I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get all that talented from drawing. I started when I was 11 years old. While I was drawing I would look at a map of Asia, look at Chinese characters, and try to emulate the style, but I realized my art style wasn’t working out. I needed something more, so I started in film, drawing stuff like movie posters and comic books.
While I was making my first movie poster, I made my first comic book. I was hooked and began drawing full time, until one day I learned how to draw. That was the beginning of it.
What led you to move to Tokyo?
My parents immigrated from Japan when I was 7-8 years old. My father is a big fan of Akira Kurosawa, and I’ve been obsessed with his “Brief Suspension of Disbelief” movie series ever since I saw this movie as a little kid. I wanted to get more into anime, manga and games, but I also enjoyed the manga, so I settled in Tokyo.
Why do you think the anime and manga industry has changed so much since you’re living here?
I think it’s because it’s a community of like-minded people. You meet a lot of talented people in anime and manga, you get to see what their favorite characters look like, and you meet some new people, like me.
And you don’t need to be born here or have an anime or manga background, you just need to have the love for it. For example, in Anime and Manga Research, there’s a list of things you can do to help yourself become the best in the industry. I’m a big fan of the Manga Artist, Designer, and Businessperson classes I take every year, but I always tell people in other industries in Japan that you can also start your own company, and if you keep it up long enough they’ll eventually hire you as an associate or part time staff.
What is your greatest art accomplishment?
Not being an artist — I just finished my own manga, that was a lot of fun. When I was younger I often felt like I wasn’t good enough, and when I was young I was bad with people. It turned out I’m not a bad person at all. If anything I’m a better person for having the right attitude and helping people because I think my friends do as well.
What’s something you’re passionate about and what
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