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Submitted on
November 30, 2011


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((I'm writing an article on the topic. Do YOU think drawing in manga style requires less effort than drawing in other styles?))

Hi guys! I need your help!

I recently enrolled into uni to study digital art and design and I was faced with this big fat stigma against manga-style arts. I've decided to write an article about it for my course's blog and I WANT YOUR OPINIONS.
Because me, I just don't get why is it that Western cartoon style is acceptable and anime/manga style isn't. And why art tutors say things like "Oh, we'll have to beat it [anime] out of you, then" to students who admit they like anime/manga.

Why black splatters on white paper have a profound meaning while a complex illustration is dismissed as a piece of crap, non-art, just because it is drawn in manga style?
What the heck happened to the freedom of expression, anyway?
I knew most art schools are not in love with anime/manga style, but I just honestly wasn't expecting such open, well, hostility, for the lack of a better word. And not just amongst the staff, but a big part of the student body as well. It just makes me sad. But that's beside the point.

The most common misconception seems to be that people who draw in anime/manga style are shit artists otherwise, that drawing in anime/manga style is as indication of lack of skill.

Thus the question: Do you think drawing in manga style requires less effort than drawing in other styles?

Also, if you have any experiences of people dissing anime/manga as a form of art in general, please do share. If you remember even approximately what somebody said about it, please quote.

Thank you for your help. : )
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shoba5 Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Any type of drawing takes effort.
if you ask me, I think that cartoons take the least amount of work to draw. They have simple designs and sometimes even simpler backgrounds.
Maybe art schools don't like anime because of hentai or ecchi artists. Not all anime artists are like that! If they don't like us drawing nude anime girls then they should look at the nudes they draw. 
Anime can portray amazing stories. I bet that not one of those art schools have heard of madoka magica, fate zero, or fullmetal alchemist.
They tell us to think of what a painting means instead of what it looks like, but they don't listen to to themselves. Anime might look like if doesn't take effort to draw, but when you go into the mechanics of it, it more complex than you thought
EasterlyArt Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  New member Professional General Artist
The opinions I express are from my own personal experience with this question, seeing from the inside and outside. I've gone to college for art, and have gotten a very good grasp on a lot of the points that revolve around this topic.

This honestly should be a fundamental lesson for art teachers to add to their curriculum for students in High school so they can better understand why. Also, so that teacher have the stick up their ass moved a couple of inches down so their not trying to take it out on some inspiring artist (teachers can be butts).

The bottom line why anime/manga styles are not generally accepted at the high school level is because art teachers want to make sure you understand the fundamentals of observational drawing and know "why" things look they way they do so later on you can break it down for your own work. Once you have a solid grasp of that, applying what you learned to your work will show drastic improvements, it certainly did for me (granted I don't have any current work on my page that exemplifies that).

You can still have down right amazing skills as a manga artist, but cultures outside of Japan do not have the same approach due to different things being exposed in every day culture. In the USA and Europe, many of the "greats" have had a major influence on the structure of artistic skill development, and because of this, having a foreign style influence kids at an early age may make it difficult for teachers to teach kids the "fundamentals". Though even in Japan, as far as I have heard and read about, art classes are not taught with a manga style. Rather, they use the same fundamental observational drawing approach.

The reason paint splatter nonsense is even a thing is because it emulates more modern/contemporary works that you would see in an art gallery and are celebrated beyond belief because they are fine arts. Manga and even comic books are commercial arts, and not fine arts. The two have differing purposes and generally have a major rift between the two. A lot of art teachers in high school, and no offense to art teachers in high school, and artist who couldn't make it as fine artist on a grand scale and ended up choosing art education as a second choice (alternatively they wanted to teach from the get go).

I can even see the person who wrote this post changed their style to a more westernized look, and I'm guessing that art college had probably had an influence on you.

In the end, if want to work professionally with a "manga" like style, you need to learn to balance the fundamentals with what you want to do with your own work. The marketability of the manga style is still lacking as the proficiency of the art form is still Japanese in origin and the market has not been opened up too greatly in other parts of the world for Non Native Japanese artist. The only markets I can think of that do appreciate it is comic books and video games. I have personally seen a lot of people who had a desire to use a "manga" style take up a sort of Disney style (my opinion, and legitimately something that happens) after going to art college. Professors try to bash in their personal belief system so that students have more of a chance to make a career, and more than anything is artist getting shoved off to Disney boot camp. I've seen the anime looking bodies with the realistic noses and hyper shading looks getting extremely popular as of recent, overshadowing the desire to use a manga style.

