Writing a story in a foreign language.

Writing a book is a reckless idea on its own, regardless of what language you used to tell your story. But when you are trying to pretend to be a storyteller using foreign language, it turns out to be a real challenge. Not only you have to master the craft but also to learn the language. It may become such a tricky trap. For someone like us, who wasn’t blessed with the opportunity to be born bilingual and pursued the learning of another language as foreign second or third, the very fact of writing fiction in the language other than our native is already cool. It sounds cool, looks cool, and feels cool. Feels like achievements.

Meanwhile, we usually forget that natives do not use certain phrases, they have slang, shortcuts and special speaking habits. And even if our writing grammatically correct to the extent of getting us excellent scores, if it was a study paper, it might not have the living soul of fictional text or lack the natural easiness and creative vibes.

What am I supposed to do if I am so desperately in love with prose in English? (Thanks to crappy translations, which can be found in our local shops, which motivated me to read the original texts). Should I give up on the dream to be able to convey stories of my heart to the world or should I give it a try despite the risk of writing something plain and boring using language that is not my mother tongue?

As you might have noticed, English is not my native language. But somehow, it is easier for me to express thoughts and tell stories using English. Even though it not might be always grammatically or stylistically correct.

Anyway, I am firm believer in “if you want to do something, but don’t know how”, give it a try and learn in the process.

So, I did.

The first story I wrote in English was a disaster. I mean, I still like the story, but the way I wrote it was terrible. It was 55 k words long fantasy and took me two Nanowrimos to complete.

The second one turned out a little bit better, but it was still in a desperate need of deep and thorough edits. This one I was working on for three years and it grew up to 88 k words. I am really proud of myself for accomplishing this. Also, a fantasy.

I am working on the third one which is little a mystery experiment. Still in the process.

And I am not planning to stop.

Let’s see how my writing experiments would turn out, and would I ever be brave enough to share them with the World.

Webtoon creators’ collaborations of 2020

Happy New Year 2021!

Last Year my friend LisHikaru, the creator of “the Sands of Gods” webtoon had introduced me to the thing which is called webtoon collaborations, which is a collectively created by fellow creators art in a form of vertical scroll, where everyone draws their original characters from webcomics (or webtoons – which is a term used for comics hosted on webtoon comic publishing platform)  all entries in these collaborations are united by one theme, sometimes color palette and/or background.

Last Year my friend LisHikaru, the creator of “the Sands of Gods” webtoon had introduced me to the thing which is called webtoon collaborations, which is a collectively created by fellow creators art in a form of vertical scroll,where everyone draws their original characters from webcomics (or webtoons – which is a term used for comics hosted on webtoon comic publishing platform)  all entries in these collaborations are united by one theme, sometimes color pallette and/or background.

Not only I got a chance to meet other fellow-creators this way, but it is also a very fun and creative activity which also serves promotional purposes. It is very hard to find any title on webtoon unless it is a part of add revenue program, and gets advertisment from the site staff.

Webtoons have two parts of the website

Originals –  for contracted comics which are being published by the site itself on a weekly schedule.

And webtoon Canvas – for anyone who want to use this website as free hosting for their comics. I am only talking about webtoon canvas’ creators in this post.

So, enough talking let’s have a look at the results of our collective creative activity

I have two comics published on webtoon canvas.

TIME TO LIVE COLLABORATIONS

(my manga Time to Live on Webtoon)

1) Maslenitsa collaboration dedicated to our slavic holiday. Creator- Lis Hikaru

Here is my entry:

Here is the link to see full collaboration – MASLENITSA

2) Mermaid feat. Annabelle from “Time to Live” who turned into  a  Mermaid for this special occasion. Creator- Lis Hikaru

And the link to see full collaboration – MERMAY

3) Zodiac feat. Annabelle again ^_^ collab leader that time was dreamcakes, the creator of “The prince and the wolf” webtoon. Every Zodiac sign was represented by two characters one girl and one boy. Annabelle was Libra, I have chosen this sign because I feel like it represents her the best always balancing between her dark and light sides.

Link to see full collab – ZODIAC

4) Canvas criminals organized by MarieJaneWorks, the author of “The Alley Cat” feat my pretty demon Shane from Time to Live.

My entry, background drawn by the collab leader, MarieJaneWorks

Here is the link to see full collaboration – CANVAS CRIMINALS

FALLEN CLOUDS COLLABORATIONS

(My webcomic Fallen Clouds on Webtoon)

1) My first collab in Fallen Clouds was magical boys and girls collab organized by M.RedDragon the creator of “Dissonant Paradise” webtoon. The date of publishing was 30th June because of SailorMoon’s birthday.

My entry was Erie as a magical girl:

Link to see full collab – MAGICAL BOYS AND GIRLS

2) Summer Beach collab .Creator – Lis Hikaru The Sands of Gods. I enjoyed drawing my characters in sweatsuits

My entry:

Link to see full collab – SUMMER BEACH COLLAB

3) Summer rain

Warm summer rain, colorful Hydrangea flowers in full blossom, umbrellas of various vibrant colors; couples hiding from rain under the trees, jackets and umbrellas. People running, dancing and having fun in the puddles splashing water; 

Summer rainstorm with heavy clouds and lightning. Raindrops on the window while someone sitting on the windowsill with a book and cup of coffee.

mer Beach collab .Creator – Lis Hikaru The Sands of Gods.

