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Life Of A Manga Artist: Behind the scenes

Life Of A Manga Artist: Behind the scenes

Life of a Manga Artist. Introduction

🎨 Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a manga artist looks like? From the early morning, sketches to the late-night deadline rushes, the process of creating a manga is both challenging and rewarding. In this article, we’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at the daily routine of a manga artist, complete with tips and insights from some of the industry’s top creators.

The Early Morning: Preparation for the Day Ahead

Most mangakas begin their day early, around 6-7 AM, to get a head start on their work. They start their day by fueling up with a healthy breakfast, taking care of personal hygiene and grooming, and reviewing their schedule for the day. Some mangakas like to start their day by reviewing their previous day’s work and making any necessary changes or revisions.

The Studio: The Heart of the Mangaka's Work

For most mangakas, their studio is their second home. It is where they spend most of their day, bringing their creative visions to life. In order to create the best possible manga, mangakas require a comfortable and functional workspace that allows them to focus on their craft.

A typical mangaka’s studio is equipped with all the necessary tools of the trade, including a large drawing table, a lightbox, and a variety of pens, markers, and brushes. The lightbox is a crucial tool for many mangakas, as it allows them to easily trace and refine their drawings. The table is typically large enough to accommodate large sheets of paper, making it easy for mangakas to work on their manga without having to worry about running out of space.

In addition to the basic tools, many mangakas also have a variety of other items in their studio, such as reference books, sketchpads, and inspirational posters. These items help to create a comfortable and inspiring environment, where mangakas can focus on their work without distractions.

The Work Process: Bringing Ideas to Life

For most mangakas, the creative process starts with a simple idea or concept. This idea may come from a personal experience, a dream, or a story that the mangaka has heard. Once the idea is formed, the mangaka then begins to develop the story, creating characters, plot points, and dialogue.

The next step is to rough out the basic plot and create the storyboard. This involves sketching out the main panels and scenes, and deciding on the overall flow of the story. Once the storyboard is complete, the mangaka then begins to flesh out the details, creating rough sketches of each panel and refining the story as they go.

Once the rough sketches are complete, the mangaka then begins the final stage of the creative process, which is to ink and color the final drawings. This stage requires a great deal of attention to detail, as the mangaka must ensure that each panel is clear and easy to understand.

The Collaborative Effort: Working with Others

While mangakas often work alone in their studios, they also collaborate with a variety of other professionals, including editors, writers, and animators. This collaboration helps to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality, and that it meets the expectations of both the mangaka and the readers.

Editors, for example, help to ensure that the story is engaging, well-paced, and that it meets the standards of the publisher. Writers help to develop the dialogue, characters, and overall story, and animators bring the manga to life by creating the animation for television or film adaptations.

Deadlines and Workload: The Pressure of the Job

One of the biggest challenges for mangakas is meeting deadlines. Most manga series are published on a weekly or monthly basis, which means that mangakas must produce a consistent stream of high-quality work to keep their fans satisfied. This can lead to long hours and intense pressure, as mangakas strive to meet their deadlines while maintaining the quality of their work.

How many hours does a manga artist work?

The number of hours a manga artist works can vary greatly depending on their schedule, workload, and personal preferences. Some mangakas may work long hours, often putting in more than 12 hours a day to meet deadlines or perfect their work. Others may work more manageable hours, balancing their work with other responsibilities and taking time to rest and recharge.

Regardless of the number of hours worked, the job of a mangaka is demanding, both mentally and physically. The constant pressure to produce high-quality work, meet deadlines, and stay ahead of the competition can take a toll on one’s health. This is why it is essential for mangakas to take breaks, practice self-care, and seek support when needed.

In general, the manga industry is known for its rigorous demands, and many mangakas find it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, for those who are passionate about their craft, the rewards of seeing their work come to life and connecting with fans are well worth the effort.

Taking a Break: The Importance of Rest

Despite the demanding nature of their job, mangakas understand the importance of taking breaks and getting some rest. Whether it is a short walk, a nap, or a meal, taking breaks allows mangakas to recharge and refocus their energy. Many mangakas also use this time to engage in other creative pursuits, such as reading, writing, or drawing, as a way to refresh their minds and stay inspired.

The Social Life: Balancing Work and Play

While mangakas are dedicated to their work, they also understand the importance of having a social life and maintaining relationships with friends and family. Whether it is through attending industry events, meeting with fans, or simply hanging out with loved ones, mangakas strive to balance their work with their personal lives.


Being a mangaka is a challenging and rewarding career, and a typical day in the life of a mangaka is filled with hard work, creativity, and a passion for storytelling. From the early morning preparation to the late night wrap-up, mangakas pour their hearts and souls into their work, striving to produce the best possible comics for their fans. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in manga, remember that it takes dedication, hard work, and a never-ending passion for the craft.


How long does it take for a mangaka to complete a chapter of manga?

It depends on the complexity of the chapter and the experience of the mangaka. On average, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete a single chapter.

How do mangakas come up with their ideas for manga?

Mangakas draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, including personal experiences, books, movies, and everyday life. They may also collaborate with editors and writers to come up with new ideas and storylines.

Are mangakas involved in the animation process for their manga?

It depends on the mangaka and the publisher. Some mangakas have a direct hand in the animation process, while others may have limited involvement.

How do mangakas work with publishers and editors?

Mangakas typically work closely with their publishers and editors to develop their ideas, review drafts, and make any necessary changes or revisions. They may also receive feedback and suggestions from their publishers and editors, which they must take into consideration in their work.

What skills and qualities do mangakas need to have?

To be a successful mangaka, you need to have excellent drawing skills, a passion for storytelling, and the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. You also need to be creative, adaptable, and have excellent attention to detail.