really seem like an American could really be considered a "mangaka", but rather just an American manga artist. The whole discrimination part of it is silly to me. I don't think many people know that the Disney style had a great influence on the Japanese, thus helping to start the creation of manga. When you think about it cartoons and manga are just distortions of reality, meaning based on realism. Realism is great to learn in order to help make your style manga/cartoon better and more developed. I'm hoping to take life drawing classes myself next year now that I have the opportunity. People just shouldn't dictate what style you draw because it's not "American" or "Japanese", it's quite ignorant. Artists should have exposure to various different styles, in order to improve upon and make their own. The whole notion of drawing what style art just because you're from said location is silly, considering when you take the time to think about it, nothing is really totally original, many things borrowed and tweaked from person to person.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby pwii » January 2nd, 2012, 2:34 am

I'm'a go with discrimination, because it's against the Japanese style of art, not the Japanese. Since art first began, artists would imitate other styles. If you could afford it, you would to to...I dunno, France, and check out their art. And what you liked you would integrate. But to just exclude the Japanese? It's just stupid.

Of course, if you want to be a very good artist, then you should draw from life, and become skilled at that before you start stylistically changing thing. Or so I've been told. I'm not a very good artist.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Zhriffixx » January 3rd, 2012, 7:30 pm

Hmmm, complicated subject. In response to someone else's comment, manhwa is usually in reference to korean comics, but it's also the literal romanization of 漫畫, the chinese word for manga (man hua, pronounched manhwa).

This situation was especially difficult for me this year at art school, since I had a teacher who had a general NO ANIME/MANGA attitude. He'd often say he didn't like it because it was copying someone else's style, wasn't original, was too stiff, etc. etc. which in their own rights could be valid points, except for the fact that he had a habit of praising/approving other student's work who he himself admitted looked exactly like "insert illustrator here". If it's all about being original and not copying other styles, what's with this blatant difference in treatment between a student who's work holds vestiges of a HUGE umbrella-term "style" and another student whose work is ripped off line-by-line from another very specific artist's work?

When it's all said and done, discrimination usually holds traces of racism. In my case, it's interesting to note that in a class where there's a Caucasian girl who draws anime-influenced style and there's a Taiwanese-American girl like me who draws anime-influenced style, it's me who always gets the rag for it. In other words, it sometimes feels like teachers see I'm asian and immediately begin looking for anime-influences in my work to beat down upon, rather than actually giving me useful critique. My general experience has been that most art teachers dislike anything that's even slightly anime/manga looking, and so the result is that many artists influenced by anime/manga are forced to "westernize" their cartooning style.

On the flipside, when I went to Taiwan and attended a convention, I saw that EVERYONE drew anime/manga style. In fact, many people there disliked western comics and criticized my work for being too American! So it goes a bit both ways.

I think the "hate popular" aspect most other people mention plays a huge role, too. There's just this stigma that a lot of people start off drawing manga style and then "get better". Aka, manga style is something only beginners draw. Not true, of course, but most people who claim this don't know enough about manga/anime in the first place to know that.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby desideraht » January 29th, 2012, 5:39 am

I don't think it's racist. It's cultural. Different cultures invented different styles. I find it somewhat confusing because while my art style is manga, I still consider myself an American cartoonist, so it is a bit odd. I'm not Japanese. >.>

Oddly enough, no one's ever told me to "develop my own style". People tell me my art is "original even for manga". They say it's a unique manga style... even though I can name my influences:

CLAMP
Fuyumi Soryo
Eiichiro Oda
Masashi Kishimoto

Clamp probably being my strongest influence... but people say my work doesn't look like CLAMP. These artists have specifically inspired how I form lines, and how I adjust line thickness and shading. I guess when it comes to the shape/structure of my characters, that is original...

I have tried "American" styles for a small series of Star Trek comics I did a few years ago... it was fun, but I can't draw anything serious in that style. My "American" comics are always short-lived comedies.

Personally, I think that the issue with manga is that a lot of it is unoriginal. The same exact head and eye shapes are used by so many artists. Many characters from different manga look almost exactly the same, because most manga artists seem to follow this "How to Draw Manga" formula. Most of it is the same... And that sucks. However, the genre is not inherently unoriginal. I get praised for originality, and as I browse this site, I am finding a lot of original manga styles! :)

My only real issue with all of this is that people think I want to be Japanese... No, I don't. I just like this style. Also, my main character is not Japanese just because he has black hair! He uh, technically doesn't have a race, but he's American-"born". Lol, oh sci-fi and your weird ways.
My original manga is indefinitely on hiatus (sorry!).
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby suphawker » April 16th, 2012, 10:26 pm

I did not know "Americans" were a race. Considering we're all made up of a bunch of different races.

Amazing.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby The Bearded Man » April 16th, 2012, 11:24 pm

I approve of learning realism. (It's a valuable tool for cartoonists.)

But darn that whole thing is just wrong. Teacher or not, unless they mean it in the narrowed down perspective of an industry standards (which is already so wrong in itself and shouldn't be on the face of this earth), they can't just assume your art is inferior. Wow.

