WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 15


manga.happy, mixed media, 2013-2014



What: This is a graphite (pencil) drawing of a manga character which I conceptualized. While anime is Japanese animation, manga (漫画) is Japanese comics and cartoons. Through reading about manga, I learned that a mangaka (漫画家) is translated as a comic artist or cartoonist and also refers to the manga author whom is often Japanese. I guess because I am getting more into this art form, then I am a wannabe mangaka!

Why: I am in my 30s and yes…I am a “girl gamer” or more correctly “WOMAN gamer”. Or how about “lady gamer?” Not ashamed! Nope! Video games have come a long way from Mario and Duckhunt (although I did play those & I respect early games for being foundations of the gaming we have now). Games are very visually and technically sophisticated now. Also being that I am an artist, the visuals appeal to me very much (there is a debate on whether video games, visually, can be art and I say “yes”). So I have a PS3 and have gotten quite serious about gaming (I do not destroy TVs or spend every waking hour playing games, though, so not THAT serious). The characters from the Persona games inspired me to get more interested in manga and anime. I’ve had an interest in that already and did a couple of earlier art pieces (which I’ll do posts on eventually), but my interest became more concrete around 5 years ago. Manga’s outlandishly fun and highly creative appearance fascinates me. By the way, I’ve never finished a Persona game! The battles get super hard as you progress! I am currently playing “Mass Effect 3” (the imaginary characters, the missions and exploring so much in the games is fun and challenging), have played many Call of Duty games, Assassin’s Creed games (started 2 or 3 of them, but not finished them…those are unbelievably long games, amirite!?), Remember Me, Shadow of the Colossus (gorgeous game), some of Mirror’s Edge (which simply pissed me off, but it’s still a very cool game), Heavy Rain (which has to be the MOST EPICALLY depressing game of ALL TIME) and others. My favorite is the Uncharted series. The adventure! The interesting characters! The dynamic scenery! I’ve played the 1st three. When the 4th was introduced in PS4, I became sad because I don’t have a PS4!! Cruelty! One day, PS4, one day… I will get it just to be able to play Uncharted 4. By the way, I am glad Mark Wahlberg (whom was to play main character Nathan) dropped out of the Uncharted film production. Mark is a very neat actor and all, but, no…….  Just NO. Mark playing Nate Drake? No all day. Amirite??


When: This drawing was started in 2013 and finished in 2014. So sometimes I’ll date any posting about it as 2014, even though I wrote 2013 on the drawing. 


How: This drawing was achieved using graphite and colored pencil on paper. The drawing is very linear, the main element focus being the line-work (in the contours and detailing). I wanted to base the character on something in order to build. I built upon the emotion of happiness. To relate the work even more to the Asian culture, I used other Asian elements: the Japanese characters (in glowing orange) translate as “happy” (kofuku 幸福) and on her clothing there are clouds; in Chinese culture clouds symbolize happiness. I even used the traditional style these is seen in Chinese drawings and paintings of clouds. The color blue is a calming color, calmness being as emotionally positive as happiness. In the background is, of course, the familiar and bold Japanese representation of the sun and its rays. The sun is also very often representative of happiness, joy, life. All in all, this character is an imaginary figure conveying happy vibes! I plan on doing more manga characters representing other emotions.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I actually published an earlier post while on the early stages of the drawing. You can read that HERE.

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