You absolutely love anime and manga. They are your two favorite art forms. You love them so much that you find yourself dreaming of becoming a well-known artist who makes a living creating the manga and anime series that has taken the world by storm. Buckle up, Buttercup. There is a lot to learn.
Some people are born with the innate ability to create art. They do not need any formal training. They never go to art school or sit under an artist in residence. They just pick up the pencil or brush and go to work. Unfortunately, those types of artists are rare. Most accomplished artists have to go through a serious training regimen.
Also, note that being formally trained does not necessarily guarantee employment. Sure, there are studios looking to hire anime creators. There are publishers looking for manga creators, too. You can even start your own business whereby you would utilize your original artwork, much like the owners of the UmaiClothing brand. But the chances of anything coming easily are pretty slim.
Going To Art School
A typical employer is hard-pressed to look at any job candidates who haven’t been to college. That’s a shame, especially since budding artists can learn equally well by working under a mentor on the job. Nonetheless, college degrees are preferred by most employers these days.
Here in the States, expect to start your education with two years of liberal arts. Then plan on spending at least another two years in art school. Depending on your exact major, you may be finished up in four years’ time. On the other hand, you might have to put in an additional two years.
The tricky part is finding courses in art school that would prepare you to create anime or manga for a living. As wildly popular as both are, you are not going to find art schools that specialize in them. There may be a program here or there, but most of what you learn in art school will be general in nature.
Learn On Your Own
If you would rather go to art school and see what you can do on your own, there are opportunities to do so. The internet is rife with how-two videos that walk you through the many steps of creating anime and manga artwork. You can also buy instructional books.
One of the more recent offerings in print medium is a how-to book by well-known Japanese artist Takeshi Sugimori. He utilizes a hands-on approach that encourages students to learn by actually doing. His step-by-step instructions are not just meant to be read and understood; they are meant to be followed as the student reads.
It’s possible to learn the art of drawing anime and manga without going to art school. It is no different than using books and videos to learn to play the guitar. It absolutely can be done. Moreover, you can get very good at it with time and practice. The question is, will you be able to get a job without a degree?
Above All, Be Persistent
Regardless of how you choose to learn anime and manga, the most important thing is to remain persistent. Anything worth achieving requires work and dedication. You will not become a world-renowned artist overnight. If you are ever to achieve that goal, you will have to put in the time.
So, you want to learn to draw manga and anime. It is a noble goal to strive for. Look at your options and then decide the path that is right for you. You can make it happen.