Meet the Artists Village MasterClass #5: Ichirou
Pen Name: Ichirou
Favorite manga: 20th Century Boys, AKIRA
“The most wonderful thing is that I get to spend time with artists who have different experiences and backgrounds than I do.”
What made you decide to come to Japan?
I wanted to improve my storytelling skills, which are essential to creating good manga. I thought I could achieve this by working in the Japanese manga market with the support of editors.
I also thought that coming to Japan and being exposed to so many works different from Brazilian culture would be a great source of knowledge and experience. Just as Osamu Tezuka’s early works were influenced by Disney, I believe that absorbing and understanding the best aspects of other cultures’ works can improve my own work and make it more universally appealing to audiences.
What is your impression of Japan, Kumamoto, and Aso?
It is a beautiful, quiet place surrounded by mountains, and I can’t see this kind of scenery in the urban area of Brazil where I lived. Walking surrounded by nature makes me at peace and full of ideas. Also, the climate in Aso is comfortable for me, whereas in Brazil, it is hot all year round and at certain times of the year it is difficult to concentrate on my creative work.
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?
It’s an excellent environment. The best part is being around artists from different countries with different experiences and backgrounds. It’s a valuable and stimulating experience to meet people you never thought you would meet, and to become friends and talk with them. I also find it wonderful to receive feedback from the editors on my ideas and work. There are editors in Brazil, but unlike in Japan, they do not give detailed feedback to artists.
In terms of facilities, the Artists Village is excellent. The best digital equipment and analog tools are provided. The editors in Kumamoto are very supportive and always ready to help. In addition, we have easy access to the ZENON Editorial Department in Tokyo if needed.
In addition, meals are provided by a professional chef who takes into account our daily nutritional needs, and the menu is also extensive. Onigiri (rice balls) and prepared foods are also always available, so you can eat those meals outside of the scheduled meal times.
What does an average day at the Artists Village look like for you?
I start working at 10 am and usually stay in the art studio until it closes. During lunch and dinner, I reunite with the other artists, all from different countries, to chat and eat together. It’s a vastly rich experience.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to become better at creating comics, so I can make a work that captivates the readers.
Please give a message to those who are thinking about working at the Artists Village Aso 096k!
It requires some bravery and sense of adventure to move to a different country, but if you’re willing to immerse yourself daily in the manga work, you might want to pay the Artists Village a visit, where you’ll find the support needed to focus on your career.
Thank you, Ichirou! We’re eagerly awaiting your original manga debut!
Learn more about how YOU can join the Artists Village and create manga with us!