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FAQs

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1. Why doing it right to left?

A: I came from Taiwan where we do it right to left (asian way) I got used to its workflow so I decided to do most of my work Right to Left.

0. Can I be your friend? (yes, this is a serious FAQ )

A: yes, just watch me and comment on my journal/blog entry, you might just become my friend.

Q. Do you earn money from doing art?
A: Yes, I do, I am a freelancer,
art field is my professional field,
and I also work in art education related jobs.

b. Do you earn money from doing comics/manga?
A: If you count in convention and online sales, commissions, yes, but not enough at this point, I hope to live soly on my own brand of products someday.

Technical things:

>>>>: ANIMATION Related:
1. What do you use to do animation?

A: My hands, my brain, pencils, animation paper, light table, animation pegs, scanner, after effects, tablet, and flash.
I do most of my rough animation in flash.
Coloring tools includes photoshop, and painter. Inking tool, Paint tool Sai , Flash, and Photoshop. Sometimes I use maya/3D max too… (but I am not good with 3D yet)

2. Will you make a tutorial on how to animate?

A: You caaaan pray to the google goddess to give you other tutorials. I would suggest these links:
http://www.idleworm.com/how/anm/02w/walk1.shtml
animator’s survival kit online
Lipsync

Download flash, or use Photoshop animating program will work, get to those practices.
Other wise, I am not into teaching animation unless it’s a paid commission or if you end up on my production team. XD
It’s simply not a skill that can be taught all in one shot tutorials,
either you take a few years self-study this, or pay tens of thousands to get trained,
and plenty have done great teachings online already.
>>> MANGA RELATED:

1. What pencil did you use to color?

A: Prang, ($-24) Prisma. ($ 48 ) set

2. What did you use for inking?

A: Micro Sakura pens, with thiness of .005 to .08; dip pen and brushes; G pen for dip pen, a 0 size round acrylic brush.

3. What do you use to CG?

Photoshop, as well as Corel Painter 9, use Illustrator rarely…

4. Why don’t you use computer/photoshop to color?

A: I use both traditional medium and digital equally.
why don’t you try some traditional media first? Get out more, it will only benefit you.

5. How much do you charge for commission? (a) Can you make an anime for my story?
A:
Prize range depends on complexity + investment on the materials and shipping

:Click to See my listing:

6. How long did it take you to do one page of manga?

A: It varies. Colored manga like Edepth takes 4 hours per page, pencil manga is average 20-40 mins per page. Inking 20-40 mins depends on complexity. But at highest quality, each page takes about 6-8 hours. Occasionally, a page would torture me for nearly 20 hours due to its illustration aspect.
6.5. How long have you been drawing manga?

A: At age 10 I completed 120 pages of manga, that would be my first long serie, but I did smaller works before that… so..
Over 10 years so far.

6.6. On an avarage of pages, how many panels do you like out of the page?

A: Used to do less than 10, now around 5-6 or less.
7. What kind of paper do you use?

A: most of the time my anime/manga works are done on normal injet printing paper, now I also use 25 pound injet printing paper, because its heavier than the normal 20 pound. For more official work I use A4 size manga paper because it’s convenient.
8. Can I do fanart of your characters?

A: Yes, certainly. You don’t need my permission to do a fanart as long as you put them as fanart, not your own and credit me properly. And its always good to let me know. I would appreciate that.

However, I do have a few rules:
1. I DON’T like yaoi, yuri, so if you paired up any of my characters on your own, don’t show it to me, then we will have peace.

2. I am SERIOUSLY against henti, or any sort of pornographic work done of my characters.

My characters are my brain-child that I have developed through the years, they are my visual family, I can’t stand anyone mistreating them.

But I trust most fans of mine are respectful people, I haven’t run into any trouble with the fanart. Keep them coming! XD

10. Did it take you a long time to achieve that many good panels in a comic?

A: You really need to learn the basic art design principle for this.

13. ~ sunnightraider I’m just curious as to what size page you use to draw your comic strips – do you use A3 or A4? Also, do you have your own custom layout when it comes to planning and laying out the panels or do you use the professional technique of drawing your strip within a ‘safe zone’ on the page?

A: Good Q.

Honestly… most of the time i use 8X11 printer paper. ^^b Since that’s the most avaliable size, and alot of self-publishing also offer that sizes too, it’s easy on the money.

For professional, contest works, I go by each particular publisher’s demand, on the East and the West there are different demands, and each publisher varies just a bit from one another, it’s actually quite a royal pain.

For USA based manga, now I follow Tokyopop’s layout for Raising Star contests. There are other publishers that use traditional comic layout, that I do not know very well.

