About nature, inspiration and wandering mind.

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!~

 

My self-drawn Coloring book with shoujo-manga girls!

My self-drawn and self-published coloring book for children and adults Beauty is magic: Shoujo-manga girls

Hello. ^_^/~

Yay! My Coloring book titled Beauty is magic: Shoujo manga girls.: for children and adults is available on Createspace and Amazon So happy! I did it!

                                        small cover frontsmall

All my social media have been suffering from the lack of updates lately. I got a heavy flu with complications and my productivity and social activity were somewhere around zero. But I did draw actually (on paper only) sitting by the computer was kinda hard…

But those “couch drawing” gave me a great opportunity to manage one drawing project which I was thinking about for a long time but never actually thought it could be real, until I discovered something interesting from YouTube =D and now I feel like I could do literally everything. I just need more time.

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This drawing project is not a manga, but something different and still demands a lot of drawing and post drawing work. And it is a book. A small experimental coloring book featuring my original designs of 26 shoujo-manga girls in different styles and outfits ^_^ and that was a lot of fun to do!

You know, I always had a sense that my line arts look like pages from colouring books for girls before I color them or tone with screentones.

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I was going to self publish it with Createspace and Amazon.com. The funniest thing is for me living on the opposite side of the Globe – that it is even cheaper to buy few copies from Amozon then to order the same few copies in my country and the delivery cost is almost the same O_O WTF?! Lol.

I am already waiting printed proof copies for my one-shot manga o(^.^)o Yay! Want to draw more coloring books a have so much of ideas! Nothing is gonna stop me from fulfilling my wishes.

 I mostly draw my original characters from my comics but I didn’t want to include them into colouring books, because they are mine and it would feel like a betrayal for them. So, these girls from colouring book were just spontaneously drawn sketches or few of them I was thinking to draw a manga with, but I gave up those ideas later. And when I put all the drawings together I have finally decided to do what I wanted. Because “why not?” I can.

If people would like it I would be happy, if not… Well… I still can think of it like an artbook of my line-arts ^_^ and after all, I’ve got a lot of nieces and friends to give presents to. I’ve got nothing to lose, so why not to try then? ^_^

Could you imagine my surprise, when this book actually has started to sell. I was really shocked (and glad)! Thank everyone for purchasing a copy of my coloring book for children and adults!

Currently I`m working on the second coloring book of this series.

Thanks for the attention!

Sincerely, 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!