I Need Some Art-Related Advice

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I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby Wolfsong » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:56 am

I have recently begun trying to fulfill my ages-old dream of creating a manga, a real, published manga, unlike the little half-pages I sometimes draw. However, I'm just not sure what the best way to begin something like this is. What is the best way to begin drawing? layout of story? Any specific code or type or something I should follow?
Please help!
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:18 pm

First off, don't call it a manga. I can't take a person seriously when they call it that, and I'm pretty sure publishers wouldn't either.
Second, study art. Study everything. Anatomy, composition, lighting, color theory, movement, dialogue, writing. Before you even start to develop a style, you're going to need to know how to realistically portray what you plan to draw. And if it even crosses your mind that you don't need to know anatomy BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING A MANGO, then give up now, because you aren't even remotely ready.
Then, after you can draw and write convincing stories/dialogue, you can move on to the next part. Moar studying!!1!! Panel layout, drafting, word bubble placement, inking, coloring, action sequences, shading (either halftoning or some other method like crosshatching). Also, writing in a proper comic format. It'll look a bit like a screenplay.
Then, when you have THAT down, you can start planning your comic, starting with the plot. Then you write your script, draft out your panels and sketches, and finally ink and color. Along the way, of course, getting as much critique as you can. And not nice critique, either. People are going to tear your work apart. And even then, it's probably not going to be as harsh as an actual publisher will be.
Then, after all that hard work, you're going to need to contact a publisher. Whether or not they'll want a full volume or something else, you'll have to see. After that, it's up to the publisher you contact what happens.
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby Wolfsong » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:28 pm

...if its not called a manga, then what is it? because that's what I've always heard it called, if not a graphic novel.
Thirdly, I understand the need for anatomy, I'm not stupid. That and my mother was a bit of an artist, so she critques my work, though she wishes I wasn't so into anime. My elder brother critizes me on story line, plot, and ideas, so I think I'm covered there.
What sort of tools, like for inking and such, would you suggest?
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby mechana2015 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:10 pm

It really depends on the style you want. I'm going to highly recommend 2 books on the art of making comics, one will cover the language of comics and the other the process of creating them.

Understanding Comics -Scott McCloud
Making Comics - Scott McCloud

He'll explain the core 'rules' of comics in Understanding, and the various tools and purpose for them in Making Comics.
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby Xeno » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:57 pm

Wolfsong wrote:...if its not called a manga, then what is it?

A comic book. The general concept is that manga...mangas...mangi?...whatever, are produced by people living in Japan. Just like American cartoons don't get to be anime even if they style generally matches that of what is presently being made in Japan. You're wanting to make a comic. These come in the form of strips or short books or larger volumes such as the graphic novel. But you are not living in Japan and thus you are not making a "manga", you are making a comic.
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby DaughterOfZion » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:00 pm

Wolfsong wrote:Thirdly, I understand the need for anatomy, I'm not stupid. That and my mother was a bit of an artist, so she critques my work, though she wishes I wasn't so into anime. My elder brother critizes me on story line, plot, and ideas, so I think I'm covered there.

No one was calling you stupid. We have no idea what your degree of competency is. Ante was just giving general advice that zhe would say to anyone who goes "I'm going to make a manga!" with out showing or explaining that they at least have some drawing experience.
There are way too many people who think they're just going to draw a "Manga" and be famous when they have barely picked up a pencil. So you sound like you at least have some experience, at least in general art, but there was no way to tell from your first post.
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Re: I Need Some Art-Related Advice

Postby goldenspines » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:35 pm

The market for "manga" published outside of Japan is slim last I checked. Mainly, it's hard to break into the Japanese manga industry/market, since, well, a lot of manga fans tend to be purists (i.e. "Manga is from Japan and should be drawn by Japanese people only." It's sort of a condescending statement, but for the most part, it is true that a lot of the appeal of manga comes from the cultural approach of the Japanese).
Hence why Ante said what she did, it's hard for not-Japanese publishing companies to take you seriously if you want to publish a "manga". BUT, the nice thing is, there are a lot of manga-inspired/Asian comic-influenced comics out there that have gotten published, but it's still a hard market.
But publishing comes later, you're still at the beginning stages! ^_^

Along with the advice given already, as you begin scripting out dialogue, panel placement, story flow, etc. figure out your characters and draw them, A LOT. Just when you think you have drawn them enough, draw them more. Make nice little character sheets for each one and get to the point where you can draw the same character in a variety of different poses and expressions and still have them recognizable.
If you've done this already, good! You're well on your way.

Next thing is, as you are drawing/creating, use a ton of real life references (don't use other artists as your reference). Draw from life if possible, otherwise take a lot of photos, or get photo books or look online, but often it's easier to get the exact pose/expression you want by modeling yourself or asking you friends to model for you and taking your own photos.
But basically, learn how to draw realistically before you can draw accurate simplified or stylized things. Or rather, you can learn to exclusively learn how to draw comics, but your comics will look more professional and you will be able to be a lot more versatile if you know how things would work if they were real (e.g. even made up stuff like giant robots, fantastical creatures, etc.)

Unfortunately, CAA currently lacks a bit in the art community department (though we should work on changing that), but there is a community of aspiring manga artists over at Christianmanga.com . I believe they understand the risky waters and small market they are getting into, but I personally think the community is helpful for growth and trying out things on a smaller and less formal scale as you try to improve your skills and make something worthy of publishing for real.

On a side note, I guess I should work on getting that manga contest running again on here. >_>;;
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