As far as whether or not "manga/anime" style requires less effort, that is incorrect. There isn't much else to say really because everything takes a lot of effort until you get the hang of it. Though there is a super awesome secret that artist learn as they go to college or in high school: YOU CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER! Bottom line is that once you're done with a piece, you need to think "I need to do something better than this now", which forces you to push the envelope on your work. Skill building is a never ending battle!

  1. Learn the fundamentals and do your own thing, otherwise just become another cog in the works for a major company.
  2. Art teachers in high school can be incredibly butt hurt about this subject and give kids the wrong information, demonizing anime/manga all together.
  3. Always push for improvement because being contempt will be your downfall!
  4. Art is subjective, but still has a foundation, so just have fun!
WRONG. I'm a 10th grader. Even though my goal is to work with Japanese animation, I also draw realistic things and also draw from observations.  I have been studying the work of Japanese animation since I was only 6 years old and there is a lot more work that goes into it that others do not truly realize. All manga differ in style and artists must find out which style fits their unique artwork. In order to become a mangaka, MANY artists study the anatomy of human beings in order to perfect movements and the proportions of bodies in order to make their artwork seem less fictional and more realistic. In order to create this form of art, different screen tones, layers, and materials are used. Each stroke of a brush and each mark with ink matters. We draw this style in order to improve our art which is no easy feat. Sometimes I find drawing anime more difficult than realistic drawings because you have to THINK What style goes with this character? You have to check the anatomy and make sure it matches even though it is not wholly based on human features, and if you make a manga, style and personality must match and be balanced otherwise it wouldn't go. Screen tones must stand out from each other and there are MANY details, especially if you look at the work of Yoshiki Nakamura. For people who look down on this unique and special art form, I want to tell you THIS. Anime is no less of an art form than any other, a lot of time and effort goes into certain pieces and a lot of thought goes into just a character's expression. Instead of copying or observing, anime and manga art work come from the imagination and even in doujinshi's, art work differs from the creator's real style. I think this art work is absolutely stunning and beautiful to the point that it almost brings me to tears just knowing that people actually look down on it. Through this art, mangaka's and other fans of it are able to express how they feel to others and also their own situations in life. THIS art strongly projects the thoughts and feelings of the illustrator and brings others through a form of storytelling that may sometimes even be similar to situations they have been through. Not all anime are like Pokemon and Sailor Moon, if you actually researched it there are MANY MANY FORMS! Without a storyboard, just a mere drawing of anime can tell you a whole story. I will no longer accept people looking down on this precious form of art. Here in America people get payed big money for things like Family Guy even though it has VERY simple art, while people who strive to work with anime/manga work just to get their thoughts into the hands of the readers/watchers gain little pay since the big money goes to the companies. For all you out there criticizing anime and manga, what exactly makes you think it's so simple?! Do you actually draw it? If no, then research i more before you go out and criticizing it, though you believe just splattered paint is an art. A 2 year old could do that -__-. Have you looked at the work of Arina tanemura and the backgrounds made by Masashi Kishimoto. If you don't even pay attention to this artform, then frankly, you have no right to be talking down on it and praising splatter paintings. ANYTHING is art if you look at other art forms in the world. LEARN more before you open your mouths. Sayonara-Chantel
fablesh Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Hmm this seems like an old question but I still want to gibe my own onion. I am a traditional artist and work in all sorts of media. I personally have not seen sharp tongues pointed towards Anime/Manga styled artist’s. I cannot see why someone would despise a style just because of it’s style. In my onion I believe that most of the negative feedback that Anime/Manga style art gets is just dumb and unreasonable. If one can make art from dots, slash's and trash, then why should anime styled art be any less. "Sophistication, traditional rules, and the use of such is why that is art, you just don't get it" would be a raison used to deny Anime/Manga as a form of art. What I am getting at is that it doesn't matter if its simple or repetitive, anything can be considered art. To frown at Anime/Manga styled art is to frown at all modern art, seems a bit steep but there is a raison for my words. The birth of modern art began a little bit after the Romanticism and Neoclassical movement's with the creation of Impressionism, the transition between realism and impression for a simpler explanation. We owe a lot to these movements because it caused a spark in the art world that questioned art as a whole. One of the original Impressionist went by the name of Edouard Manet. His style of art broke the barriers that allowed all modern art to blossom and become what it is today. One thing that had a great deal of influence on artist like Manet was Japanese art in the form of prints. These Prints made their way into the hands of artist's via travel and trade. Japanese prints have been around for ages and usually depicts a "moment in time” scene or tries to capture a whole story in one frame. These works influenced impressionism with its flat one spaced composition. Works such as Olympia express a flatness that is apparent in both In Japanese prints and Anime/Manga styled art. Another piece of evidence that Japanese art had on the Impressionist Manet is Zola which has a Japanese print of a Wrestler by Utagawa Kuniaki II. Manga is essentially a creation from the direct influence of Japanese prints and is said to originate from a scroll dating to the 12th century, clearly manga isn’t something new. The earliest manga to gain fame are such titles as Osamu Tezuka's Mighty Atom, Astro boy, which helped japan during the hard times of the atomic bomb aftermath. Manga eventually lead to anime, which technically both are the same in style. All forms of art, including digital art, had a moment when it was rejected and not considered an art form or media. If someone can make art with feces or vomit and sale for thousands then why should Anime/Manga styled art not bet valued for its artistic value; and yes, there is feces and vomit art, google it. Artist like Andy Warhol used comic and comic styled art and he is extremely famous with works easily hitting 10 million ducks a “pop.” The last thing to be said is that in order for something to be considered art it needs to follow certain rules. That does not mean that one is imprisoned to certain boundaries because abstract art also follows these rules and can sometimes loks like scribbles at times. In the end, just do what you want, learn from your mistakes, learn more of the modern art world, and never give up because only you can stop yourself from succeeding.     

