Manga/Anime Beauty - An Interview with =TGA-Tsurugi
Welcome to the first of -hopefully- many articles I intend to do, interviewing wonderful Manga/Anime artists, showcasing their artworks and learning more about how they ended up sticking to this beautiful art style! It's been an old dream to make my own series of interviews with people I admire from the M/A galleries, and I'm glad I could finally make this dream come to life. To open the series, I interviewed a young, yet truly talented traditional artist. I admit, I have favourites among the many artists I know from the gallery... and this person - =TGA-Tsurugi - is undoubtedly one of them. Ever since I met him I was amazed by his works, and he just improved since then! Let's know more about this deviant, and after the interview don't forget to pay a visit to his gallery and drop lots of love!
Hi there, =TGA-Tsurugi! I hope everything is good with you.
So, why dont you start this interview presenting yourself to our friends here and telling us a bit about yourself?
Hi! Everything's, fine, thanks! ^^
Well, I'm 15 years old and live in the U.S. At the moment I'm obsessed with Evanescence and M.I.A and I love all of the arts, but manga and anime has a special place in my heart.
"This is a very important piece of artwork to me because it gave me a defining moment in my artwork to mix it up with an overdone concept. I really like taking legends and things that I hear and reinventing them for some reason, on this piece, peoples' reactions were through the roof which made me feel even prouder. "
So, now lets start the interview for good. Tell us, why did you choose the Manga/Anime style as your 'arting' style to begin with?
I grew up with manga and anime. Ever since I was a kid I was watching things that came from Japan. I didn't start out, however, falling in love with it through Pokemon, like a lot of people. Digimon was my first love at the age of three and I officially started to get into drawing it when InuYasha came around. I bought a sketchbook after copying a picture out of a "How to Draw Manga" book by Katy Cooper and never stopped drawing since! It's so nostalgic and the overall style inspires me like nothing ever before, so I hope to inspire others using that same style.
On the follow-up of this question, why did you choose to definely work only with Traditional Media (taking by the fact that your gallery only has traditional artworks) ? As we all know, digital art is taking over the world and is the medium used by most of the M/A artists, and many say its even easier than work with traditional tools. So what makes you, let's say, go against the flow?
Against the flow is a funny way to put it! But, I don't really consider myself doing that since I AM drawing manga whether it's digital or traditional. Everyone starts out traditional, one way or another, so I just continued with it. Believe it or not, I did start out drawing manga on this website mostly digitally, back before I had this account. It was through MS Paint because I couldn't figure out Photoshop and tried following a tutorial from Newtype Magazine. I was really young and it didn't work out too well. When I heard about Copic markers looking so professional, it immediately made me want them. Traditional artwork just came more naturally to me, being a youngster and unfamiliar with technology. However, I do have a tablet, I just don't quite use it for serious works...
"This means a lot to me because it's a picture I spend loads of time on, it's a picture I did for a friend on deviantART, and because it meant a lot to me when I did it, because I really do believe technology leaks too much into our lives and it was taking over mine at the time."
Ok, so here we start with that old, old discussion. Traditional versus Digital: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each one, for you? If you haven't worked with digital art yet, so you can only say based on what you know from others's.
Hmmmm...well, I like to be able to see the work in front of me. For me, digital work doesn't exactly provide that. I'm obsessed with the "undo" button with digital work, though. Another plus about digital work is that one has more even tones when applying colors. And you can work out any texture you need to with a brush and all of that fun stuff. However, with traditional artwork, I get a rush from fixing mistakes. There's no greater thrill than thinking an artwork is ruined and then coming up with an ingenious way to fix it. It's the same with creating certain effects. I'd say coming up with a way to create an effect or texture takes much more creativity traditionally than just downloading a brush.
"This was special to me, really the first that I was really excited about because I worked with the most complicated concept I had so far. A lot of friends were involved in helping me shrink my ideas to paper and the reaction from people was overwhelming and I felt like I improved when I did it!"
So, on the subject 'tools of the trade' . From your artworks, we can notice your most used tools are Copic Markers. As we all know, despite of being a wonderful tool to work with, it's expensive hence why some artists end avoiding them, so I ask, why did you choose this tool? And as we are on the subject, I'd also like to ask you to tell us, have you ever tried other traditional tools besides Copics?
I found Copic's in this little Beckett anime magazine I used to get. I was twelve and was obsessed with InuYasha at that point, so I bought a lot of magazines. They held an art contest with Copic's as the prize and I'd started to notice since then that a LOT of professional manga and very amazing works were done with Copics on this website. I just love the effects they create and being able to truly see how much work was put into them is very cool. There's no covering up or undoing with traditional work and I love to know how the beauty and detail in a work came from one chance and with the stroke of a real hand.
I've tried many other things besides Copics! I've used airbrush systems, watercolors, colored pencils, acrylic painting, and digital programs too. I found Copics to be the best, though (Even though they are so expensive! D: )
"This piece represented a huge challenge and opportunity for me. It was a picture that a pro mangaka commissioned from me, which almost brought me to tears from excitement. I loved coming up with the concept and the fact that she was satisfied with it and loved it really made me so happy."
