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SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 31/08/2023 8 min read

Pen Name: Maya Fella
Age: 17
Social network profiles: Instagram: @maya_flla / @artstoic_
Country: Algeria
Favorite manga: Death Note
Favorite movie: Pride and Prejudice or The Notebook
Favorite quote:  “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind; and those who mind don’t matter.”

Entry title:Forget me not
Round: SMA19: “Overflowing Tears”
Award: Grand Prix Runner-Up

Draw something that represents you or touches you deeply, but most important something that you enjoy drawing!

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
An incredible amount of joy and happiness! I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and laughing for days, and I was so proud of myself because this is my first time participating in a manga contest and the first time making my art something concrete and public!

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
simply drew my story and represented my real feelings. My story did not exactly happen as in the manga but the feelings were the same!

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
The most difficult was the digital modifications as I usually only work on paper but I had to do both this time. I just tried to do my best and I used some references to help me, but the worst was drawing the last page which was a double page spread and I had only a few hours to get it done, so I wasn’t satisfied by it!!


About your Manga

How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
I’ve always drawn as far back as I can remember. I was doing little “mangas.” I didn’t really follow manga rules but art has always been my favorite way of expression!

Also I still consider myself as a beginner but here are some tips that helped me to improve:

– Draw everyday even if it’s just a little sketch. 
– Write down all the story ideas that come to your mind.
– Use references but not all the time, you may not be able to draw without them anymore.
– When you read manga, analyze all the little details.
– Do not wait until you’ll have better drawing tools or for people to encourage you, work with what you have, trust the process and keep going!!
– Play sports, training is good for your mental and physical health, especially to avoid back pain that we all suffer from as manga creators, haha!!

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
I draw a lot more on paper with liners and markers. I’m also planning to buy feathers, but when I do digital I use Medibang.

What was the first manga you picked up?
I think it was Dragon Ball.

Which manga changed your life?
It is definitely Death Note. It’s my favorite manga and the reason I started taking manga more seriously instead of just a childhood hobby. I just love it by heart!

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
I’m trying to find one but I don’t think there are any except the characters I created myself because they are directly the reflection of my mind.

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
I would love to work on seinen manga, psychological, with smart characters. My biggest project is the manga story I’ve been working on since I was 13 years old. It’s a killer’s story with many mysteries, but I am keeping that one for the future.

About you

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
I love working out at the gym, reading books especially, literature. My favorite one is The Picture of Dorian Gray. I also love watching movies and anime, making aesthetic videos…

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
I am still in high school, but I also help my sister with her small business where we sell customized phone cases.

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Maybe I will have a serialization, but my biggest dream is to achieve an animation adaptation and for my manga to be famous.

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Draw more from memory, and less from references!

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Draw something that represents you or touches you deeply, but most importantly something that you enjoy drawing! 

Thank you, Maya Fella! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!

There’s time until December 4th to join SMA20 and have a chance to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan!

SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.