Renata Rinaldi lives for creativity. The Brazillian mangaka exchanged the quiet, suburban life of her childhood for the creative, hubbub of Brasilia. Studying fine arts, while being surrounded by a vibrant freelance community has allowed Renata to spread her creative wings and indulge her love of making manga. With only two rounds under belt, the Honourable Award Winner has a clear path ahead of her, to learn from her mistakes, not be discouraged and always with her eyes on the prize.
Hello Renata, Congratulations once again! How are you?
I am great! Thank you so much for this interview!
“My parents couldn’t figure out how Japan could acknowledge manga artists from the outside world!”
Can you tell us a little bit about you? Where did you grow up?
Sure! I was born in a very small town called Ituiutaba in Minas Gerais. However, I grew up in Uberlândia, a little bigger, but still very much suburbia. Since childhood, farm animals and nature have been a big part of my life. I’m currently living in Brasília as a professional illustrator since 2013, while I study fine arts at university. Brasília has a big freelance community, which is a constant source of inspiration. Because of this creative movement, I felt ready to self publish my own work at 26, what we call a “Fanzine”.
If a friend from the SMAC!Community visited you for a sightseeing trip, where would you take them?
I would show you Brasília! It’s bursting with distinguished urban architecture, now considered an UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of Brazil. My favorite areas are the big green spaces, which you can find everywhere. I would also take you guys to Cachoeiras and Chapadas to eat all the food at the “Festa Junina”, our “St. John the Baptist” festival.
From Hélia Vannucchi
From A. Duarte
How do you feel about winning the award ?
I felt so many emotions!!! (laughs) I was so shocked and happy! I was super excited because this round was very challenging for me, so achieving an Honourable mention meant so much!
What did the people around you say about the news?
Actually, I didn’t tell too many people I was participating. When the results came out, everyone was surprised that I was actually creating manga! My parents couldn’t figure out how Japan could acknowledge manga artists from the outside world! They are happy for me but still don’t fully get it. (laughs)
What type of movie/books/ games do you like ?
I love fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, documentary movies and games! Indie projects like “Survival Horror” are my favorites! My favorite book is “The Never Ending Story”, I also really enjoyed “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, by Philip K. Dick.
What is a typical day in your life like?
All of my time is divided into attending University and working on illustration projects for publishers, plus personal projects and commissions. I’ve almost finished my degree in Fine Arts, so right now the pressure is very intense with all the final exams coming.
When you are not creating manga how do you spend your day ?
Lately I have been jogging in the park. I also love going to the theater and traveling. As a personal hobby of mine, I am currently doing Aerial silk(Aerial acrobatics hanging, utilising fabric). I also like to cook, sometimes I invite my friends to hang out and I we will try a new recipes.
What kind of environment do you work in while you’re drawing manga? What challenges do you face creating manga?
I like environments where I can feel comfortable, especially if I am going to spend a lot of time there. But I also try not isolate myself too much. I like to work with other people, who are also producing Manga, it’s more stimulating to me. I like to take pauses and move my body, go to the park or cook. I think it makes the process healthier. Making a story is very intense work, especially if you work alone.
This is where her creativity really flows!
“With Manga , a new world opened up to me”
Why is manga important to you?
I was captivated in my childhood, it was through manga that I started to take a liking to drawing and focus on my own style. With manga, I discovered that there are many ways of writing stories and how to present them.
What was your first manga?
My first manga was “Magic Knight Rayearth” by Clamp. I was amazed by the story, the beautiful drawings, the characters and their relationships.
When did you think about becoming a manga artist?
When I was a child, I used to watch a lot of cartoons on TV. I was obsessed with the anime “Kimba the White Lion” and Clamp’s “Card Captor Sakura”. Clamp’s work were very influential on me and my imagination. It was when I read “X/1999”, that I thought I wanted to make my own manga. I was taken by the complexity of the characters, even the antagonists had complex stories. I loved the way characters interacted with each other.
So this is how “Rabbit Friend” started!
What is your opinion about Manga in Brazil?
I think the manga market has grown the most here. National manga is beginning to exist more and more, even though the country still has the perception that you have to be Japanese to make manga. There are many artists that have created and published manga independently, which gives me hope.
“It was difficult but I am so glad for it! I learned a lot and was able to improve myself!”
What were your thoughts on the theme?
(Laughs) I thought … “Nossa!” Geez! I never thought I’d see a harder theme than the Kumamoto’s round!
What was your biggest challenge in this round?
The theme! It was very hard for me to visualize it. I had to study the theme by myself. I still couldn’t quite figure out what to do so I started discussing it with other people. I asked for advice from other artists friends of mine, like Fabiano Ferreira and Ichirou. I discussed the theme with them through emails.
How did you come up with the concept of Rabbit Friend?
I was doing an art internship, for a project with children. I thought that it was amazing how, in their universe things happen. They have their own rules and they are full of energy that charms everyone. While interacting and watching them, I felt very inspired and started developing “Rabbit Friend”
Those children have big emotions!
“I wanted to be more natural and true to myself”
Is there something you wish you could have changed?
That question is very mean… (laughs) I think all artists are never satisfied. We have a chronic disease that doesn’t allows us to feel satisfied with our work! But I can definitely say that I struggle a lot in previous rounds. This time, I have learned so much! I was super glad to have participated, having this type of opportunity and getting Honourable mention, I feel so much more motivated now! It was an amazing experience!
So compared to previous entries, we noticed that you have changed your style quite a bit. Was there any reason for for the change?
Oh! so you guys checked my previous works ?! Now I am embarrassed…(laughs). Looking back, in the previous SMA7, I think I was too stuck on the belief that I had to fit the image that everyone wants. This time, I wanted to be more natural and true to myself. I really enjoyed this style and felt very happy while doing it. Because the theme was difficult for me, I thought “ok, I really need to feel comfortable with this”, so I just decided to let go and be free.
How long did it take you to complete Rabbit Friend?
It took me a long time to develop the idea. I was searching for the characters and their story line. Once I was sure of the idea, I began drawing. I took me about 3 weeks in total, the storyboard (name), line art, ink and final touches.
“ I will keep learning in each round and improve for next one !”
Are you currently working in new projects? Maybe the next SMA9?
I have a schedule full of projects! My current project is to make a 10 page comic, produced entirely by women.
Actually…(giggles) I was ready to participate in the next one no matter the result of SMA8. I thought, I use everything I learned from this round and use it in the next one. I always want to improve myself, and this is the best opportunity to do it!
Thank for having the time to talk to us Renata! We can’t wait to see your next work for SMA9!
Truly inspiring words from Renata!! Manga, like every creative endeavor requires love, passion, dedication and the ability to learn from your mistakes, while always striving to improve your talent. With these ingredients all present and correct, we’re sure Renata will be a creator worth watching!
SMAC!ommunity, do you have an unstoppable yearning to create manga? Are you brimming with inspiration? If yes, then start drawing for SMA9 round TODAY!!
SMA9 is the first time we’ve offered THREE themes to choose from! If you feel like a challenge, why not pick two, or all three themes!
Make manga your language too! You have until March 31st, 2018 to say “HELLO” to your new friends! Click the banner for more details on how to enter…
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