I want to become a manga artist in Japan, the kingdom of manga!
Kyoto Seika University
Gu Youngchan (From Korea)
※Interview in 2016
How did you choose the school where you would be studying?
Ever since I was a child, I loved manga, borrowing books from the library and reading
to my heart’s content. I found out that“ Doraemon” and“ Slam Dunk”, which were
my favorites, were created in Japan. I made the decision during my high school years
to visit Japan and to become a manga artist. I attended a high school that specialized
in art, but I wanted to study at Kyoto Seika University, where some of my teachers
and senior colleagues had graduated from. That’s why I came to Kyoto.
What kind of things have you studied thus far?
I entered the university in 2011; but as I had to serve in mili tary duty, so now I’m in
my fourth year of the manga course. Up through my second year, I learned the
basics of drawing manga, like drawing lines and circles and cre ating tone s
(light/dark). From the third year on, I started working on my expressive abilities as a
manga artist. Right now, I’m mainly working on my graduation project, which involves
producing an actual manga. I’m working on this at least eight h ours a day. My work
about a soccer player called “Boff Soccer” went over well with the editors when I
brought it to a major publisher, and I won an award for it in a manga contest.
What are the positive things you’ve experienced by coming to study in Japan?
I really love Kyoto, which I think is the most beautiful city i n the world. Traditional
and modern elements blend together, and the people who live here have been so kind
and polite. I’m just amazed every day I live here.
How do you want to take advantage of your experience studying in Japan in the future?
I’ve always thought that I want to leave behind some kind of footprints in my life, for
people to remember me by. For me, that means drawing manga. People who want to
be fashion designers go to Paris or Milan. For me, I want to be a manga artist in the
world’s kingdom of manga, right here in Japan. There are three elements that are
important to manga, the style, production, and story. I feel rather confident about my
ability to create a production that draws people into the work. I want to keep
studying, and create interesting manga that people will remember.