What It Takes to Become a Manga Artist

What It Takes to Become a Manga Artist

I'm about to share my experience as a manga artist I've broken down this past six years in seven phases if you want to know who I am before start getting into it I have another video in my channel called Who am I and why does it matter so it's gonna give you a perspective on what I'm about to say and where I come from all right let's get to it this video is an introduction to a series of seven videos that are going to come out in the next weeks and month I want to mention that I'm not going to talk about how to draw this or that or get into any technical stuff know what I'm going to talk about is the reality of what it is to start with nothing in wanting to become a professional manga artist what it's like to work every day for years without knowing if you'll succeed or not and I'll be showing pages that I've drawn during each of these phases so yeah I'm sorry for what you're about to see phase number one the start the start of a new hobby is always kind of the same thing you try something out of sheer curiosity you figure out the craft you know at that point you didn't even know where to start or how to do the layout of a page but you try you copy stuff you like and you get out of your comfort zone it's exciting and messy as you can see I didn't even know how to do the panels at first I was just like alright at least I'm making something I didn't even have a story or characters I just drew a page this phase is gonna last for a little while until you start getting better at it and understanding the basics phase number two routine and giving up yes I'm already talking about routine what's happening here is that it quickly starts being new and exciting it's not like an iPhone game that constantly gives you free crystals at the beginning to keep you playing a lot of people start new things out of curiosity which is great but they stop after a few hours or a few days because they start to realize that it takes constant effort and work to get better not only does it take effort to keep making those shitty pages but it tastes conscious effort to figure out how to improve them and that point you're able to draw a full chapter I've personally made a 64 pages one-shot it took me about four months to make it which they forced me to start new habits in order to keep drawing every day the routine had started I'm pretty positive that most people who wanted to try to draw comics have given up by that point but if you push through that means that you had the necessary self-discipline to put in the effort that means that you've made the decision that you wanted to be a manga artist phase number three time to change your pages are far from those of a professional among artists you start to dig into each skill necessary to make a manga and how to improve each of them it is intimidating daunting and overwhelming you can't improve everything at the same time so you're more likely to start to work on the drawing first because drawing is the output between you and the reader at that phase I started to realize that I needed to draw more backgrounds I was working on a more serious and grey story and needed to build an atmosphere in a sense of what the world was like I did it immediately I started drawing those backgrounds I was certainly not good at it but I did it anyway and obviously it was taking more and more time to complete a page phase number four slow improvements it's working you're developing your skills over years years when I started I thought I could become a professional in three years that's the amount of time I gave myself it's been six years since and I'm not even there I'm close but I'm not there you have to understand that if you don't already have the fundamentals of drawing you'll need to learn them and sure at first you're going to stick the manga style copying long as you like and try to see how things are drawn in them but then you'll understand that you need to master the fundamentals and that sounds just like what your art teacher would say but it's true and if you keep practicing you feel that you're lacking something Anatomy perspective lighting figure drawing you will learn all of these and especially how to use them in your comic manga and comics usually simplify the human form the classic example is the eyes and the proportions but these things didn't just happen out of nowhere you need to mask the fundamentals before being able to work them play with them and employ them at the service of your comic you'll eventually learn more about the craft itself like composition panel layout or speech bubbles giving you all the tools you need to make great pages and it shows but by learning all these new things you start to take more and more hours to draw a single page phase number five crisis this one was pretty hard I'm a naturalist self-discipline person if I want to do something I'd put in the effort but this moment was hard I was close to a professional level by that I mean that if you saw these drawings in natural published manga it wouldn't feel off without being sensational it just worked I was working on a webcomic with about a hundred readers and I was at my fourth chapter I've been drawing this comic for little more than a year and kept increasing the amount of work I was giving myself in order to get closer to the rhythm of a published manga for chapter three and four I was drawing to Betty's a week it took me about twenty and thirty hours for these two pages so I had to find that time was still going to engineering school eight pages a month is four times to slow to become a professional but I knew I had squirrel at the same time so I thought I could get to 16 17 pages a month if I were working at a full time among is about 180 and 200 pages so that meant a book a year not great but that's still something however the crippling thought of not being good enough had always been there and this time was taking place in the idea that I wasn't drawing fast enough I'd burn myself out at the fourth chapter trying to draw more and more and I had to apologize to the readers for having to stop the comic abruptly I also stopped drawing for three month growling comic is not only about quality it's also about quantity you can't be published if you can't keep up I was not ready but a year and a half later I made a huge presentation of my manga and sent the email phase number six contacting the publishers conversing with publishers has been a rather slow process for me six month passed between the moment has sent the email than the moment I got the final response for the first two months I didn't have a response or assume that my project was just not interesting only after that did they ask me to see more pages I was pumped and excited I sent some old pages and they said that my manga was interesting and had potential I'm summing it up fast but that took about a month to get there they also said that they wanted to see more recent pages because these were two years old I drew them and I send them a month later I was super confident these pages were good and if they were interested by the old ones these new ones were just gonna rock their socks off a month and a half later the editorial manager told me that it was good but my drawings still lacked dynamicism and life I was surprised and disappointed but I kind of understood what he meant he then asked me how much time I was spending on a page I said ten hours I knew it was too much but considering the style I was going for I thought that the publishers and I could find an arrangement his response you're taking way too long to draw a page in the current state we won't publish a manga to give you an idea you'd need to draw 30 pages a month to make two books a year phase number seven observed difficulty this is the seventh and final phase of this video because this is the one I'm currently in I want to say that it's the most difficult one to get out of simply because at that point you know enough to understand what it takes to make it happen but actually doing it is what is difficult the path is clear but filled with thorns' a comparison of made is I feel like I've been climbing this volcano for six years now that I'm at the top I'm in front of the editorial manager who looks at me looks at the crater and says now jump I know exactly how to do it I can't jump it's not hard but chomping into a crater there's no going back you would have to give your life without even knowing what's gonna happen at the landing 30 pages a month is absurd for me it would mean 300 hours of work every month which means 75 hours a week more than 10 hours a day every day this is not okay another solution would be to change my style to make the pages easier to draw in in classic black and white but that's not what I want but it's naive to think that you can ask the business to fit to you and adapt to what you want I'm not trying to make a statement against the industry or even what the publishers are asking the authors to do I'm trying to make you understand that if you want to be part of the industry if you want to become a published long artist you have to fit with the business one way or the other do not expect it to change for you because it won't you're probably thinking what that's it it's impossible just move on no it's not there are plenty of ways to draw 30 pages a month you just have to find one that fits your needs however none of them are easy they may ask you an absurd amount of work money and energy all at once enough to make you question your life at that point is this really what I want am I willing to work 55 hours a week and spend $700 a month to pay a second artist to make this coming possible I'm positive that if you still want to pursue this goal at that point you have to be insane and I've realized that while writing this video but I'm still doing it I'm still figuring out a way to make these 30 pages happen there is a gap between being a hobbyist and becoming a professional this is not easy and I shouldn't be surprised the final step is the hardest and that it's making me question life itself making me question the value of work the value of art this is not just a matter of putting in the effort anymore this is a matter of putting a life on the line diving into the crater health money time energy social life these are real your dream is not not yet but are you willing to sacrifice these resources that make up your life to make your dream a reality because this is what it takes to become among artists all right this may be a little harsh to hear but I feel like giving a road depiction of the reality was necessary I am going to make detailed videos for each of these phases talking about what I've learned and hopefully helping you go through them as smoothly as possible so you know subscribe if you want to be notified when these videos come out the first one should be out next week leave a like if you enjoy the concept and leave your questions and suggestions in the comments thanks for sticking to the end and see you in the next video


