Name/Pen Name: Ochechula
Country: Czech Republic
Favorite manga: ONE PIECE, Ping Pong, Buddha, 20th Century Boys
Favorite movie: Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis
Entry title: “The Distant Mountains”
Round: SMA18 “Moments of HAPPINESS, AFFECTION, or TEARS”
Awards: Grand Prix Runner-Up and Copic Prize
“Keep it simple and easy to read. Too many details sometimes gets the reader lost.”
- How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
My heart stopped when I saw my doodle among all the other beautiful drawings on the SMA18 Results page!
- What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
I live at my family house, under the hills. I can see the hills from my window, but I rarely go there, since I have a lot of work. This is basically the plot of my manga.
- What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was to stop daydreaming about “the manga I want to create” and to actually start drawing it. Joining contests such as SMA is a really good way to overcome this challenge!
READ Ochechula’s SMA18 ENTRY HERE!
About your Manga
- How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
In high school I drew short stories for a Czech manga zine. It was really experimental, with no Names or sketches. I just drew panel after panel, usually with no words. I wish I drew more of those.
My advice is: Don’t be scared if you can’t find “your style” just have fun with it and style will happen along the way.
- Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
By hand, but sometimes I use the computer for flat shades. I use ink, G-pen, brush, and a wooden stick to make more energetic lines at the background or textures.
- What was the first manga you picked up?
There was no manga translated into my language (Czech) when I was a child.
When I was 14, my uncle brought a big bag full of manga from the Polish library. It was mostly Ranma 1/2 and Naruto. It was in Polish so I didn’t understand the story. But I loved art so much that it was no problem for me.
Also, my uncle thought that all comics are for children. So another manga he brought to me was Eden: It’s an Endless World!. I remember being fascinated by the art but I was too scared of adult themes there so I never read it whole 😀
- Which manga changed your life?
I am not sure if there is only one, but ONE PIECE is a manga that makes me happy, no matter how many times I’ve reread it!
- Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
Jaguar from Pyū to Fuku! Jaguar. I am a chaotic person, so some people find me charming, while some annoying.
- What kind of manga do you want to make next?
I would like to practice writing different characters. So maybe a slice of life, with the touch of the supernatural.
- What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
I love hiking and spending time with my friends. And best of all is going to hike with my friends!
- What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
I am a freelance artist, and I’ve worked as an animator and book illustrator. In the last two years most of my job was manga (I drew two comic books in a more European comic style).
- Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Well I would love to gain more experience and try new styles of drawing. There are so many different ways to draw manga, it is going to be fun!
- What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Stop doubting yourself and just draw! Even when it does not work, just keep going. And have fun with it!
- What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Keep it simple and easy to read. Too many details sometimes gets the reader lost.
Thank you, Ochechula! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!
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!