My entry:

Link to see full collab – SUMMER RAIN

4) For Halloween we had a party of characters from webtoon canvas, with supernatural/magical abilities and various kinds of fantasy/paranormal creatures flying from every direction to celebrate Halloween together!

mer Beach collab .Creator – Lis Hikaru The Sands of Gods.

My entry:

Link to see full collab – HALLOWEEN

5) The magical and cozy conclusion of the year is a photo book collection of memories, collected by webtoon creators with our characters celebrating winter holidays.

My entry:

Link to see full collab – WINTER PHOTO BOOK

That was a full year of collective creativity in review. Thanks to all amazingly talented creators who took part in these collaborations and the ones who organised, put together and made beautiful designs for logos and backgrounds.

Webtoon “Fallen Clouds”, trying new format of storytelling.

About my comic “Fallen clouds”

Somewhere far away in the North there is a land where clouds fall from the sky and cover everything with a soft cold blanket. Erifeya is a beautiful southern Nymph ready to risk her life for a chance to see the snow. After a stubborn northern barbarian Ratibor saves her from the deadly cold, Erie decides to return the favor. Nymph offers magical help in search of his sister, kidnapped by the warlock. Their journey full of adventures, sweet romance, and spooky creatures of Slavic mythology awaits

This year has been a bit crazy with global pandemic and all. I hope you all are doing well.

I came to tell here what I’ve been up to for the whole year of 2020

In the end of May 2020, I’ve began publishing my new comic project on webtoon canvas. This experience was interesting at least. Not only I made a decision to try creating a full colored comic, I also changed format. Instead of the pages, which I usually draw on A4 format, I went webtoon – vertical scroll format rout. And, hoo boy, I did struggle with it. Not only it takes me several times longer to make panels in full color, but I also had to change the format of thinking and push it beyond page limits. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. At the end I decided to make normal pages, as I used to, and crop them afterwards with rearranging for the vertical scroll. Scroll is good for smartphones, I can see why it became so popular lately. Not every one owns PC but a lot of people own smartphones nowadays. Not everyone, of course, but more and more people everyday. But even from the PC tablet it is hard to read at least for me – the text is too big the frames are too big. So, I prefer to have both formats available. Shame – it took me too long to realize. As they say, to live is to learn, or something like that.

Here is the video of one of the latest pages I have drawn, recorded with Clip Studio Paint App on tablet PC. One and half minute video actually took me three evenings to draw and color this page. And this one was relatively easy to draw.

Check out my comic on Webtoon

Also my friend LisHikaru, the author of “the Sands of Gods” webtoon had introduced me to amazing world of other webtoon canva’s creators and collaboration. Oh gosh! Those webtoon collabs we made together with other creators from Canvas section on Webtoons were the most bright impression of this year spent in lock down and remote work.

I mean I also got my second degree at uni, but that was definitely not as impressing as collabing with all the wonderful artists out there. So honored to be able to take part in such fun activity alongside amazing comic creators.

Fallen Clouds or what the heck does this supposed to mean.

Well, that is the title of my colored comic, which you are able to read for free on webtoon Canvas and Tapas. My original title is “Where the clouds fall on earth”. (Which was supposed to mean “snow”.)

However, after some thinking was done on my part, I decided to shorten it. I’ve always been using “fallen clouds” as working title for this story anyway. I thought something shorter would be much easier searchable on the comic reading ups and give less chances of misspelling and mispunctuating since webtoon’s app recognizes punctuation as well and not show the search results if you mistype the title.

panels from my colored webcomic

As of today when I’m writing this post on December of 2020, my comic got 2,6 thousands readers on webtoon. It is bizarre to think about. I’ve never had more then hundred people interested in my stuff. And here I have more. I am not sure how many of those people are real, tho. There are actual readers who reading my story and leaving comments on every episode I publish. It is shocking to me and I am so very grateful to each and everyone of them. Nice feedback helps me move forward with the story. And I want to thank them all. Unfortunately, webtoon doesn’t allow people to have profile pages, so I don’t know who they are. But I want to thank them all for taking time to write kind words about my story and drawings.

A also mirror this story on Tapas.io and I also have readers there which I am very grateful for!

XO, Heiseihi.

4 steps of my drawing manga-page process – how I draw manga.

4 basic steps of creating manga-comic page, manga drawing process. speeddraw video

Hi everybody! ^_^

I am self-taught manga-artist and in this post:

  • I’m going to tell about my step by step process of creating manga page
  • I will show the process of inking a page from my manga in video-format as well.

I am Heiseihi and I love to draw comics in old-school shoujo-manga style!
If you want to know more about me, check my About page.

