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SMA 10 / EX-4 Interview #1 – RIZA aL ASSAMI

Brendan W. Brendan W. 21/06/2019 9 min read

PROFILE Name: RIZA aL ASSAMI Age: 26 Country: INDONESIA Favorite manga: NONNONBA (Mizuki Shigeru) Favorite movie: SEVEN SAMURAI and YOJIMBO Favorite quote: “Happiness isn’t having what you want, It’s wanting what you have.”



1. How does it feel to win both of your SILENT MANGA AUDITION® awards?

Like a dream come true! It still blows my mind when I think of how I’ve gone from being a simple reader of manga, to somebody who is now part of the industry. It’s a blessing that I’m grateful for each and every day.

2. What were your first impressions of the two themes?

Both were very interesting. New themes mean new challenges for me, so doing research is always an enjoyable part of the process.

3. What was the inspiration behind your winning works?

I’ve always liked the expression “the spirit behind limitations”, which is why many of my works, these two included, tend to depict those who struggle with physical or emotional limitations. I do this because I want to inspire people to keep fighting no matter what their circumstances.

4. What challenges did you face making your manga? How did you overcome them? 

I’ve mentioned before about the difficulties I’ve had regarding drawing tools and equipment, so this time I would like to share with you a common obstacle for creators here in Indonesia (or for me at least!).

Riza’s humble workspace!

Most parents tend to oppose the idea of their children working in the arts, especially families who live in the countryside. I experienced the same obstacle too because artists, not to mention manga creators, rarely have their work displayed publicly. They understand this kind of work doesn’t offer much certainty or stability, so will tell them to work in an office, factory, or some other place they think they will be able to make a comfortable living for themselves. In short, they are worried about the prospect of their children failing to succeed. This is natural in my opinion, and it took me a few years to convince my parents that I could live this way. It wasn’t easy, but they slowly started to understand and I now have their full support as a result. It’s because of this very same obstacle that many of my friends have given up on their dreams. This makes me so sad. I hope that my achievements within manga can not only motivate people, but can provide solid evidence that if somebody like me can do it, then they can too.

5. What did you learn from making your manga? Did you pick up any new skills or techniques?

Of course! I learn new things every day! Not only techniques for making manga, but many other things, such as time management for example.

Having deadlines really makes me realize how important my use of time is, and has made my life a lot more organized as a result. Learning to speak English is another skill that I find very interesting, though I’m pretty sure that my editor, Brendan, will be correcting this because it’s so broken! Haha! (I didn’t need to edit it much. Your English is great Riza! – Brendan).

Both of these points are very useful in developing my life, and I have become more disciplined because of them!

Riza has a healthy collection of manga to draw inspiration from!

6. How important is entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® in relation to your professional goals? 

Very important. I’ve learned a lot about the world of professional manga here, not to mention a wealth of manga making techniques, how to communicate and work with an editor, and much much more. Even before winning a single award, SILENT MANGA AUDITION® and their “Japanese Manga 101” tutorials gave me a strong knowledge of the basics, which I’m eternally grateful for.

Entering the audition is an important step for anyone serious about entering the industry in my opinion. I learned to become an adult here, and now that I’ve entered the MasterClass, the opportunity to realize my dream of getting published in Japan is now one step closer!

7. What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?

I would tell them that entering isn’t just a matter of victory, it’s about learning and improving, too. People’s dreams don’t die when they lose, but they certainly die when they give up, so keep fighting! Besides, where else will your work be judged by manga legends and professional editors? Just thinking about that gets me excited!!

Many thanks for your time Riza! For those of you that might have missed his award winning entries, click on the banners below to get your fix of heartwarming goodness! And lastly, be sure to get YOUR slice of the action by joining our current audition SMA12 – NEW BEGINNING! An exciting new horizon awaits those of challenging spirit!!
Brendan W.

Brendan W.