For Eastern side manga, I follow Eastern publishers’ demand, most of them take A4 with digital works. So I usually work on A4. Although they said pro mangaka works on B4, dojinshi mangaka works on B5.

For safe zone, I use mainly 3 kinds, A4 safty zone, Tokyopop safty zone on 8X11, and web style. Usually I go by what the publishers prefer, for Edepth however, since its web comic, I decided to stop following that rule for that particular serie since there’s very few reasons to. But since I already followed the rule for a long time, I often subconsiously make all my speech bubble stay inside a safty zone even when i draw the layout.

I usually draw my own layout, it gives me more freedom, looking at those blue printed lines just gets on my nerves about staying in the box. X3

>>>>: Illustration related:

1. How long did it take you to CG or color?

A: 4-6 hours upto 30 hours, it depends.

2. how long since u starting to learn drawing?How do you get to be so good?

A: Thank you for the compliment. I started drawing ever since i could pick up a pencil. Just don’t stop learning from around you and don’t stop practicing. Observation is key to a good artwork.

+ Edepth Angel related:

0. Why did you switch from color pencils to CG for Edepth?

A: There’s only so much pencils can do I got sick of it. I am still experimenting, I didn’t give up pencil for good. 😛

1. How I started Edepth:

“how did you come up with this story?(Edepth Angel)”

A few reasons combined:
1. I was inspired by a nurse in China caring for the nasty people with skin disease, those people weren’t friendly, they would fight and bite if they could… but she helped them to form a community with good relationships.

2. I wanted to do a manga with robots, just to challenge myself, knowing most female artists aren’t even interested in drawing such a genre. I ended up liking to draw robots after creating None.

I made a basic story of what I wanted to do, and then start to plan it in sketches, I always write my story in sketches form.

Then I go into researching, learning about what’s going on in the science world, (since robot is always related to science) read popular science magazine, watch Science channel as I develop the story on a consistent level. But I do feel I am always behind on the news.
Bought a “How to draw manga book” on giant robots and got the concept on designing a robot…. and gave it a few tries until I like my result. I never designed a giant robot for a story before this (other than a few for fun doodles) so I just took my character Lien (Chris) and turn him into a robot, and there’s None.

After a year of developing on on the story idea, I started the manga, but continue to develop it as it goes… watching the audience reaction and then make changes at times to my plot, sticking with my original intended flow.

This story is not long compare to my other one, 2Masters…. the ending for Edepth is already planned and decided, I just need to finish the final product.

This is a brief view on how I work:

[link]

My inspiration:
Oh… gosh. hmmm… To try to list where my inspiration come from is probably too narrow. I am used to observing life, people, events… a lot of things in life can serve as an inspiration if one watches for it. Even boredom.

The kind of schooling:
Community school for 4 years on graphic design and fine arts.
School of Visual Arts, 2nd year animation major
Self study manga and digital illustration

Getting Edepth publish:
Well, Edepth is only self-published, anyone can do it with lulu.com
Then register with the government on your own copyright, tada, you are published. BAH.
If I can get a fair contract or licensing/distributing for this series nation wide in US then it’s a cause for celebration.

2. I just read your comic/manga. And I was going to do one myself and just wondering if you can give me some pionters on how top get th same quality work you produce?

A: Doing comics/manga do require a lot of discipline on the artist’s part. The broader the study the better you get.

Abstract Art- for mood and art element foundation control

Graphic Design- for layout, the comfort of reading, and learn the placement of text, it’s selection and flow.

Figure drawing- (gesture and character handling)

Perspective drawing – for making the world believable

Illustration studies on fine arts and digital matte paintings- for colors, composition, and work refinement quality

Manga studies- learning other artists’ visual languages and culture, as well as all manga foundations.

Film studies- study good films that have good camera angle and transitions to apply it to my work

News and real life stories, documentries- studies of cultures, different views of the world and people.

Animation/acting: For the details expression of life and motion, to live-up your drawing.

Other Studies- archeology, psychologies, history, scientific reports, for interesting story development with the help of knowledge. And anything you want your stories to be about… you have to study it.

3. Drunksnowball said the following:

How much time does it take you to come up with a new character? What are your first steps to drawing this new person?

erm, good question that demands a long answer….

It’s actually very hard for me to come up with a new character, that’s why I keep the same set, and register all my characters’ copyright on my own.
I often make many models of new character designs and end up dumping them because they don’t live up to my old ones, or become too similar to my old ones I end up merging it to my older characters instead.

