How do you become an actual artist?
Becoming any kind of pro (proficient) basically means you’ve worked your arse off to a level where you can either impress a substantial amount of people with your skills or be good enough to make an income from what you do. Doing so as an artist just takes a lot of practice and understanding of your craft- how to make things look beautiful, and/or communicate well. Once you’re there, it’s time to market yourself and your work so people know you exist
How do I become a manga artist?
I’m sorry if I’m intruding you with these questions and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to but I was wondering how did you start your business as a mangaka? How did you get contacts and create these guide books that’s able to sell worldwide? I’m a total newbie when it comes to this so I was hoping to get some tips and insights on how to start business and broaden it myself, thanks a lot! ^_^
Thanks for the question and you're not intruding at all. The way I got my stuff published was kind of unconventional. I don’t want to lie to people or give the usual non-specific BS of “work hard at school and it’ll all pay off” or “post your work on the internet and perhaps you’ll be discovered by a publisher” - That one almost NEVER happens in this day and age I’m afraid.
However, luckily that did happen to me. The difference being, I got my first book published back in the day when the internet was still a baby and there wasn’t much competition- a publisher happened to be on the look-out for a UK based artist who could draw manga style and I happened to have a portfolio website online which ranked on the first few pages of Google (I’d image for the keywords “UK manga artist”). They found me, asked if I’d be interested in working with them and even though I felt my artistic standard wasn’t up to scratch I took the opportunity anyway and it then led to creating 3 other books over the years…
So for me- it was a case of creating artwork, posting it online, then a simple case of luck! Being in the right place at the right time. Also being willing to take the opportunity that arose.
What can you do?
Luck can happen at any time, so in the mean time, I’d suggest improving your skills and being patient. Everyone’s path to success will differ. There’s the social media route to raise your profile and allow people to find you- Some develop a Youtube channel and invest 1000s of hours into creating unique content for it, others Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, or art specific sites like Deviantart and Behance. Or try being bold- write to publishers and companies directly to pitch your ideas and portfolio and expect 100 rejection letters or non-responses before you succeed, or if that doesn’t work, move on to something else. I’d say just keep trying things. Think outside the box. For most artists expect a massive chunk of your time to go into marketing, trial and error business ventures or experiments in order to get noticed or profit from your art. Or maybe you’ll also find some luck. Perhaps entering a competition to create a serialized manga, which ends up landing you a full-time gig? Look out for stuff like that too.
Where can I purchase cheap bulk Prints?
I recently went to an art market/mini Comicon thing in my hometown, and I'm thinking about selling some of my stuff there next year. But then I thought....how do I get cheap bulk prints of my work to sell there? Any suggestions?
Great- Give it a go! I'm always interested to hear how people get on at events. So far as prints go, I have a large format printer so can print my own. This helps since I can produce small quantities to test the waters and not over-stock. Googling ‘custom poster prints’ or ‘giclee prints company’ in your country might be the way to go. Searching for those terms on eBay might even be an idea.
How much does your art cost?
I have prints and original pencil drawings available to buy at in the Shop.
If you’d like to commission me to draw your character, logo, mascot, or work on your project, the best thing to do is send me a brief/description of what you’d like and I can provide a quote. A head shot for example might be less than half the price of a full-body image so it’s it’s best if I give a price once I know what needs creating. Head over to the Hire Me section for me info.
If there's a question you'd like answered relating to art, or digital illustration, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.