Pen Name: MAGE
Favorite manga: Witch Hat Atelier, Delicious in Dungeon, Golden Kamui, Arte
SMA2 Grand Prix Runner-Up: “New Haircut”
Japanese Debut Manga: “Island of Gods”
“The environment in which I spend time with fellow aspiring manga artists is where I am able to grow and develop.”
What made you decide to come to Japan?
I have been an active member of the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® MasterClass community organized by COAMIX since 2015. Then 1 year ago, I was invited to come to Japan to work as a manga artist.
I feel that there has been a lot of good manga coming out in Indonesia for the past 10 years or so, but there is still a lot of work to be done. However, in Indonesia it is not yet major enough to have a career as a manga artist, so I was hoping to accept the invitation from COAMIX and work as a manga artist in the Artists Village Aso 096k.
My family was happy with my decision, and my friends, who have been supporting me since before I came to Japan, were very kind to send me off.
What is your impression of Japan, Kumamoto, and Aso?
Japan is one of the countries I have always been interested in, not only for its manga culture, but also for its beautiful nature, kind people, and efficient public transportation system.
When I was in my own country, I preferred to live in the city, but when I started living in Aso, Kumamoto, I discovered the charms of a peaceful life in the countryside.
How do you feel about the Artists Village Aso 096k’s location in Kumamoto as an environment for drawing manga? What’s your impression of the living environment and food?
In Indonesia, I lived in a bustling area and often found it difficult to concentrate on my manga work, but in the quiet Artists Village Aso 096k, I am able to concentrate more on my work. Also, spending time with fellow aspiring manga artists is very stimulating, and has provided me with new insights and material for growth.
As for the food, the meals served in the Artists Village are always delicious and healthy, and I look forward to them every day.
The beautiful scenery surrounding the Artists Village is a great place to receive ideas and inspiration for my creative work. For example, the spectacular view of Daikanbo in Aso and the shape of Mt. Neko were sights I had never seen before. Seeing snow was also a first for me!
What does an average day at the Artists Village look like for you?
I don’t have a set wake-up time, but I usually get up before 9:00 am. When I have time, I exercise before going to work. I usually finish work at 7:00 pm, and afterwards, I go out with other MasterClass members. On weekends, I spend time playing video games and shopping at the nearby supermarket.
What are your goals for the future?
I have a goal to be published in COAMIX’s “Comic ZENON.” I want to create something that will make readers think, “This artist loves what they create.” Also, there are many manga works in Japan, so I would like to understand the Japanese language better and discover interesting works. There are many different styles, forms, and genres of manga, and it’s always fun to explore them. What I like about Japanese manga is that the visuals are the most important key to telling a story, rather than relying on dialogue.
Please give a message to those who are thinking about working at the Artists Village Aso 096k!
The systems, ideas, and procedures for creating manga may be different from those in your country, so please be aware of that! In Japan, I feel that editors are very supportive and approachable to manga artists and give them friendly advice on their work. After reading my interview, I hope that you can be a little more prepared for life in Aso, with its cold temperatures, and look forward to moving in and working at the Artists Village!
Thank you, MAGE! We’re eagerly awaiting your original manga debut!
Learn more about how YOU can join the Artists Village and create manga with us!