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I am an anime artist, I actually have a decent understanding of anatomy, color and all that. I even have some of the most professional tools on the market to create my works. I've been drawing since 2004, I think.

So I have a question on how to achieve my one of my bright and shining dreams...
How do you manga artists make money? All help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I plan on going to anime conventions someday. I also want to open up commissions soon. I was also thinking about using print-on-demand services like Zazzle to sell my art in the form of prints online.

http://skitticat.deviantart.com/ <- My deviantART page.
Step one: draw fanart
step two: draw more fanart for what's popular at the moment
step three: invest a few hundred on prints and a decent pvc pipe display
step four:go to convention
step five: ???
step six: PROFIT

WORKS EVERY TIME

A lot of us however do not do this because
a) we want to be known for our own work not someone else's
b) it's borderline copyright breaking
c) we have dignity

If you really want to be a comic artist in america don't follow what works in anime convention, but what works in normal comic conventions.

make a great story
make a great comic
market online
market at conventions

and hopefully thing will work from there

Really, anyone with 30 bucks can get a table at a anime convention these days.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic


Your style works well for selling fanart and very little else. Go that route if you want some quick cash. Otherwise, work on your technique and graduate into something people want to commission more customized work of.

PS: You can have all the fancy, expensive, "professional" tools in the world and it won't make you a better artist. Don't shove it into people's face, it makes you look cocky. Especially when your art doesn't reflect all the "professional" tools you use.

wahmbulance NEWS FLASH! MANGA ARTIST DON'T MAKE MUCH MONEY! wahmbulance


Take the advice given to you by the people above...
Oh, Christ. Another "Artists are poor" thread.

Do NOT let "Don't go into (career x), you'll be poor!" predictions stop you. Here's a REAL newsflash, kids: For the better part of your 20s, you're gonna be poor pretty much NO MATTER WHAT. It's your job to figure out how to UN-poor yourself.

About me: I'm in my early 30s. My husband works in an office, doing graphic design for a large international bank. I draw, write and publish comics. That's my day job; that's all I do. I've been doing it since I was about 24. And I'm on track to make more than he does this year.

How much money you make in art is directly related to how much work you put into your job, how seriously you take it, how long you've been working at it, the quality of your output, and how much interest you can reasonably expect the world to have in what you're doing.

Starting out, you will make, if you are EXTREMELY lucky, what is colloquially referred to as "beer-n-pizza money." I made literally nothing off of my comics for the first two years, barring Paypal tips. My yearly take measured in the hundreds. But making peanuts when you're new to the game is universal, and it's hardly restricted to careers in the arts. Ask any intern.

Here's the thing, though: you don't have to stay on the beer-n-pizza level. You can choose to stay there; A lot of people do, consciously and otherwise. But you're not trapped. There is no ceiling other than the limits to your own ambition and talent. Especially not these days, when things like Kickstarter and the internet in general have leveled the playing field better than ever before. I've never been published by Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, etc., and I've no desire to be; I'm a fully independent, DIY cartoonist. I publish, store, and ship it all myself, and have only just recently started to publish other creators.

No, I'm not saying you should imitate me and become a micro-press. Not unless you WANT to. And I'm not saying anyone here could make PHAT STAX in comics, either. But claiming a career in the arts will permanently consign you to abject poverty is ridiculous. I don't even do the best out of all of my friends.
haneiy's avatar

Beloved Genius

I personally get most of my spending money from commissions on DA. My Artworks. Here's a little bit of my experience smile
-I've been doing RL commissions for about 8months now (prob started around october) and I pretty much sold my art for points (less than $1 worth of points for around 4hrs of work). I got around 3 commissions for that price back then.
-I found that my art progressed a lot due to taking commissions and drawing everyday. Below is the art summary meme for last year
User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.
- I think around november, I raised my prices by quite a little and instead of advertising my commissions on service forums and waited for clients to come to me, I noted clients on the job offers forum. Please note that only contact clients you believe are trustworthy, you can do their commission well as well as, don't spam every job offer that's possible smile Only do what you think is suitable to you
-From dec-march, I got quite a few bigger commissions (such as for iphone games) as well as a series of full body CGs and large commissions. The clients who commissioned me before also came back for more commissions.
-So now I've kinda got a cycle going and I raised my prices so that I am fairly paid for the time spent on my art. It took me around 7months to reach the current price of my commissions
-I don't do art full time though, since I'm still 15 and school is my priority, it's kinda like my 'part-time job', where instead of going to maccas and doing something I don't necessarily enjoy, I'm drawing and earning money through what I love.

