Storytime here: I`ve ordered 4 copies of my coloring book “Russian fairytale. Manga girls” – to see how would they look on paper. I always do that and usually give them to my nieces later ^_^ But Amazon sent me 3 copies. Probably, there was some mistake during processing the parcel. And they send one more copy separately ^.^’ for this one copy they used the super fast delivery method so it arrived two weeks prior to the second parcel with three copies. I didn’t film the first parcel’s unboxing because I got it snatched out of my hands and unwrapped by someone else =D
But as the second one arrived I set up my camera and here it is:
Here are some pictures of the first one, which arrived at the beginning of October.
This coloring book turned out to be really pretty. I am kind of proud.
Now I have four of them in total. A collection of 105 drawings .
I`ve been waiting for 10 years for this to happen.
I started this series in 2008-2009, then trashed all the pages I had by 2010.
Then I started again in 2013. And paused for many reasons.
My story doesn’t wish to vanish. It wants to live. So, let it be!
It is Time. Time to Live. ^___^
As much as it “time to live” for my OCs inside the story, it is time to live for the story itself.
I`m uploading it on Tapas. The first episode was up this week, and I’m planning to upload once a week, We’ll see.
It’s paranormal/urban fantasy/romance with demons, witches and bunch of other supernatural creatures.
And I love this story, I can’t even express how much! I am so excited about this project of mine like I`ve never been before.
Read on Tapas|or Webtoon
When I first started, I had no idea, what I was doing, but now, since I`ve finished my manga “Videira” earlier this year (Yay!) I have a little bit of experience ^.^
I am so happy to announce that my fourth coloring book is finally live and available on Amazon. I called it “Russian Fairy Tale” as it features various representations of Russian traditional culture and mythology. I’ve spent this summer working on these drawings and I am glad how drawings turned out. I tried to include various levels of complexity and the number of details.
If you enjoy coloring manga girls in historical and traditional outfits, this coloring book is for you.
☙“Russian Fairy Tale. Manga girls”❧ coloring book contains:
✅27 original hand-drawn designs of pretty manga/anime styled girls
✅Traditional Russian outfits
✅Attributes of Russian culture
✅Flowers, patterns and ornaments
✅Cute manga girls
✅Girl’s power in its beauty
✅Russian musical instruments
✅Delightful historical scenes for relaxation
Coloring book suitable for children, teens, and adults featuring the art of shoujo manga and anime style, including pictures of different complexity level.
Calm down your stress and relax immersing yourself into the enjoyable craft of coloring various female characters.
Recommended art-tools are colored pencils. If you decide to use markers or something which may bleed through the paper, it would be better to put a sheet of paper beneath the page you color to prevent spoilage of the next drawing.
All pictures in this book are one-sided.
All drawings made by artist Heiseihi.
Have fun and happy coloring!
Here is a photo of some drawings included in this coloring book:
I want to share my new creative project with you all, which would be the 4th coloring book in my series of random pretty manga girls.
I had this idea for a couple of years on my mind, and only this year I became brave enough to pull it out and do something with that. Which is to make a series of drawings inspired by Russian traditional outfits, fairy-tales, and mythology. I really love everything pagan and Slavic but I want to avoid cliches or try and play around with them. I was afraid my skills were not good enough to make justice and to represent these things in a beautiful way. Anything we create always looks so much better inside our heads than it does on paper.
Anyway, I’d spent this summer gathering these artworks together and trying my best to make justice to the culture of my country. Here are some drawing examples:
This summer goes extremely well. I have a good time enjoying the fresh air and freshly picked berries in the woods at our summer cottage, as I had taken much-needed vacations from the “real job”. I’m trying to make at least something creative every day. My art always has this therapeutic effect and has been a huge stress relief for me.
Meanwhile, I’m almost done drawing all the pages of chapter 0 from my manga-project I am really passionate about. I am aiming for an autumn launch. But I’m going to have my time and if it takes me longer, I won’t stress out because of that.
Also, I’m toying with the idea of creating another coloring book. I have some thematic drawings in process, but I’m not going to reveal the theme or the title just yet. I need to be sure I would be able to finish all of them and that I’d be able to produce good quality drawings before I announce anything. If this won’t work out the way I anticipate then I would push this idea aside. Hopefully, that wouldn’t happen and I’d go as I planned. We’ll see.
