SMA MASTER CLASS, the future manga stars from SILENT MANGA AUDITION®.
In this series of interviews we’ll uncover the secrets to their manga creations!
Indonesia has been one of the driving forces of SMA since the very beginning. So, here goes our 4-in-a-row Indonesian Master Class special!
Please welcome MAGE, the cheerful girl who draws like a Kung Fu master and has a love for candy🍬!
INTERVIEW WITH MAGE
1. What’s your work space like?
My work space is pretty simple and often messy.
I work with a laptop, tablet, and a scanner that I use occasionally when I’m drawing traditionally.
A bottle of candies is pretty important to boost my mood when needed.
2. Do you usually play music while drawing?
I always play music while drawing!
The choice of music depends on what kind of story I’m going to work on, but mostly I listen to instrumental/game music/film score.
Like when I’m working on a fight/epic scene, I choose Hans Zimmer’s music,
and when I need something melancholic, Yiruma is the best for me.
3. What is the origin of your pen name, “MAGE”?
“MAGE” is an anagram of my real name.
It doesn’t mean a witch or magician at all!
4. What kind of tools do you use and which is your favorite? Let us see it!
I use Clip Paint Studio for drawing manga!
I mainly draw manga digitally since 2013 because it is faster than traditional drawing.
However, sometimes working digitally has problems especially when scanning and saving data.
So, I still occasionally draw traditionally.
For traditional tools, Copic Multiliner is my favorite pen!
But since it’s hard to find, sometimes I use Snowman Drawing Pen, which is easy to find in my country.
For the paper, I choose HMT Comic Board.
And I’ve also worked with various Rugos Vip for the screentones.
5. Tell us how you schedule your creations! How long does it take for each step in the process? Which step is your favorite and least favorite?
I always start with writing the main points I want to show in my manga, then I execute it into a manga NAME (draft storyboard).
The brainstorming process takes the biggest part from the whole creation.
After I finish the NAME, I continue to complete the sketch of the whole chapter first then continues with the same method with inking and applying BETA (solid black color).
For one day, I can finish roughly 6 pages of sketches, or 3 pages of inking or 5-6 for applying BETA.
I can’t choose either inking or applying BETA as my favorite process, but the hardest process is definitely the brainstorming, haha 🙂 .
6. Tell us about your preferences when creating manga!
It begins with figuring out the panel dynamics for each page first.
In each page, I set one ‘main panel’ of the page beforehand, (usually the biggest one) which also the most important panel on the page.
And also playing with lighting, especially rim light, has been my preference because it helps to set the mood.
For drawing skill, I usually practice drawing my surroundings or figure/gesture resources on the Internet to help me to improve the anatomy.
7. Tell us about your preferences for manga storytelling!
Foreshadowing is important for me.
It’s a spice in manga to leave some hints that looks trivial to the readers, but actually will be the important thing in the future.
This helps the readers to view themselves as the main character,
because the main character sees/notices the hint but often doesn’t really attach any importance to it.
Foreshadow makes the twist more fun.
Also it becomes a good reason to reread the manga!
8. Where do you get ideas from?
Ideas often come out in the morning after I wake up.
The fresh start helps the ideas to flow from one to another.
Ideas can come unexpectedly too, for example when I’m stuck in a traffic jam or when watching news, etc.
Then I usually take notes on my cellphone because if not, I often forget it one or two days later!
9. Do you have any other skills or experiences that help you create manga?
I can’t say I’m skilled so much, but I have an interest in photography.
I also have a huge interest in movies, so I learned a bit about framing techniques.
Framing helps a lot to create depth in just one single panel.
10. Do you have a favorite manga or manga creator that influenced your creative style?
I’m a big fan of Maekawa Takeshi sensei and Tekken-Chinmi series (or Kung-fu Boy in my country)!
It has been the biggest inspiration for me to start drawing manga since I was little.
Actually, the Tekken-Chinmi series was not mine, but my brother’s.
Chinmi is such a charming character and the development of his character through the years is really wonderful.
Not to mention that I admire the way Maekawa–sensei draws the action scenes, I feel his every punch is so powerful!
For my art style, I was influenced by Yang Kyung-Il of Shin Angyo Onshi the most.
Also Shirahama Kamome’s beautiful line work also gave a big influence to me.
11. Have you received any useful help or advice from the editor?
So much great advice!
I remember when Taiyo-san told me to give more ‘explosions of emotion’ to the story so the readers can feel the power from each page.
As another piece of advice, one of my editors once told me to never put my ‘fetishes’ or biases into my manga or else because it will become self indulgent.
This is the world of the main characters, not mine.
12. Are you planning any future projects? What genre would you like to attempt in the future?
I’m working on a story for SMAC! Mag which hopefully can be realized soon!
Also, recently I’ve been interested in the super robot genre in a dystopian setting.
But, I still need to do more research and practice on drawing mecha. Hopefully I will be ready to work on this someday.
13. What are the specific areas you focus on when creating for SMA?
I focus mostly on the element of surprise.
I want my readers to start reading casually but then something unexpected happens in the middle,
so they finish reading with something like, ‘oh I didn’t expect that!’ in their mind.
14. Are there any moments you felt, “I’m glad to have entered this contest!”?
It started from the announcement and I’m still feeling very grateful now.
When I met the SMAC! editors and fellow Master Class, I felt it’s like a dream to be in the presence of the professionals!
<Master Class Profile>
from Jakarta, Indonesia
Thank you for sharing all that with SMAC (SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Community) MAGE senpai!
Her adorable characters always fascinate readers as well as everyone at the SMAC! editorial team! We’re looking forward to reading her giant robots and Kung-Fu action series!
And she keeps developing her manga creation skills working with SMAC! editorial team.