  • Ravioli MuyCalor says:

    I'm currently working on a new video, in case you're wondering. It's been a long time but hey, better late than never I guess. See you soon ~

  • Manami Hanatsuki says:

    Hi , great video ! I am making a manga myself , but I am only 4 pages in so far .
    I can draw a page a day and a page takes about 8 hours .
    But the thing is I cannot draw eveyday .
    I have a job and thesis and a degree along with other life reponsabilities .
    Thought of giving up for so many times , but this idea has been in my head for years , and I thought that it is about tie to realize it , also I have a shrt webtton idea , but it won't take more than 5-7 chapters so putting it aside.
    Anyways , at the point where I just know I am too slow and too busy to get things done , as well as too low on budget ( i need to pay for my uni ) to hire someone , I have decided to make it into a team project . I want to finish this chapter I am doing to set a directive and then look for a big team.
    Probably a team of manga artists who are looking for someone with a finished storyline and go on from there .
    I will do toning and inking for some things and the colored cover pages to keep my style alive and like divide what happens in each page and that's it .

    I know it might be impossible , but since I can't hire someone and I don't need the monetary side of a manga ( it's more of a dream to see what I thought of on paper ) , so I don't mind sharing the manga and decresing my workload .
    Maybe like CLAMP ? where they all share the workload and each works on a specific thing …? I am faster at writing anywayss and I have planned a few chapters ahead , I only need someone who is willing to team up with me

  • A guy with random convictions says:

    What does it take?
    Your sleeping hours
    Your health
    Your relationships
    Your life.

  • kayatheweeaboo says:

    I've just got out of the crisis zone myself but right now am working on a one-shot and am planning on finishing it this summer

  • Tomas Del Campo says:

    I don't understand how drawing a single page is supposed to take like 10 hours but whatever

  • TrashM8 says:

    5:14 i knew those characters looked familiar

  • DYproductions says:

    ONE (creator of One punch man ) has left the chat.

  • Akash Biswakarma says:

    Watch bakuman whoever hasnt watched it yet
    Damn its hard to be mangaka

  • Galaxy Vulture says:

    U can be a manga artists even if your art isn't Berserk level. Just look at the real opm art.

  • lazer tag says:

    real manga artist does 20 to 30 pages a fucking week! honestly i wouldn't want to be one.. they work 24/7 and have no life.. japanese work culture sucks ass

  • GamingOtku says:

    Every anime fan that watches this video: oh yeah I'd like to know that
    Actually anime fans that watched or read Bakuman: Hold my g pen

  • DarthVaderAnakin says:

    Who are you exactly?

