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SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 11/03/2024 13 min read


Pen Name: Plushelisa
Age: 18
Social network profiles: X: @plushelisa, Instagram: @plushelisa
Country: France
Favorite manga: Berserk
Favorite movie: Parasite
Favorite quote: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

Entry title:You Have My Heart
Round: SMA20: “Memorable Smile”
Award: Grand Prix

“Start right away. Even if you don’t win, you will learn a lot!

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Honestly, I didn’t expect to win a prize at all. I’m very happy to have won. It’s truly an honor and it motivates me a lot for the future. I am motivated to progress in drawing so that I can create better stories. I was also very pleased to receive compliments on my work from manga legends; I am very grateful.

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
I was inspired by my personal life, first of all. In my entry, the story begins with a girl who misses her train, which happens to me often! Additionally, I drew inspiration from the winning works of previous auditions. I noticed that there was often a very poetic atmosphere, so that’s what I wanted to recreate. Moreover, I was greatly inspired by Shojo manga because I find its layout very original and well-done.

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
In my opinion, the absence of text was the most significant challenge. In my previous works, I always used the dialogues between the characters as a way to convey the story, so I had to adapt my approach. It is always harder to make a story understandable when there is no dialogue. Another challenge was to make the expression on my characters’ faces very clear. It’s important for the readers to be able to understand how they feel. I also had trouble with the backgrounds. Drawing backgrounds is always a bit difficult, at least for me, so I really worked on that aspect. Creating the script was also a challenge. Creating a story that is both simple but interesting and all this in a limited number of pages, took quite a lot of my time. To overcome all these challenges, I used the same method, which is to take my time and proceed step by step. I worked extensively on each of the aspects mentioned above. When I wasn’t content with something–for example the script or backgrounds–I worked on it again until I got something I was satisfied with.

READ Plushelisa’s SMA20 ENTRY HERE!

About your Manga

How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?

I started drawing manga in March 2022, so it’s quite recent. I still consider myself a beginner, I still have so much to learn! However, I have always had a passion for drawing in general. I have been drawing since childhood. But I’ve really gotten back into drawing since the lockdown in 2020. Since then, I’ve been drawing every day. I wanted to start drawing manga because the idea of being able to make characters live through a story that I could create myself, was really attractive to me. I had imagined characters and a draft story for several years but I had never really taken the leap of faith to start writing my manga. I had concerns that I was not going to live up to my expectations and that I would not succeed. What really helped me get started was participating in a contest. In 2022, a French manga publishing house held a competition to win a publishing contract. So I decided to participate. Because there was a deadline and a theme, it really gave me a framework to work on. Even if I didn’t win that contest, the experience allowed me to learn a lot about the whole process of creating manga. From then on, I kept making manga. 

My advice for someone who wants to draw a manga for the first time would be to start right away. I was thinking before that I had to practice more before I would reach a level to be good enough to start drawing manga. However, I can tell you that no one is ever satisfied with their current level. So it’s better to start directly. Even if you don’t win, you will learn a lot!

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
I draw digitally on an iPad. I used ibisPaint X. It is with this software that I drew all the manga I have created to this date. It’s a software that is free and I think is quite effective for making manga. It is very intuitive and suitable for beginners. But I recently changed and I’m now drawing on Clip Studio Paint. I heard it was this software that some mangaka were using. I’m still getting used to it, there are so many features!

What was the first manga you picked up?
During my middle school years, I began to read manga. However, I didn’t read a lot of it. I really started reading manga again when I was in high school. After purchasing the first volume of Berserk, I became obsessed with manga. Now I read it every day!

Which manga changed your life?
I’m a huge fan of Hunter x Hunter! I adore the storyline and feel a strong attachment to the characters. Chrollo Lucilfer, the leader of the Phantom Troupe, is one of my favorites across all manga. His charisma and impressive demeanor struck me. Discovering him sparked my desire to create characters of similar depth! So, it was Hunter x Hunter that inspired me to begin creating my own stories.

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
I would say Kobeni from Chainsaw Man! I love that character. I think she’s very funny. Her perpetual fear reminds me of myself in certain situations, where I also tend to become slightly stressed. I admire that despite her fear, she takes action even when terrified.

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
I would love to make manga with the characters I use repeatedly. I don’t have a specific genre in mind, I want to test everything!

About you

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
When I’m not drawing, I review my economics coursework in the university library. And in my free time, I love going for a walk in Paris with my sister, friends or my entire family, and eating pastries in cafes.

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
I am currently studying economics at a university. It is not necessarily my passion but I like it. Besides that, I have a part-time job. I give manga drawing lessons to children and adults in Paris. I like being able to share my passion, I find it very rewarding.

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
In five years, I would still like to draw manga and would not mind being published. It would really be a dream come true.

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
I’m going to offer her the same advice I previously gave: “Go for it! Even if you think you don’t have the skills, go for it, young Plushelisa! (And start working on perspective immediately because you’re still struggling with it today -_-)”

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Make a story that you like, it’s very important! And get started! Even if you don’t think you can win, you never know!

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

There’s time until July 1st to join SMA21 and have a chance to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan! 

SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.