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pages from the 1st chapter of my manga “Videira” A3 format

In case if you don`t know what the hell manga is漫画 it is japanese word used for comics. In modern pop-culture we have the wrong feeling that manga is only something big-eyed and black-white, no, it actually can be colored, realistic and anything possible to imagine. Basically it is a story told in pictures (text is optional here). And “shoujo” – is type of manga for girls =D So, shall we start?

The current manga-project I`m working on is Videira, which can be read on Tapas (former Tapastic) for free ^_^ link it is funny shoujo-romance gender-bender adventure taking place in the jungle of 19th century Brazil =D It is my experimental comics, drawing which I have tried many different media and drawing tools.

As I am not a full-time artist (drawing is my passional hobby) I draw slow as Snail, but no matter how few free-time I have for doing this, I’ve never given up on my art-passion and creating my comics.

Warning! I`m not trying to teach anyone here how to draw correctly (I am still in the process of learning myself).
I just want to share the way I do it. Hopefully it will be useful or at least entertaining.

Every manga page I make have 4 essential steps:

  1. draft (storyboard)
  2. pencil sketch
  3. ink (lineart) – I prefer to do these three 3 first steps on paper (I love traditional art)
  4. scanning and digital editing including toning with screentones.

1) Draft (storyboard)

I usually do it for the whole chapter or for a complete scene at once in a notebook – not to mess up with the page order later:
I actually had and accidents when this happened before – so, a little advice if making comics takes you as long as me – you’d better make storyboards in a sketchbook and not separate pages (unless you manage to keep them in right order from the beginning XD ), for me it can take up to several years before I turn my storyboards into a finished chapter. And one more tip – now I have learnt that it works for me better when I draw storyboards with pen – not graphic pencil for the same reason. I always use 3H hard pencil giving thin pale lines to easily remove them later works for sketches, but not for storyboards. My storyboards usually look messy and crappy – but it`s ok – I make them to capture the general idea sparkling in my head I can fix anatomy and other stuff later when I’ll draw an actual page.

For example – 7th chapter of Videira: I have drawn it`s storyboard long ago even before chapter 3 and 4 and so many time has passed since: my light pale pencil lines have completely disappeared from the paper I could barely see them now and I could only guess what are they talking about. And this is why I use a pen for storyboards since then =D

2) Pencil sketch

Looking for my storyboard-draft I redraw frames clearly on separate paper sheets. Sometimes I happen to love some frames of my storyboard and realize that I could not repeat the same face expression if I try to redraw it – in this case my lovely light-table is always here for help – I trace my draft and Voila! I absolutely adore my light table which, I have bought in China for the extremely cheap price, while I was studying in Chinese university for a term ^_^ If you prefer traditional old-fashioned way of drawing over digital it is absolutely must-have thing! Recommend! You can ask anyone to make it for you – it doesen`t seem very hard to make.

3) Inking

is my favourite part after storyboarding. It feels like meditation to sit on my couch and ink pages listening for music or audiobook.
Here I won’t speak about inking tools – I have tried a lot of them! It may get a little too wordy (it already did XD) – I’d better dedicate a whole different post to them.
Here is a video of me inking page from the 6th chapter of videira – speaddraw couple of hours in 3 minutes. It usually takes me longer when the page have more frames and more complicated background, poses, more black ect. I have chosen this page for video because t is simple and I could finish inking in one sitting =D

4) Digital editing

So, I have finally finished drawing lineart and scanned my page! Yay! Time to open champaign – right? WRONG! D: Here comes the most painful and time-consuming page-making part for me at least – digital editing X_x Firstly I open my drawing in image-editing program – it can be anyone – personally I prefer to use Photoshop – adjust brightness/contrast and clean the scan from every single little dot and scratch which may left after scanning (I am not sure is there such word as “scanning” – it is the process of using scan-maker to transform your drawing from paper to digital format). Than I make tones and shadows using screentones. And the final stage is adding text to bubbles.

Many people don`t have such time time-waste as page-cleaning because they draw lines digitally and they just put screentones and finish quickly. I have tried this way – but I enjoy drawing on paper and it doesn’t mae my eyes hurt, besides I love result more when I draw traditionally.

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Pages from the second chapter of my “Time to Live” project ^_^ Printed out at home.

If you prefer the real paper or just don’t have graphic tablet yet:

Make sure your scanner’s size matches the size of paper-format you have chosen for drawing or bigger then paper.  Otherwise it i going to turn into a huuuge pain in the ass. lol. Trust me, I’ve been there. The First and the Seconf chapters of “Videira” made on A3 and B4 formats… while my scan-maker is A4… X_x and I had to combine every single page frame by frame after scanning.

Ta-dam! The page is finished! As a result I end up having something like this:

Hope that was useful and not deathly-boring.

Next time I`m going to talk about:

  • 5 things I wish I knew BEFORE I had started to draw my manga-comics.
  • Drawing tools I have ever tried and used for making manga.
  • Cheap copic-markers alternative: Review of Chinese markers I use for coloring.

and more ^_^/~

Thanks for the attention!