And the last but not least, I’m still trying to figure out how to write fiction. I know, I know. You probably are rolling your eyes up, my English-speaking friends out there. Just bear with me for my cringy grammar and awkward word usage. I am in the process of learning. And, I just can’t shut up these stories flowing in my head. They need a way out, or my head is going to explode one day if I won’t let them out.
My graphic novel “Videira” has come to its conclusion. I can not believe I’ve finished it. Yesterday on 31, March 2019. Holly crap! It’s been 8 years. 10 chapters. 266 manga pages.
Well, I didn`t draw only this comics exclusively (or graphic novel or manga, whatever you call it). But it still was so much more time than I had initially expected. I remember how I started to write dialogues for the first chapter in my Totoro notebook while I was sitting in the University’s library when I came late for class and the teacher didn`t let me in. LOL. That notebook is very precious to me as I had bought it in Ghibli shop in Kyoto, which the whole another story for another time.
It’s been so long since I’d started to draw the first chapter in 2011. There were a few times when I wanted to drop it or give up on this story entirely but I am so glad that I didn’t.
Firstly, I wanted to have it traditionally published and when I pitched it to only one publisher which existed on the Russian market back in the day. I got a rejection, which drove me into half a year of depression. I shelved this project and began working on other projects. But I was lucky enough to have my manga-drawing buddies and dedicated readers who supported me and genuinely liked this manga. I will be forever grateful to them for being such great support for me and my characters, with kind encouraging words and beautiful fan arts of my characters from Videira. Could you actually imagine that? Such wonderful artists draw portraits of my manga-babies and they were amazing.
I am happy that I have found the strength to continue drawing for myself, even if I knew it would lead to nowhere in terms of desirable career, but it meant so much to me. Regardless of everything going on in my life and the daily job, I was able to finish this story because of only love to my characters and their journey, because of my few but so precious readers out there, waiting for every chapter and cheering me up along the way. I made it for myself, just to know that I can, that I am capable of finishing something bigger than one-shot story. By the way, all one-shots I drew during my university years when I had half a day free time it was easier than with 8 hours a day job + 3 hours to get there and back. +)
“Videira” was the easiest, loveliest and the lightest of all my stories. I don’t know if it transfers to the page or not but it certainly feels like it. Maria, the main character, is such a positive and cheerful girl, even when she cries. I had a lot of fun with this story as well as a lot of troubles, for example, I had no clue how to draw the freacking crocodiles, but I did it anyway. This manga came from a pure place of joy. I am still sitting here and rereading my readers’ comments and smiling from ear to ear because they liked it and crying at the same time because of how much it meant to me.
I’ve learned a lot. If I were doing it now I would have done many things differently. Especially in regards to the representation of other cultures and people with perspectives different from mine. When I came up with the story idea and started drawing it, I was barely more than a child, I didn’t even consider the possibility of such things. Now, as I am a grown-up person, I see all my mistakes, but it is kinda late to go back and fix everything. I’ll try to avoid the same mistakes in my future works. Hopefully, this experience would help me to become a better author and a better artist.
Even though it’s a little bit sad to say good-bye to these characters whom I had spent that much time with, I am glad to have it finished. And more than anything, I am grateful to the people, my wonderful drawing-buddies, whom I met thanks to this manga. ^_^
One gigantic problem I have with my writing, which gives me a massive headache, is POV switching. I am not a fan of the 1st person POV. I might sometimes enjoy reading it, but writing it doesn’t work for me at all. It gives me the creeps. Meanwhile, most of my favorite books have multiple 3rd person POVs and switching them like crazy. But those done by masters. Not me, making baby steps in writing, and trying to write my story using a foreign language (which is kinda hard on its own).
For drafting, I use YWriter program which is small and light and has a very simple clean interface – exactly what I need. I tried scrivener, and I was so overwhelmed by how many features are in there I couldn’t use it. These features might be very useful, but I find them rather distracting.
So I use the simplest writing program I managed to find. And the most important thing which it does: allows you to create chapters and the scenes within chapters and move them around however you wish. One of the cool additional features – it allows you to “export outline” – basically what it does is exporting only chapters’ and scences within chapters’ headings.