I assume they also meant it in a kind of hypocrite way suggesting that it was the least of things. Gosh we need hybrid comics to punch the industry in the face. That's why I tend to enjoy webcomics more than most printed comics themselves because of the greater freedom they enjoy in both art & content.

Art that is not bound by expectations from a geopolitical situation is a richer art.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby desideraht » June 1st, 2012, 7:06 am

suphawker wrote:I did not know "Americans" were a race. Considering we're all made up of a bunch of different races.

Amazing.
I think the racist part is more "Don't draw Japanese".
My original manga is indefinitely on hiatus (sorry!).
It is going to be gutted and restarted because I started it prematurely.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Guildadventure » June 3rd, 2012, 7:34 am

I have the same problem here in Spain. Manga-anime is a very extended drawing style here, but at the same time is not taken seriously by the self appointed "pros", and the simple fact that you do manga means automaticaly that you are bad drawing, even if your drawings are 100 times better than the ones of the people saying that to you..

More than racism i think is because people is too short-minded, they dont have an open mind about how the drawings should be, many people have a common conception than the only way of making a drawing is hiperealism, and everything thats not realism is automaticaly wrong, so manga style, that tends to go for the non-realist way, is like anathema for them.

I think drawings and music are the most subjetive things in existence, its imposible to say "this style is better", it simply seems better or worse for each eyes or ears but you can say a style is "wrong" just because you dont like it. People dont undestand that, they simply go for "if i dont like it, it means its bad done".
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby withasmilemanga » June 3rd, 2012, 9:13 am

don't hate the style of comics or mangas....
they are just like music... even they are differ in genre they still make people to love them because they can relate...
and thats how we must to do to our art style.... we draw either comic style or manga style because that's what inside ur heart... if u are a true artist... u must not curse them but love them... inspire other people.... comic and manga are same.... they made people mad, cry, laugh, learn and enjoy....

look.... do u know SCOTTPILGRIM by Bryan lee o' malley...??? it is combination of comic and manga style.... GOOGLE it if u dont know...
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby corruption » August 17th, 2012, 10:59 pm

Austupaio wrote:As for ' America v. Japan ' when it comes to art, I'd argue America doesn't have a style. It's simply to young a country, nothing originated here except for this.
Spoiler! :
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Which, while rather cool, doesn't aspire to story telling.


They are both single examples of an art style. The Aztecs and other pre-Columbus civilizations had a well developed art style that remained used by the successive civilizations (in minor variations) one after the other and was used in story telling.


Different cultures create their own styles of art. The more cultures intermingle with each other, the more they influence each other. However, even then you can denote some trends that mostly are kept by the originating culture. If you read a lot comics from Spain, England, France, Greece, Australia, or other places with a heavy Americian influence on them, you will notice that the styles are different from the American comic styles. Often cultures develop more then one style.

Most often these differences are ignored these days thanks to globalization, even before WWII. They intermingled with each other and thus blended into what was generally considered the acceptable styles. Most of Asian had been taken over by Europe and the art in those places mostly changed to suite European tastes.

However, Japan remained mostly free of European influences until after the war, thus when they took the comic styles of the Americans, and added their own culture's style, it was brand new and different. It is different enough that can't just be considered another version of the accepted styles, yet close enough that it can't be dismissed as a different style altogether. That is part of the problem.

When it was introduced into America, it was only really accepted as cartoons and comics at first. Things the adults considered as silly things for children. The association has remained ever since. For them accepting manga as a serious art style would be the same as accepting a picture of Bugs Bunny as serious art.

Many of these art experts have never learned art styles that did not originate in Europe, and thus can't appreciate Asian styles of art. They were taught that some schools were proper art, and that all the rest were rubbish.

American-style comics are distinct from Manga, but not as good in some ways. People say that all the characters in Manga look the same. When I look at most American comics these days, I see a few basic body types used over and over. They say Manga styles of dress are ridiculous. I say how are they any more ridiculous then a woman wearing high heals and a costume that covers less of her body then some bikinis, going into a fight?

Here is an idea, if a teacher ever tells you to "draw American" ask for a demonstration as you are not sure what the American style of draw is. Provide examples, like DC, Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and more.
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Re: Is it "Racist" or just plain discrimination?

Postby Paputsza » April 1st, 2014, 9:57 am

I think it's an aesthetics thing. It's not in any way racist(since racism involves inherited dna and disliking someone for it. Normal people). I completely disagree with the people disparaging the whole Japanese style of drawing. It's obnoxious since it's an aesthetic opinion. You can't go up to jay-z and tell him he needs to start making bluegrass. Also, it's cartooning either way, and I think that the anime style is a lot more forgiving when adding in color since the lines are minimalist. The people who don't like anime either have never seriously made art or have never tried to draw in the style from scratch, since the anime style isn't forgiving for mistakes. I only learned the merits of the manga style way after magically gaining the ability to draw things verbatim, when I spontaneously tried to draw anime, but it came out terribly.
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