HELLO SMA17 AWARD WINNER, Azumane Kanna!
“Plan your time in advance!”
- How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award? Very exciting! I was so excited when I looked at the winners page, I felt dizzy… For me, this is an incredible success, which indicates that I am on the right path to my goal. It is in the order of things for me to set impossible goals for myself and move towards them step by step. The higher the goal, the more imperceptible will be the amount of difficulty! After all, what difference does it make if you stumble fifty times or fifty-five? It is with such thoughts that I choose for myself something to strive for. And if I really succeed, I am incredibly proud of my success and allow myself to eat a small cake! Now I feel immense gratitude for the existence of SMA! Without this audition, my path would have been more laborious. It is always very welcome to get the advice of professionals in order to understand where to move on with increased zeal. Thank you very much for organizing this audition! It’s an incredible job – to give a little piece of care to everyone who dreams of becoming a professional! (´ ω `♡)
- What was the inspiration behind your awarded work? Each of us has moments when we are deprived of strength due to certain events. And sometimes there is not often a chance to relax from the accumulated stress. And in life there are more and more new challenges! On such days, reaching for a fallen pen, you can stay on the floor with this pen, curled up in a ball under the table. Somehow this idea was born. It’s sad that deadlines can even get out from under the table. Or maybe it’s even good? Deadlines are the engine of progress!
- What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them? My main problem in life is lack of time. Every new year, I make a wish that the day consists of 30 hours. I have liked to draw since childhood, and I am very happy that I was able to find a job in this direction. However, in my case, working in the field of drawing means that you will rarely get a chance for your own projects. Therefore, you have to dodge and avoid some stages to save time. For example, skip the sketch stage and try to draw the final work right away.
About your Manga
- How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners? In middle school I saw the anime Bakuman and after that I realized that manga is what really suits me. I dreamed of telling stories with drawings, but the laboriousness and certain style of presenting information in color comics was a big obstacle for me. Very deep feelings that can be conveyed to the reader, and the speed of the work being done were the most important criteria that could hook me. Naturally, I’ve always put off my desire to draw manga until later because of school/institute/work, and only recently realized that this delay will never help me achieve my goal. All these years I suffered from the “beginner’s problem,” when I wanted everything, immediately and beautifully. But none of this can be achieved without experience. My advice to those who are starting their journey as a manga artist – do not be afraid of large amounts of work or lack of attention to the result: just draw what you like and you will definitely reach your goal! (o^▽^o)
- Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools? I have not drawn something by hand for a long time; I’m completely immersed in the digital format. It is very comfortable! For digital instruments, I prefer Clip Studio. Every hatch done in this program gives me pleasure. I really want to thank the developers of this program! Thank you very much for this miracle! ♡
- What was the first manga you picked up? My first manga I read in middle school was Fairytail by Hiro Mashima-sensei. Then for the first time I decided to watch the anime of the same name on the advice of a friend. I was very surprised that it was based on a comic book! (How far from reality I was in those days, ahaha!) But I was even more amazed that the entire comic turned out to be black and white! “It’s a coloring book!” flashed through my head when I first saw the pages of the manga. The next thought was “Wait, why is everything so strange reading here?” Later, I learned that the manga is read backwards, from right to left. Of course, Fairytail left an indelible mark on my soul of the very fairy tale that Hiro Mashima wanted to convey to his readers. For me, this manga has been an irreplaceable treasure that will cheer me up during difficult times.
- Which manga changed your life? Two wonderful works are very important to me – Haikyuu!! and My Hero Academia. Haikyuu!! gave me my first love (I think many will guess who it was haha) and told me how important mutual understanding is. Thanks to this work, I believed in my strength to become what I want and learned purposefulness. My Hero Academia left me with an open mouth after the first chapter. I have never seen such great work! I still worship Horikoshi-sensei like a god >U< Everything in this story is perfect for me – the perfect balance of the story, the beautiful art, the amazing arrangement of shots! His work for me often serves as a reference and a book worth studying from cover to cover. My Hero Academia inspires me to change for the better every day! Once upon a time, it helped me believe in myself and throw off those extra 20 kilograms, hehe.I think I’m aiming for the same level of feeling for the characters as in these two stories. I would like the reader to be also inspired to achieve, as I was once inspired!Dear Kōhei Horikoshi-sensei and Haruichi Furudate-sensei, I sincerely appreciate your works! Thank you so much for working every day to give people hopes and dreams! ( ´ ω ` ) I really want to see more amazing manga from you in the future!
- Which manga character do you most identify with? Why? It would probably be Midoriya Izuku, the protagonist of My Hero Academia. We are both reserved, diligent A students and have a strong sense of purpose (୨ ´ω`)୨ I don’t know how much I really resemble him, but I would really like to become just like him. Selflessness, the desire to achieve something even through pain, as well as boundless kindness and responsiveness – these are the qualities that I would like to have.
- What kind of manga do you want to make next? It will probably be for a new round of SMA, and then I will do a short romantic story about a giantess girl and a great hero who fell in love with her at first sight. I also plan to draw a one-shot of my favorite idea – about the most terrible swindler on Earth, who, after death, is forced to help the daughter of Satan win in fair political elections inside all of Hell! (￣▽￣*)ゞ
- What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax? In my free time, I play games, read manga or novels to gain knowledge about the variety of stories. Also, I love to cook! Pizza, cabbage pies, rolls, shawarma… Mmm! But it seems I need to be careful with such high-fat dishes, hehehe… (´ ∀ ` *)
- What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)? I work as a freelance artist and as an artist for two game development companies specializing in anime visual novels. For this reason, I often fail to stabilize my own style – each of the teams needs a certain type of anatomy and color scheme.
- Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time? Of course, during this period I want to become a pro! Perhaps, in these five years I will be able to reach such a level of professionalism that I can draw a series in one of the Japanese magazines.
- What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could? I would advise myself not to be afraid to use references and learn from them. And also every day should be filled with productivity and pleasure!
- What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®? Plan your time in advance – the deadline always comes very quickly, and because of this, you can damage your health. Be sure to use inspiration as an impetus to improve the completed work. Study manga like a science and use the rules so that the reader can understand you.
Thank you, Azumane Kanna! We can’t wait to see what inspiration you will find for your next entry!
You have time until April 3rd to join SMA19 and have a chance to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan!