People often ask me how long I have been drawing.
And this question is answered quite simply:
I've been drawing since I could hold a pen in my hand.
My first attempts probably started with me scribbling all over the wallpaper in our apartment. However my parents never stopped me from doing so, but encouraged me instead by giving me pencils and paper to draw on. Since then, the wallpapers no longer had to suffer from my artistic streak.
I loved watching Disney movies as a child. I always wanted to trace the characters and since the World Wide Web didn't exist yet, I had to find other ways to get my references. For example, I paused the films at certain scenes so I could draw my favorite characters. I was very fond of 'Bambi', 'Aristocats' and 'The Lion King'.
'Sailor Moon' was my first contact with anime and manga, which was broadcasted on RTLII ( a German TV channel) in 1997. At that time the animes from Japan just came to Germany and I was so fascinated by this new world that I started drawing even more than before! 'Dragon Ball', 'Pokemon' and 'Digimon' followed soon after. I recorded all these series on videotape so that I could pause them later to draw and learn by referencing. From that time on, my style was strongly influenced by Japanese animes.
Shortly after I discovered mangas to many of my favorite anime series and also started to collect the manga magazine 'Banzai!', in which many stories appeared chapter by chapter every month. The 'Banzai!' was the impulse that made me want to become a 'Mangaka' myself. And so I started my first, own comic attempts.
"Sailor Moon" ©Naoko Takeuchi
Through my participation in various manga drawing competitions, I attracted the attention of larger publishing houses. In 2004 TOKYOPOP sent me an inquiry for the anthology 'Mangafieber', for which I was allowed to contribute a short story. It was published at the "Leipzig Book Fair" 2005 and shortly after that, another offer came from the same publisher. This time my own manga 'Tylsim' was to be published as a single volume, which also happened in 2008. A dream came true! Then I accepted commissions for a while until I received another request from TOKYOPOP for the 'Grimms Manga Special Volume', for which I was asked to contribute my own interpretation of the fairy tale 'Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten'. The anthology was published in 2011. This was my last collaboration with a publisher, instead, I continued to accept commissions from companies and my own customers.
However, it took me a while to make a living from drawing. There were even times when I wanted to give it up completely in order to take other paths. But simply giving up something that has always been a part of me was impossible. So I kept on drawing.
In 2014 I established myself in the German manga/anime community by designing my two dragon characters. Ao Shun and Ddraig Goch were very popular on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Suddenly there were fanarts of my characters and the interest in further character designs grew. That was so new to me and at the same time so enjoyable that I decided to hang myself into drawing with even more motivation!
At about the same time, a fellow artist asked me if I would share a table with her in the drawing area of the "Leipzig Book Fair" 2014. My first experience as an exhibitor at a fair was overwhelming. The positive feedback and the interest in my prints were the triggers for my decision to become an independent artist. And I am still happy today that I chose this path at that time!
After that, I have designed many more characters, and since I am a big fan of Egyptian mythology, most of my designs are self-interpretations of Egyptian deities. I
have been living off my greatest passion for some years now, producing and selling my Merchandise. I now exhibit at many trade fairs and conventions throughout and also have exhibited outside of
Germany. In the future, I would like to increase my presence abroad even more!
In addition to my character designs, I have drawn short stories and published them myself. Later, in cooperation with the young publishing house PYRAMOND, they were published in a more qualitative way.
And that is in broad outline my story about becoming an independent artist. For the future, I hope that I will be able to live out my passion for a long time to come and thus reach and inspire many people around the world. I would like to share my passion with you and develop myself further. In addition, I hope that I can motivate many of you to live out your own passion.
Give yourself a chance! I believe that you can achieve anything if you give your best! : )
Unfortunately my mangas are only available in German right now, but I am planning to publish them in English soon!
Candy upROAR (2014) (Reissue 2017)
Fable Clash! (2015) (Reissue 2017)
Fable Clash! DAYS (2017)