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アバター Penmaru 30/09/2016 12 min read
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! This week’s Indonesian star is Vanilla! The duo – who are not only twins, but also college student – draw the cutest characters in SMA!
Self Portrait

Left: Ema. Right: Lala. You can distinguish the two by the beauty spot.

<Introduction> Lala and Ema make up the duo Vanilla. 1. How do the two of you create manga together? We don’t divide the work completely. We think of the story together. But for drawing, usually Lala does the sketch and makes the manga NAME (draft storyboard) first, and Ema does the inking later.  And Lala helps with the toning, too. 2. What’s your work space like? Do you usually play music while drawing? Our work space is quite simple, we have 2 mini tables. One for drawing digitally and another one for drawing traditionally.
work place (digital)

A simple PC and pen tablet. Can you see all the figures on the shelf?

work place (traditional)

Vanilla use a compact desk for traditional drawing. Easy to carry!

We do listen to music! It helps us relax. Sometime we play music while drawing manga to see how it feels with music, like in a movie. Our favorite artists are Hiroyuki Sawano and Kajiura Yuki. We love anime songs! 3. What kind of tools do you use and which is your favorite? Let us see it! For digital, we use Manga Studio and Photoshop. For traditional, we often use our lovely mechanic pencil and watercolors tools.

One of the rare creators who uses water colors among the Master Class. They also use normal mechanical pencils.

  4. 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? NAME is the hardest part, but the most important part. Designing characters is our favorite part. After finishing all the process, we read our manga together! 5. Tell us about your preferences when creating manga! How do you practice drawing? We decided the pose of the character first, then draw it from the eyes. For drawing practice, we are quite active in fandom, so we draw a lot of fan arts (almost every day!).

Vanilla sometimes uploads their illustrations to SNSs.



  6. Tell us about your preferences for manga storytelling!Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu” is important! To be honest, it’s very hard to adopt this method in manga. But, if you can use this you can make a great manga! So keep practicing and never give up! For panel layouts, HIKI-GOMA, try to always remember this! And also make a smooth flow of panels. 7. Do you have any other skills or experiences that help you create manga? I think this counts as a skill, we can change our voices to be like a baby, child, or older person, like voice actors/actresses do (though we are amateur ^^;) So every time we create a manga, we voice out the characters! And we have a funny habit. When we draw a character, we unconsciously make the same facial expression as the character does. So we are smiling when we’re drawing a smiling character! 8. Where do you get ideas from? We get an idea when we are day-dreaming, usually before we go to sleep or when we’re doodling. And sometimes we have a similar scary dream! If it’s interesting, we share it with each other.

Vanilla’s daily doodles.

9. Do you have a favorite manga or manga creator that influenced your art style? Aya Kanno sensei! We fell in love with sensei’s gorgeous art style since we read “OTOMEN.” We like the idea that the boy (protagonist) loves to do girly hobbies and tries to hide it!
manga collection

Left to right: “School(Gakuen) Babysitters,” “Slam Dunk,” “Otomen,” “Black Butler,” and “Natsume Yujincho”

10. Are you planning any future projects? What genre would you like to attempt in the future? We are doing one-shot right now with SMAC! editorial team. We plan to draw a  slice of life story like Natsume Yuujincho by Midorikawa Yuki and Gakuen Babysitters by Tokeino Hari. Natsume Yujincho puts us in a heart warming mood. Gakuen Babysitters is a good source to think about our characters. The babies in Gakuen Babysitters are lethally cute! 11. Have you received any useful help or advice from the editor? Mayu always helps us when we were stuck. She share her ideas with us and teaches us about manga creation skills like “Ki-sho-ten-ketsu.” She patiently explains it to us so many times and gives us advice for panel flow! And Mocchi, he told us that our strength is CUTENESS of characters. So we try to pursue and improve it. 12. What are the specific areas you focus on when drawing for SMA? Paneling and Storytelling! We carefully organize the paneling flow to be able to read smoothly. And also tried to avoid making two “Ketsu” (“Ketsu” must be only one!). But, we still need a lot of practice for these two points. 13. Are there any moments you felt, “I’m glad to have entered this contest!”? When we won an award of SILENT MANGA AUDITION®! It was our first time drawing a manga. And before joining the competition, we said “why don’t we give it a try?” and since then our dreams is to become a pro mangaka. Also, when we were invited to Japan! We met other contestants and editors of SMAC! Those were very precious moment because we didn’t have any creator friends! And we could meet legendary manga pros, and discuss the process of making manga together ! And one more thing, Akihabara was like heaven! <Master Class Introduction> Vanilla From Indonesia

Honourable Mention Winner of SILENT MANGA AUDITION Round 1


The Excellence Runner Up Winner of SILENT MANGA AUDITION Round 2



Thank you so much, Vanilla senpai! The twin sisters enjoy drawing everyday and ENJOYING in and of itself is the key to improvement! As Vanilla senpai said, “Ki-sho-ten-ketsu” is very important when creating an interesting manga. If you want to learn about it, please watch “Japanese manga 101!” Let’s receive advice from the editors by entering SILENT MANGA AUDITION® and becoming a member of Master Class! We want you to join SMAC (SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Community)!