I hope this helps smile
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic

IronSpike
Oh, Christ. Another "Artists are poor" thread.

Do NOT let "Don't go into (career x), you'll be poor!" predictions stop you. Here's a REAL newsflash, kids: For the better part of your 20s, you're gonna be poor pretty much NO MATTER WHAT. It's your job to figure out how to UN-poor yourself.

About me: I'm in my early 30s. My husband works in an office, doing graphic design for a large international bank. I draw, write and publish comics. That's my day job; that's all I do. I've been doing it since I was about 24. And I'm on track to make more than he does this year.

How much money you make in art is directly related to how much work you put into your job, how seriously you take it, how long you've been working at it, the quality of your output, and how much interest you can reasonably expect the world to have in what you're doing.

Starting out, you will make, if you are EXTREMELY lucky, what is colloquially referred to as "beer-n-pizza money." I made literally nothing off of my comics for the first two years, barring Paypal tips. My yearly take measured in the hundreds. But making peanuts when you're new to the game is universal, and it's hardly restricted to careers in the arts. Ask any intern.

Here's the thing, though: you don't have to stay on the beer-n-pizza level. You can choose to stay there; A lot of people do, consciously and otherwise. But you're not trapped. There is no ceiling other than the limits to your own ambition and talent. Especially not these days, when things like Kickstarter and the internet in general have leveled the playing field better than ever before. I've never been published by Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, etc., and I've no desire to be; I'm a fully independent, DIY cartoonist. I publish, store, and ship it all myself, and have only just recently started to publish other creators.

No, I'm not saying you should imitate me and become a micro-press. Not unless you WANT to. And I'm not saying anyone here could make PHAT STAX in comics, either. But claiming a career in the arts will permanently consign you to abject poverty is ridiculous. I don't even do the best out of all of my friends.





Wow dude. Chill.
Not one person went "OMG ARTISTS ARE SO POOOOOR. WOE IS US!" or "WHY CAN'T I MAKE ANY MONNEEEEEYYY!"
OP asked how to make money with the style that she has. Simple as that. I do not see how this is an "artists are poor" thread at all. There's nothing in the first post that asks how to make manga art into a sustainable career, or what she needs to do to become a big manga star. She asked about cons and zazzle for goodness sakes. Either OP is delusional in thinking that's how to make millions, or she's just looking for some extra cash and is asking how to go about it.

If you're referring to Atolocus' post, then... well, it's the truth. Manga artists don't make much money doing anything other than fanart. But again, nothing points to the OP intending to make a huge career out of it.

The Frostinator's avatar

O.G. Gaian

Albino Sea Monkey
PS: You can have all the fancy, expensive, "professional" tools in the world and it won't make you a better artist. Don't shove it into people's face, it makes you look cocky. Especially when your art doesn't reflect all the "professional" tools you use.


Wise words.

I started doing commissions using a really ancient computer and Photoshop Elements 3, lol. The tools I was using were a joke but I still managed to sell art because I had connections and friends who helped get me started.

My advice would be to try everything you can to get your art out there. Post in forums, join art sites, etcetc. Try to adapt to different styles to get the most exposure you can get in as many places as you can.
Albino Sea Monkey
If you're referring to Atolocus' post, then... well, it's the truth. Manga artists don't make much money doing anything other than fanart. But again, nothing points to the OP intending to make a huge career out of it.


What other post would I be referring to?

And Adam Warren, Svetlana Chmakova, Felipe Smith, Stan Sakai, Fred Gallagher, etc. would like to refute your statement.

Manga-style American artists make money most quickly with fanart because it's easiest. A strongly manga-influenced style has its strengths and weaknesses, and its primary strength is instant appeal to manga fans in general. Making money with original properties, something everyone I've just listed does, is more difficult, because there's no instant audience. But no instant audience doesn't mean no audience at all.

It just ties back into what I just said. The ceiling is where you decide it is. if you decide the only money to be had is in fan art, and attempting original work is a waste of time, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic

IronSpike
Albino Sea Monkey
If you're referring to Atolocus' post, then... well, it's the truth. Manga artists don't make much money doing anything other than fanart. But again, nothing points to the OP intending to make a huge career out of it.


What other post would I be referring to?

And Adam Warren, Svetlana Chmakova, Felipe Smith, Stan Sakai, Fred Gallagher, etc. would like to refute your statement.

Manga-style American artists make money most quickly with fanart because it's easiest. A strongly manga-influenced style has its strengths and weaknesses, and its primary strength is instant appeal to manga fans in general. Making money with original properties, something everyone I've just listed does, is more difficult, because there's no instant audience. But no instant audience doesn't mean no audience at all.