The story, which I`m working on (not very intensively working at the actual writing at this moment, but constantly doing it now and then) is the one which I came up with the idea of when I was 11 years old. It was quite a long time ago. And since then I have this waste world and lots lots lots of characters living in my head. I managed to cut a huge chunk of the cast out, but there are still a lot of them and everyone has their own stuff going on. One of the trickiest parts for me is to keep POVs sustainable.
I knew I might have trouble with my large cast, but what I beheld when I exported my “outline” (chapters and scenes’ headings) and color-coded them in regard to POV… well, it had punched me in the gut. Just look, how freaking random it is. [on the right] I removed the titles, but I guess the idea is clear. Every POV character in particular scene has their own color. It is only the first part of the beginning and I already have 8 POVs. One of my main leads is not even presented yet. And I don`t know what am I supposed to do with that? Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Am I making a disservice to my beloved story by using so many POVs? Or is it what I need?
The important thing is to make POVs of different persons sound different. I get it. But I doubt it is humanly possible for me to make all of them distinct and different from each other when there are 8 main characters POVs and about 7 additional throughout the whole story. Some of them have more vivid personalities and distinct voices, but most of them do not. It’s something to work on. In my case, it might mean to cut down the number of POV characters.
From the other hand, I am a fan of being able to see the larger scope. Maybe this is why I do not like 1st person’s POV. I want an ability to see from the bigger lens. More “cinematic” 3rd person is my POV of choice.
3) You should make breaks between POV switches clear, whether it a chapter break, paragraph break or including a little bit of omniscient 3rd person narrator in between and try not to confuse the reader with it, which is another struggle for me. Its all clear for me of course. But would it be clear for another person? Probably not.
I already had been told by beta-reader, that my narration jumps between different characters’ perspectives and also I was told I should better rewrite it from one person’s POV (it was another story where I had much fewer characters then I do here: 3 or 4).
I inclined to disagree as “jumping between people’s heads” was exactly what I wanted to do, I’d just failed to present it correctly. As I mentioned above, all my favorite stories juggling multiple POVs and I want to learn to do the same. So let’s keep learning.
I`ll just leave it here as a small reminder to myself and a warning.
Have you ever noticed how the walk in the park or forest boosts your creativity and makes new shiny ideas flow in an unstoppable stream? Let’s talk about why.
I personally had this feeling for so long and I supposed it was because nature, especially wild nature, helps us distress and relax but recently I’ve stumbled upon a scientific explanation of this phenomenon.
photos of Siberian woods from my personal Instagram
What do scientists say
It happens because our brain forced to make so many decisions always occupied with hundreds of different tasks in everyday life, gets into the state of mind-wandering when all the distractions such as smartphones and computers are eliminated, which is natural and healthy for our brain. The problem is not only in how addicted to our gadgets we are, but it is deeper in cognitive. Our attention switches too often when we work, checking e-mails, thinking about what to buy, what to cook, choosing what to read and watch, and the most when we use the internet, with lots of pop-up messages, notifications, links, banners. Our brain multitasks while using gadgets the most. I was surprised to know that every link in text on a website we browse, makes our brain to decide whether we should go check this link or not, even if we do not consciously think about that. Our brain forced to switch its attention very quickly and often which provokes our short-time memory to be overloaded and our long-term memory doesn’t even get a chance to store information we consume. Constant brain activity makes us tired, absent-minded and lost, unfocused which influences directly on our productivity. Our mind is simply too busy trying to solve thousands of tasks a day, consuming loads of information, not all of which is quite useful. There is no room for new incoming ideas in such state of mind.
I am not a scientist and I do not know how to properly explain these things (for the better explanation you can read the book “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload” by Daniel J. Levitin or something similar to that. I haven`t finished this book yet, but I am in the process). My point is when you are in nature, wandering in a wild or sitting by the shore, your mind starts to “wander” without focusing on a particular task (or daydream), your body and your brain refreshes and recharges from the natural surroundings, not to mention fresh air and physical activity from walking, which is beneficial to our health on its own. Such state of mind is natural and healthy for our brain.