Now on the creativity field What inspires you to create, and where do you tend to get ideas from? Also, I'd like you to tell us a bit about 'external motivations'. Friends, family, etc., do they motivate you in any way, artistically speaking?
Oh, God, so much inspires me. Things that directly inspire me are other artists, old concepts, legends, music pieces, Evanescence, Lady GaGa, fashion, Pixiv, manga, cities, the outdoors, videogames, things from when I was a child, myself, and atmospheres. Heck the piece I'm working on right now is inspired by WALLPAPER for God's sake. It comes from everywhere and the joy of making it is coming up with the idea in your head. It's really beautiful and so rewarding in the end. I've always wanted to create a work that looks exactly how it does in my head.
My family motivates me a lot and so do my friends. Everyone here on deviantART keeps me going too. All the love and care is such motivation, but what inspires me the most is my (lame and seemingly impossible) dream of becoming a manga artist.
"This was a piece I loved because of it's dark nature. I love black and creepy things, but the message sent it beyond just that. It's about being yourself, expressing yourself with ink (in a literal sense), or just simply molding and depicting yourself how you want to be with the "ink" God gave you. Your personality."
As I couldn't leave out of this interview, now it's time to ask about Influences and inspirations! We all have them. So, what are yours? On and off dA. Tell us about them!
Ahh, my inspirations are toounit (of course), Katusra Hoshino (D.Gray-Man), Tsuabsa and xxxHolic (CLAMP), CLAMP as a whole, PIXIV, KYMG, my personal artbooks, Alexander McQueen, Tamasaburo89, vic-mon, monarchism, imagery from Lady GaGa and Evanescece, and so much more. *.*
It's hard not to just puke them all up.
They all inspire me so much and I just want to live up to them and make them all my own!! LOL
On the topic of influences, what is the importance deviantART had to your art, since you joined this site as a member?
I can't even fathom the influence deviantART has had on my art. It's truly miraculous. I joined a completely horrid 10 year old manga artist on an old account, TGA-Tsurugii (yes, two i's) and I'm now here. That's basically all I can say about your influence, deviantART. It's all able to be seen in my improvement for the last 5 years. All of my deviantART friends and watchers have helped me so much with motivation, with finding new artist to love on, and with critiques. I love critiques <3 People who care about improving my art are really why I stick around here. I love dA!
"I liked working on this because of the concept and my approach to it. I enjoyed being creative with the theme of fear for Halloween, but if you would have asked me my top 8 most meaningful pictures back then, I wouldn't have chosen this one. This picture is meaningful for me because it represents how far I've come in my art. It was my first Daily Deviation and it really almost made me cry when I saw how people were responding to it. Many happy memories are associated with it and it means so much."
As we can see, you have already gotten a Daily Deviation. And, I am pretty sure, a lot of people who didn't yet, and even those who already have one or more, are curious to know about how others feel when getting this prestigious feature. So, how did it feel for you? Did that help or motivate you in any way?
Well it didn't feel BAD that's for sure. It was a dream come true. I felt so loved and when I first saw my deviation featured. I hyperventilated and freaked out like a hormonal pregnant woman. It was crazy. I just about cried because everyone was so supportive. The experience was overwhelming and I'm very thankful for it.
I always feel like fame and popularity can slow down someone because of how overwhelmed and taken they are with the situation. Most of the time people who get popular just shut down and shun the popularity. I know I'm far from popular, but no matter what happens, my dream has always been for millions of people to know and see my artwork. It's helped me to just keep creating and being me in my art, the most important thing. I never want to lose myself! ///cheezy
"I loved working on this one. It was such an in-the-moment idea that I had to do for a silent auction and it presented so many challenges for me. Getting it finished in under a week for the deadline was unimaginable and all I focused on that week was this piece and I love it so much because of how hard I worked for it."
As we cannot help but wonder, have you ever tried out working with other styles other than Manga/Anime?
Oh, yes! Realism is something I have a lot of fun with outside of manga. I love to draw realism and draw beautiful faces...! It's very much fun. Drawing from what you see in front of you is great practice and really helps with manga work too. I even got a $100 realism commission three months ago! It's very fun. But that's as far as I'll go away from manga. Manga's what I really love and realism comes easier to me than manga, which is why I'm so obsessed with improving in manga. That's my true dream!
So, we are almost ending this interview. Before so, I'd also like to ask: Have you ever considered doing art as a living or you intend to carry it on only as a hobby?
D:< NEVER A HOBBY. I intend to make the dough.
"It was very freeing for me to draw this picture. I loved the concept so much and it was so inspired, because I came up with it over spring break, while I was doing Tea Time. It was a really great vacation I was on and I just love cranking it out. It holds a place in my heart simply because I felt like I was most inventive with it and because I woke up the morning after and it was on the front page of dA, something I can barely fathom."
Ok, that's it! to finish this, tell us something random about yourself!
Random...hmm....I'm deathly afraid of albino hedgehogs. If you get one near my face, I'll likely pee myself mid-sob.
It's so irrational!! D:
I hope you liked the interview, people!