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July 2nd, 2010 #1
I DO NOT HAVE A MANGA STYLE!!! (help?)
So, ten years ago, like many pre-teens, I got into manga and anime. Hard. It's all I drew, and I was happy with it.
A few years down the road, I realize that if I want to make my living as an artist, I need to drop the anime style. For the most part, it is synonymous with "I drew this in 7th period history class on lined paper. Isn't DBZ COOL!?" I didn't want to limit myself with such a flash-in-the-pan style, so I cut myself from it. Sold all my anime and manga, and surrounded myself with other inspirations.
Fast forward to today. I have made a conscious effort to avoid all the anime pitfalls - eyes that crawl up the forehead, spiky, gravity-defying hair, anatomy featuring a bone structure and muscle system that couldn't possibly support human life, etc. I think my style is, for the most part, still a little cartoony, but not manga-centric.
Every once in a while, though, someone will see my art and comment on the "manga style" or "anime rendering". They say it in a well-meaning manner, but every time I am dumbfounded. I can't tell what I am doing that lights up the "anime" lightbulb in so many people's heads.
If it's not too much trouble, take a look at my portfolio. There's a link in my signature. What am I still doing that makes people think manga? Does anyone else ever have this problem? How should I handle people that do make these comments? Is it really so distracting that you think it might offend potential employers?
Thanks a con, CA.
(this seems appropriate. )
EDIT : I freely admit that there is good art out there that is also anime style. I also understand you can get work with an anime style, and it can still look lovely. (The game Doofus comes to mind.) It's just something that I do not want to see in my own work.
Last edited by MittyMandi; July 2nd, 2010 at 09:05 PM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberJuly 2nd, 2010 #2
July 2nd, 2010 #3
July 2nd, 2010 #4
Your style is very cartoony, and it's not a Disney or DC/Marvel kind of cartoony, ergo folks will associate it with manga. The critters in image 6, the gun in image 7, the girl's face in image 8 (mouth smaller than eyes) are all pretty clearly manga-style. Most of your people I would say remind me more of Phil Foglio, but most people wouldn't have that visual reference at their fingertips.
I think if you want to really shed the manga style you might need to learn to draw more naturalistically, and then maybe later find some new ways to simplify it. At the very least, try drawing realistic lips on your characters for a while and see if that helps.
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July 2nd, 2010 #5
July 2nd, 2010 #6Registered User
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Learn the anatomy of the nose :•( and nobody will ever accuse you of being like manga again.
Draw the following noses into your notebooks from google images reference: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts, Vigo Morgenstern, Alan Rickman, Telly Savalas, David Niven, Maria Bartiroma, Marilyn Monroe, and Dean Martin.
Post them in your sketchbook.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
July 2nd, 2010 #7
This makes me wonder why I haven't created an array of celebs which correspond to every core facial feature and body type for quick reference. Have you already done this? I think this might streamline the initial creative process. e.g. "I want this character to have julia Robert's nose, Betty Page's figure, etc.")
Also, for the nose list, add Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle.
July 2nd, 2010 #8
"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." -Leonardo da Vinci
July 2nd, 2010 #9
Don't forget Jimmy Durante and Barbara Streisand, for those non-conventional characters (who can still be appealing in their own way).
The Nezumi Works Sketchbook - Now in progress
My online portfolio
"Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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July 2nd, 2010 #10My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
July 2nd, 2010 #11
I honestly don't think you need to worry about being pigeonholed as a "bad anime artist" - yes, some of your pieces have a loose affinity to anime styles, but your portfolio doesn't scream "ANIME!!" Some of the softer "cute" pieces put me more in mind of children's book illustration than anime.
I think the pieces that have the strongest "anime" vibe might be the cute cartoon girls and the semi-realistic cartoons with the flat color. I think a lot of it's the flat color and smooth, uniform line, and the faces of the girls.
Maybe experiment with more texture, different line quality, different approaches to shading and coloring; try some loose messy stuff to break away from the "clean" anime look. Also maybe experiment with both greater naturalism AND extreme stylization in styles that are as far from anime as possible. Look at German Expressionism or graffiti art or some of the funkier western cartoonists (some oldies but goodies: Lyonel Feininger, Cliff Sterrett, George Herriman.)
(Ironically, I often get clients asking for anime styles even if that's not what I initially show them. There's been many a time I've presented a first round of character designs and heard something like "this one is cute, but can you make her more anime?" Of course I bite the bullet and make it more anime. Whatever pays the rent.)
July 2nd, 2010 #12
Everything you learned before is still with you. If there's any manga influence showing, it's because you still like the way it looks.
I wouldn't get too hung up on labels, personally. There's no need to toss out everything that works just because you liked it back when you were younger. If you keep changing, growing, improving and adding to your repertoire then you shouldn't have big issues with employers unless they want something completely different than what you've got. If they're looking for grotesque horror, for example, you're not going to win them over with cartoons. Otherwise, though, I'd say just don't worry about it and keep learning.
July 2nd, 2010 #13
I don't understand what makes the anime lightbulb go off either. But your stuff is fine and doesn't scream it. Don't even be scared of being influenced by it a little bit. Just keep on improving, practicing and learning. There's a lot of shit being published (Tokyopop, Dark Horse, Other) that is advertised as manga and it's just some western folk trying to copy it in their own mind what manga is. And they're making money off of it. Some, a living.
Your stuff is killer and diverse. I especially like the one with the steampunk dude. The giraffe kitty is interesting as well.
People will make a lot of weird comments like "anime-styled apples". I've seriously read a thread (another forum) on the internet of this girl who did a study of apples and it was called "anime-crap" by her high school teacher. She posted the image and it just looked like a normal study. It's absurd.