To me, it happens very often, that all my story ideas or drawing ideas even, come to me when I am out of town in the countryside. I am lucky enough that my family owns a summer cottage in the woods close to Lake Baikal’s shore, where even now in 2019 the phone’s connection is beyond the coverage. I can catch 4G internet only in a certain spot on the veranda. Not indoors, not in the garden not in the woods. Unfortunately, I can only live there in summer weekend but it is enough to recharge and get inspired and motivated.
my drawings from the summer garden
When I don`t have an opportunity to be out of town and beyond the coverage it is very helpful to simply walk in the park or beautiful alley without(!) headphones in my ears. Which, I am very guilty of using a lot. I`ve found out about this topic which turns out to be very interesting, from youtube chanal by Anastacia Kay (user funastacia – channel is in Russian), where she talks a lot about concentration, cognitive, and bad effects of multitasking (when you try to do many things at once and have nothing done at the end. It happens because our brain functions much more productive when it focuses on one task only, for a longer period of time).
Check up the video, which I filmed in the summer of 2018 and made into a short clip
This kind of landscapes with a beautiful view and fresh air help me to relax and recharge the most. Now in cold winter time, I can only look at my videos and dream of being there soon, in a few months.
Another side of inspiration
For us creatives, the brain is the most important instrument, so let’s keep it clear and operating on its best capacity. There are plenty of useful pieces of advice on the internet “how to eliminate and reduce distractions”. I`m going to try to implement some of them and see if there will be any effect. Maybe I`ll share my experience next time.
For now, I know the trick with nature-recharging works for sure.
I also wanted to mention that you can get inspiration from a lot of different resources, but it might be tricky. For visual artists and writers both, for example, gaining inspiration from movie or book may unconsciously force us to create something similar to what we absolutely loved (draw a costume from the movie without even remembering it, or imitate a voice of the favorite writer). In this case, gaining inspiration from music and nature are much “safer” and organic.
That’s all I wanted to say for today. Go for a walk, let your brain wander for a bit and get some inspiration!~
Let`s take my manga Videira as an example – I am experimenting with the tools I use for drawing it until now.
I have used a variety of papers and pens. Let`s move straight to it:
1) A3 paper, gel pen, black markers, roting isographs
first chapter was drawn on A3 paper – it was the largest size I`ve ever used for drawing manga.
I have drawn my manga with pencil and inked using simple black gel pen + Roting isograph 0.1 for thinnest lines + Roting isograph 1.0 and random black markers from the nearest shops.
I couldn`t find neither isograps or ink for them in my town, so I had to buy them online and wait for a couple of weeks until they arrive.
I liked using isograps but it was a little bit of inconvenient to fill them with ink and I usually ended up covered with ink from top to toe as well as my bathroom where I was doing it XD
After having a kernel of 0.1 isograph broken I had to buy it online again, and wait for two weeks until it arrives… agrh! No matter how much I enjoyed using it, this was way too inconvenient considering the fact I had to constantly fill it with ink and I didn`t have any of the accessories in my town.
After receiving and replacing the kernel of 0.1 isograph, I had broken 1.0`s (thick line-making) isograph corps. And I was done here.
By the way, about the paper size – It was great to have an ability to depict the smallest details, besides, after scanning the page looked very neat and pretty, but here I had another issue – the scanning XD I had A4 scanner which is 1/2 size of A3 pages I was drawing at. I had to scan every frame separately and after that, combine them in Photoshop. Oh my! It was a disaster! But the result was very good. I actually can proud of the quality of pages of the first Videira chapter. But it still was not very practical and took a very long time, so I was looking for other materials
2) B4 paper, Ink, dip pen holder, g-pen, maru-pen
During the second chapter I have switched to B4 – this is standard Japanese format for manga pages, a little bit bigger than A4 and a little bit smaller than A3. Love this format! I have bought (online as well as I can not even dream of such paper to appear in my town…) wood dip pen holder G-pen, Maru-pen, and some others, along with B4 paper, Black Pilot and black Deleter ink and a couple of Chinese cheap ink bottles – black and white.
I had so much fun using these materials, imagining me like the true manga artist XD As I had never experienced ink and g-pen I was so new and exciting but it took soooo long to make a single page. The line was much better it was alive and curvy. However, I still had scan-making issues as B4 pages were still bigger than my scanner and I still had to combine separate frames into one-page after scanning.