First step:
1. Deciding the type of personality and character I want to make. I used to take model out of anime/manga I watch and read, now to avoid similarity problem I just observe from documentary or reality TV shows to find personality. Often a new character is born because someone strikes me and I said to myself: “I want a character like that!” or “I need a character like that!” or even… “I want to tell this person’s story, it’s worth retelling.”

However, this applies mostly to my human characters, I don’t make robot or mech designs the same way.

2. After the personality is somewhat decided, I search for a look to make the character interesting to draw. The key part is I have to want to draw the character over and over again after I have about 40 characters I like drawing already. So it only gets tougher. Often one new character go through several revisions before it’s finalized. It also can not look or act too much like it’s source, other wise it will be unsurprising or boring to me that way.

3. After finalizing the design… sometimes I do draw a line-up of my old characters that can be similar to the new one, to check for overall differences and similarity, if they look too closely to one another, I have to make more changes. (however, some changes don’t work so well at times, I end up going back the old way I am comfortable with, a pretty deadly drawing habit.)

4. Finally, after the character is designed, I immediately think of a short plot to make this character interact with my other ones, to strengthen personality development, and assign this character to a relationship with other existing characters. For the purpose of easy implement of this new character to future stories.

5. Old characters: A character become my classic character when I can find spots for them to act in almost every major plots I have. Once a character reaches this stage of maturity, I may update them on clothing and hair, and they retain a certain personality that may be changed slightly in different series.

A character’s growth rate varies, depending on what kind of character, gender, and age, and my preference. Some characters get supper fast growth rate and become classic character in merely 2 years. Others, 3 years or more, and some gets dumped after a few years or a complete do-over.

Q: I am wondering. How do i go about getting one of my mangas published? i thought you might know the answer.

==============================

A: If you post it on DrunkDuck or Deviantart it’s count as published, but it doesn’t mean your publisher on digital world is obligated to pay you for it.

For book publishing, there are two major ways to go: go submit to a publisher, or be your own publisher. Publishing is both easy and hard, depending on the scale of publishing you want to go for.
Nation wide book publishing is what most refer to as “being published”

But in truth, there are more publishing formats than that.

Digital publishing- put your content on web where it can be viewed by the whole world is counted as publishing. The only way to earn with this is using advertisement like what they do on TV, and drunkduck. Once you build enough popularity, its not hard to sell merchandise and earn real money from it. But the road is long and hard to fight because this is the easiest way to get published.
Book publishing-

Self publishing: Go to sites like ka-blam.com or comixpress.com to have your books printed by them, follow their instructions, store a bit of cash, and your books will be printed. But selling it is your own job. Once you store up a good number of sales it’s easy to carry it to a bigger distribution and marketing channel.

Submit to publisher:
Submit to small press: small press is everywhere, if you go to comicspace.com you will find a lot of them. Some might be taking original titles as a collective, you can try to submit to them and they will try to sell it for you once they accepted you, the small press tend to have more flexiblity in content and style, While other small press might just be doing their own thing like me. If you are lucky you will get commissions from small press people as jobs.

Submit to major publisher that fits ur style:

publishers usually look for a type of artists that fits their niche, so if u fit to manga style, go for tokyopop, if you are superhero kind go for Marvel, DC; unless these publishers say they are looking for a specific look they will only consider those who fit into their framework. But often times publishers also look for artists who are out of their box.

But bigger publishers like these requires a lot of “break in” work, you need to work very hard to conform to their way of doing things, and squeeze yourself into their system. And usually they won’t take you unless you already established yourself with a smaller press. I personally also welcome the chance to break in if it lands on my lap, but I would be cautious about getting my original titles to the big guys because they tend to keep most of the rights, (or all of the rights) while paying you minium to OK rates as a full time professional. Usually they give you the crappy contract until they absolutely want you, and you happen to be saying “No.”

Another thing about big publisher is…. there’s a reason why they got so big in the past, but the model of business is changing due to the internet, it’s moving from “no one will get their work out until the big guys say yes” to “everyone can just post online and be seen but who wants to see you?” and “Who wants to buy books when they can see it online?”
that’s why you will see a lot of old model publishers are struggling to change. I am personally not a fan of the old model anymore that’s why you see me trying to self-publish.

The thing about publishing is… it’s a business, in business everyone is equally measured by money, the more money your work can make, or the more money a publisher has (and actually know how to use it) the easier for them to distribute through larger channels and be seen by everyone.

However, web is a perfect place to start, if you have a title ready, want to see if it will do well in books, test it online first. After all, when you are posting it online, it’s completely controlled by you, while in a publishing house you always have to listen to someone else.

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