  • Amiren says:

    why does ur logo look like a condom

  • Primer Ministro Sans De Britannia says:

    Tch, I don't care about the odds (including being Japanese). I just want to draw for fun.

  • Idiot Plays Games says:

    Just found this video and haven’t checked out the rest of the channel yet, but I hope that you get to your goal and become published. If you haven’t already that is

  • Momo chanHN says:

    Very interesting. Informative.
    Thank u so much for sharing your experiences etc. I needed to hear this.
    I learn a lot. And have some idea of the pros and cons. I wish u good luck ~

  • Prometheus says:

    You are not a manga artist dude. You make manga style comic books, don't try to be something that you will never be

  • Raj Nayal says:

    Where do I submit my work
    I did it on Kyoto manga award 2019
    Please help

  • Fandom Infatuation says:

    That's why most comic and manga artists have a team. Someone who does inking, someone else who does lettering, coloring etc.

  • RaptorCrite says:

    Next: What it takes to become a hentai artist

  • Chupito ElPame says:

    I'm very good at drawing manga.

    I can deliver around 8 standard inked pages/day.

    But I'm not a published artist.

    The thing is, you have to do it because it makes you happy, not because you want to be published.

    Make your manga, at your rhythm, and offer it to publishers when it's done, or when you have such speed that you can do a complex page in about 2 hours.

  • Emily Martin says:

    I realllllly wanna be a manga artist

  • Guess It says:

    The topic is deep and the whole message can be attached not only to manga artist profession, but pretty much to any hobby/profession, where you don't want to to have enough skills to make you job, but to be the best in it.

  • YareYareDaze says:


  • Sindy pop says:

    if you want your manga to look nice, id simplify it

  • Hi im Iny says:

    Animators: we got you fam

  • vladi toncev says:

    You know… I think I found a little quirk. No matter in what language , no matter how its used in a sentence. The moment when I heard your commitment of your life to this job, I knew with there is something japanese about you, more than just your topics. "Ready to put your life on the line", the one ultimatum that only a true japanese man uses.
    I feel the same way, I myself am a lets say a comic book artist and its taking me forever to complete my first chapter and I'm not sure where I'm going its going to 40 pages. And considering that I'm in a country that doesn't have a strong apreciation for any artistic creativity I'm not sure where I'll be going with it.

  • Bala nce says:

    Don’t wanna be a manga artist but this looks cool af

  • hippity hoppity says:

    manga artist origins (sorted by most popular):
    -hentai addiction

  • Dragon Fetus says:

    Awesome video! It is good to dream high, but it isbalso important to know how, in order to get there or to know if we want to get there. Keep going, you are awesome bro!

  • advers7 says:

    The only 2 rules for becoming a manga artist is
    1: be japanese.
    2: draw good.

  • Roska Morals says:

    New sub here. I'm just trying to find the best manga art software with the tools i need. Would you have any recommendation

  • Kilyén Balázs says:

    Yeah to draw a manga = fundamentals, that makes it sound like the basics, but the basics in drawing basically include almost everything. Ppl saying lightning and figure drawing, but even before all that comes the "draw no matter what, but accurate" and that's like the most insane hardest part because you need to make an EFFORT, each and every time to check proportions, size, and so on. And each and every single time you make an effort and speak realistic to yourself about what you did and how it is, and what you need to do and archive, doubt crushes you. Even the everyday practice just to get proper lines and be able to sketch with considerably acceptable proportions and placement takes years, and we are not at drawing anything, just basic shapes made from lines. Trough, if you do get good at this, every other part of the basics get much easier. When i hear, that it only took you 6 years to get to that point. . . I feel like killing myself. What worse is, i cant even say ill spend my every second on it to reach it as well, because i am working now and cooking for myself and cleaning the house and fucking spending 15 hours from the day +6 to sleep at least just to live. I did sub to the channel, because i am interested in the topic, but right now i dont really see this helping me in any way…its just making me sad.

  • pasta_and_butter says:

    Just realised that that webcomic you were drawing was about the Game Grumps…

  • Rj Rebueno says:

    I love Bakuman, for me, it is the best anime. It pushes and inspires me to be a great and dedicated artist. I'm not working on manga, but webcomics, its kinda the same thing, the struggle and all. Now that I've seen your video, I'm even more pumped up. CCRROOOWWWW!!

  • Belly Button says:

    How about drawing comics just for the fun of it and not conforming to the predatory and inhumane working conditions of this generally fucked up industry?

  • Jonn Bluestone says:

    Very intersting video, its not easy to follow your dreams and achieve them

  • DamMan says:

    Internet is the way to go now for newly comic artists now a day. I also suggest posting works on webtoon and adverting your works on upcoming comic-con or manga-con. Starting a kickstarter is too risky and you could end up investing in more money then receiving.

  • Luis Edward Miranda says:

    Decent channel 👌🏼

  • Sir Lomin says:

    Yea. I'm not going to be a manga artist. I'm probably going to be something similar to that

  • Traveller Atlas says:

    Power to you buddy

  • UNDERoathTx says:

    What's the name of your manga?

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