It just ties back into what I just said. The ceiling is where you decide it is. if you decide the only money to be had is in fan art, and attempting original work is a waste of time, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.





Your sudden explosion was kind of, well, rude. You kind of went overboard for what was a simple comment. confused If you were responding to Atolocus's post, then maybe quoting it would have actually brought the point across. Considering you went "oh look another artist's are poor thread" when REALLY it was only a single "oh artists are poor" post, yes, it was up in the air about what the hell you were trying to discuss.

You're being hypocritical. On one hand, you're shoving in my face that all these people (oh congrats, you can name names!) can make money in manga style. On the other hand, you're reiterating what everyone else has said in that the best way to make money in manga-style is in fanart. Unfortunately, neither of those topics were mentioned in your first post.

Like I said: You're reading WAY too far into what the OP asked. She NEVER asked about making a career out of it, she NEVER said she had any intent on being some kind of big hit manga artist. She was asking how to make money. We told her the best way to make money was with fanart. For all you know, she just likes to do art on the side and wants to make a little money off it. You don't need to push people so hard to reach for the goddamn stars.

Albino Sea Monkey


Your sudden explosion was kind of, well, rude.


You think that's rude, you don't know rude when you see it. You'll know when I've started being rude.

Quote:
You're being hypocritical. On one hand, you're shoving in my face that all these people (oh congrats, you can name names!) can make money in manga style. On the other hand, you're reiterating what everyone else has said in that the best way to make money in manga-style is in fanart.


"Hypocrite?" Better hold off on using big words until you're sure what the mean. And sorry about naming names. I know it hurts to have your argument utterly destroyed in front of everyone. But don't worry, you'll pull through. And next time, you'll know better.

Every artist named makes far, far more than any fan artist slinging Naruto/Sasuke make-out prints at the local con you could think of. Guaranteed. Fan art vs. original content is the difference between $50.00 a pop, right now until forever, and investing in a future that actually pays dividends. You'll understand someday.


Quote:
Like I said: You're reading WAY too far into what the OP asked.

...

She was asking how to make money. We told her the best way to make money was with fanart.


And you're wrong.

Maybe the OP wants a career, maybe she'll be content with drawing as a hobby. All you or I know is she asked how to make money. I told her the best way.

Goodness, you're defensive! And over a post that doesn't even remotely concern you! Something tells me I know what I'd find if I took a look in your portfolio, eh?
Atolocus
wahmbulance NEWS FLASH! MANGA ARTIST DON'T MAKE MUCH MONEY! wahmbulance


Take the advice given to you by the people above...
Clarification: Manga artists don't make much money IN JAPAN. Artists in general don't make much over there. They're paid below the national minimum wage for both there AND here in the States. And that's the native artists. Foreigners don't stand a chance in that xenophobic little country with a failing economy.

Here in the States, I have no idea what they make. Enough to support themselves, I imagine.

@OP: I can't really help you, as I know next to nothing about selling art except for here on Gaia. I do know that connections and friends in good places helps. And so does skill. That's all I do know for sure, though.
I could be wrong but I think what Spike means is that it's possible to make good money off your art if you put in the effort and the idea that making a living as an artist is incredibly hard and omg might as well be impossible is a myth. There's plenty of work out there and if you're competent (actually competent, not "mom thinks I'm good" competent) you're going to be fine.

OP, draw fan art to attract attention on DA and tumblr, and offer cheap sketch commissions along with more expensive full color ones. Sell prints if you can. If you're looking to do professional work as well, prepare a nice portfolio with drawings in different styles and start networking. Talk to your fellow artists, join the conversation in other forums, etc. Don't do spec work unless it's for a big brand that will get you some actual exposure. Set up a sketchblog (JUST for your art, don't post dumb fandom crap or reblog other people's stuff if it's on tumblr) and update it as often as you possibly can.
NuMedia Millie's avatar

Prophet

Classy female escort service?

The way manga artists make money is they give up manga and make graphic novels with substance and take on free lance illustration jobs.
we started drawing at the same time whee

You could aim to make a small ammount of money as a supplement by taking commissions online and trying your luck at conventions/art galleries (I know a girl who makes most of her living out of it, but it takes a little while to build up a good catalog of products and clients)

or you can make a living from it which then requires you to have a know-how of what the commercial art industry needs (publicity/edition/fashion/entertainment). Once you hit the bar in terms of what you can do and providing you live in an area that actually have any job offerings... Getting your first job is just a question of time. Where I'm at, it can be right out of school to after a year or so.


and ima not poor xd

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