I did draw 2nd and 1/2 of the 4th chapter ( as I had drawn 4th chapter before the 3rd) using ink and B4 paper.
3) A4 paper, sakura pigma micron multiliners
But I have continued experimenting and the 3rd chapter was done in A4 format (paper size keeps going down and down lol). Meanwhile, I have discovered a new material – multiliners! And they were great they are such a life-savers. Love them. I personally prefer Sakura Pigma Micron Multiliners (I have tried some other brands as well as copic multiliner which btw did very good as well but Sakura pigma micron have stolen my heart) I am still using them and a random simple black marker to cover large black spaces.
Nowadays I am still experimenting with Videira looking the best possible materials which would provide both joy from the process and the result with good
balanced speed and quality. I`m trying to draw some pages digitally in the 7th chapter, it is easier in some way – because I don`t have to clean the scan from dots and scratches but I am not quite satisfied with the line itself – digital lining is hard for me but I am working on it.
Hope it was useful information, every material has its own advantages and disadvantages: just try them all, and decide what is better for you, but never use the lack of some material as an excuse for not drawing – I have tried a lot, and one conclusion I could make:
it is your story and your art – what really matters, no matter if you use super expensive Japanese ink, B-4 paper designed especially for manga or cheapest A4 paper for office technique and simple gel pen+ black marker from the newspaper kiosk.
The story of “Videira” started back in 2008 when I firstly came up with the idea of the plot and characters. The inspiration for this story was the book which I was in love with since childhood – “La Jangada” by Jules Verne. “La Jangada” is about a group of people`s adventures in the selva (jungle) of Amazon river in Brazil as they are swimming down the river on a big raft (Jangada). One of my characters – Benito uses the name of one of the main characters of “La Jangada” – Benito – who was my favorite character there (but Benito in my manga is not my favorite char as you could have guessed).
So, inspired by the story about the jungle in the 19th century Brazil – I got the idea of my own story I wanted to add a little bit of fan into it with the gender-bender trick: this is how my story came up to life.
I wish I could visit jungle one day and see all the tropical beauty with my own eyes but as far as I haven`t any chance to experience it, for now, I spent a lot of time watching documentary movies about selva nature, flora and fauna and looking for the pictures depicting jungle. I find the idea of traveling down the river on a huge raft fascinating, Maria (my main Character) and Benito (her childhood friend and fiance) had this dream since they were kids but here Hulio (Julio lol XD) shows up and screws everything up for everybody including himself. His name, as I used to joke, was my main motivation to draw this story because in my native language his name sounds inappropriate: almost like “the bad word” giving high rating to movies if it is used there =D and I had a lot of fan receiving feedback about his name and how it matches his personality =D
*** The title.
Firstly I wanted to entitle my manga “Maria” or “Just Maria” which are both were not suitable.
And then I stopped with the title”Grapes vine” which was personating with me and my story as my main characters families have a joint business of growing grape and making wine in the south of Brazil. Wanting to add a little bit more of colorist into the title I used the translator to translate it into Portuguese this is how I got my final version of the title “Videira”, which is basically grapes vine in Portuguese and I completely have fallen in love with this word. I made it not only my working title but a surname of the main heroine as well. My working title has stuck to my story and now I can not imagine my story without this title.
In 2008 I got a raw idea of the plot and first sketches of main characters. I have drawn 4 pages with the graphic pencil (by the way, one frame from those pages was included into a new version – the happy Maria`s face, when she greets Benito in the first chapter – which I still like :3 )
Then I put it into a drawer for a while and I was drawing other stuff.
In 2011 I was lightened up with the idea of drawing a single tankobon (standalone book) and I thought Videira would be the best choice to serve this purpose. I thought I could finish it in a year or two… lol. I was young and naive. =D
I have finished chapter 1 in 2011 and drawn chapter 2 but the second chapter was completed with final editing in 2012.
After that I took a break… sort of. Very slowly chapter by chapter I moving forward but I have no intention to give up.
I am still working on it. Currently, I am in the seventh chapter, my story faced with the huge plot changes and character’s personality change, as I was brainstorming my ideas a lot. It has finally turned out to be something which I like better than the original version. Maybe, because when I made this story up in my mind I was a kid and didn`t understand some special aspects of the story itself.