Best of luck, some random Fish o3o

P.S vomit art is a real and weird thing, idk why but yeah here is an example, and yes ppl pay big ducks for it, idk.....…
OpenDrawer Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The reason teachers hate most anime "art" is because it is repetitive, shows very little self expression and a very limited skill set. Their pictures often consist of big eyes, stupid cartoony grins, bulbous heads, a single front perspective, and plain backgrounds. My feeling is that rather than a desire to learn self expression, these students have a desire to impress their anime-loving friends with their skills. They learn very little in art school because all of their art focuses on a single limited subject matter, and they refuse to draw anything that doesn't relate to their love for anime. Manga figures are usually the only thing these kids become good at drawing, and they never develop their own style. 

In most drawing classes the teacher is attempting to teach kids realism, perspective, self expression, and originality. This becomes impossible when the students just refuse to listen so that they can grind away at their often uninspired, comfort-zone manga drawings. 

This is not to say there aren't talented manga artists - there are. I am just saying that from experience most of them are not motivated to learn properly and never do.

And then they get upset when the teacher isn't impressed with their mediocre work. Stupid Me! 
OkazakiTomoya97 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
From your comment, I find your lack of information disturbing.

The reason teachers hate most anime "art" is because it is repetitive, shows very little self expression and a very limited skill set. Their pictures often consist of big eyes, stupid cartoony grins, bulbous heads, a single front perspective, and plain backgrounds.

One who is starting off with drawing would definitely be repetitive, single front perspective and plain backgrounds, doesn't matter about the style. And yes, it's called manga/anime STYLE not manga/anime ART, because it's a STYLE used by an artist. And because it's a type of STYLE, it varies from artists to artists.
Sky-of-ragnarok Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
My opinion on it is since it doesn't really respect anatomy or sometimes gravity (crazy hairdos sometimes xD) it won't get you as far as you expect in the art industry. Most art companies will require anatomy studies, animals, paintings and realistic stuff in a future artist's portfolios and most people who draw anime/manga, don't draw anything else. But there are exceptions of course ;)
OkazakiTomoya97 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Anatomy are almost the same with realistic drawings, only difference in general are the head proportions. 
Sky-of-ragnarok Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Digital Artist
Well not only do the head and facial proportions change, but most of the times, it doesn't really respect muscle placement and such. Usually, the legs are very very tall and thin, the arms are very thin, hands for males might be way too big... But that's just like that, some of it actually makes sense anatomically speaking.
I am not saying anime art is not a form of art, is ugly and etc... I'm just putting out there that a lot of anime artists or students feel like it's the only thing they want and should draw and do not try any other styles, do not study anatomy, and then complain when they're asked to do so in school because "its not my style". Like at least make an effort to try different things and include some anatomical elements into your anime art might actually make it better.
OkazakiTomoya97 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I've yet to see any problems with thin arms or thin legs, maybe except those who are weak in the human anatomy. But one thing to note, is that the anatomy is based on Japanese people, which in general have a smaller frame than the westerns.
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