Many of you are probably familiar with the below video of Ume drawing, part of a series where Wacom lends Cintiqs to popular artists and records their drawing process.
There’s an accompanying interview. Let’s see what Ume has to say about digital art!
How did you get started as a manga artist?
In middle school I looked up to Ribon magazine (Shueisha). I’d draw manga in a notebook and show it to my friends. After that, I was drawn to size B6 comics like from Wings (Shinshokan). One time I saw something stacked in a bookstore display, and wondered what it was. It was Dragon Kishidan (Mineko Ohkami/Shinshokan). The first time I held such a large-size comic in my hands, the drawings felt a little different from shoujo manga and the fantasy genre felt vast. I couldn’t buy Wings every month, so I bought the quarterly magazine South. I would cut out and save any color pages by Yun Kouga.
At that time, I knew about doujinshi-related things through Comic Box Junior (Fusion Product) and read books sold by Animate. I went to an event in Harumi called Super Comics City in my first year of middle school. (laughs)
So you came into contact with doujin culture at a fairly young age, didn’t you?
It was a way to express myself. I was able to draw the pictures and make doujinshi all by myself. Around the time I was a third-year in middle school, I participated in a small event held on the second floor conference room of a training school. I made five copies of a Samurai Spirits Zankuro Musouken doujin, but sold only two to my friends. (laughs) There wasn’t really internet at the time, so I would get information from papers in manga specialty shops. Game centers also had them.
Later on I participated in a big event held in Ikebukuro. My first job was from a friend who was starting out as a PC game dev. I was asked to illustrate the instruction manual, then I began working on 4koma for their website. An editor who saw my work in an Ohzora Publishing anthology book contacted me during my second year of college. And so, I ended up drawing Hidamari Sketch for Manga Time Kirara Carat beginning its April 2004 issue.
What was your debut in the magazine business like?
It was surprising, I thought I’d get cancelled after three chapters. (laughs) I didn’t get the feeling like, “I jumped that hurdle!” I never thought of becoming a 4koma manga artist, and it was my first time writing an original story, so I wondered if I could actually do it. At the time when there weren’t many moe 4koma manga, I browsed Kirara.