SMAC! Web Magazine

EX5 Interview #3 – Saf Satu

PROFILE

Name: Saf Satu

Age: 20

Country: Malaysia

Favorite manga: Slam Dunk; One Piece; 20th Century Boy

Favorite movie: Forest Gump; Your Name; A Silent Voice; Maquia; Against The Odds DOTA 2 (A Youtube movie, GO WATCH IT!)

Favorite quote: “If you’re thinking of giving up, remember why you started”

 

QUESTIONS

How does it feel to win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?

To be honest, I’m actually kinda disappointed! (haha) I hoped I would win a higher price when I heard that I got invited to the Kumamoto International Festival. I felt disappoint for just a few days because of my high expectations, but I am now grateful for receiving this award at my age. It’s a great experience.

 

What were your first impressions of the theme?

It was a theme I thought could be expanded on the most. You can make a story in any genre you want. At first, I’m thought of making a sports story, but then I ended up making a romance story. There was another action story entry I was working on at that time, but I cancelled it because I started to feel neck pain. I felt like I could go with anything with this theme.

Saf’s very organised work space!

 

What was the inspiration behind your winning work?

As I said before, at first I was thinking of doing a sports story. Maybe a protagonist struggling with the final round while competing in Kumamoto. But when I started to research Kumamoto, I found a Youtube video that described a certain area of the Kumamoto as a romantic destination. That suddenly inspired me to make a romance story instead. A story about a guy trying to propose.

 

What challenges did you face making your manga? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I overcame was being patient enough to finish the manga! I don’t think I overcome the other challenges (haha). I aimed to make 3 pages a day because I only draw on A4 paper, but I couldn’t. I tried to make the story 20 pages or less, but I couldn’t. Finally I developed neck pain, but luckily it was when I finally finished all the pages and I was at the editing stage.

Our award winner’s ever growing manga collection.

 

What did you learn from making your manga? Did you pick up any new skills or techniques?

The biggest skill learned was inking faster using dip pen! I used a 0.1 pen in my previous entry, but this time I decided to use dip pen that I bought long ago and have not used in years. 

I also improved my line drawing without using a ruler. I don’t like using a ruler as it gives too clean a finish. I aim to create backgrounds like in the manga Yotsubato! by Yoshitoki Oima, where there are a little flawed lines that make you think “she’s not using ruler in this one”.

 

How important is entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® in relation to your professional goals?

Its pretty important, I need the money for my education for my goal to become a comic artist. Recently, I also decided my second ambition is to become a landscape painter, so SMA gives me a spotlight to showcase my abilities to malaysian comic companies and art universites/colleges.

Saf’s breathtaking neighbourhood in Malaysia.

 

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?

Make the story as simple as possible. Even this entry, I found way too long and complicated. Readers start to get bored when there’s too many things to show in a silent comic. I think once there is more than one conflict/event, It’s already got complicated!

But this is just my point-of-view of story making. For me, instead of learning from other published manga, I think it is much more important to learn from real life. That way, the story is much more original, like the Esports film Against The Odds (DOTA 2). The story crafting is so engaging, that I immediately fell in love with the concept. It’s really THAT good! It’s crazy man!!  

 

Read Saf’s EX5 Sojo Award winning manga HERE!


Christopher Tordoff