We recently asked artist Krishna Sadasivam - a steadfast Manga Studio user - to share his experiences using the software. Read on to learn about his challenges as an independent artist, his favorite things about Manga Studio and his step-by-step process for turning sketches into amazing, full-color art.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Krishna M. Sadasivam and I make comics. Three times a week I write and draw PC Weenies, a tech-themed comic which I have been doing for the better part of 15 years. I teach full time within the Media Arts and Animation Department at the Art Institute of Tampa. When I'm not teaching, I take on projects as a professional illustrator / cartoonist. My specialty is creating comics for companies. Some of my clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. My comics have been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. When I'm not teaching or drawing, I spend time with my beautiful wife and daughter. To avoid burnout, I like to get out of the house and cruise around on my longboard.
Q: Describe the general process of how you used Smith Micro Software program(s) to create your art. What software features are most helpful during your creation process?
A: I'm 100% digital these days - with Manga Studio 5 EX being my go-to program. Hardware-wise, I use a Yiynova MSP19u tablet hooked up to a 6 year old Mac Pro. In my own usage, Manga Studio is vastly superior to every other digital drawing program I've ever used. The program is fast, responsive, and highly customizable. It is very easy to customize commonly used commands via a custom keyboard shortcut. I also really like how easy it is to install new brushes. Another big plus: it's compatible with programs like Photoshop, which I use for coloring and post-processing. Below is a breakdown of a samurai piece I recently worked on, as part of a SketchDailies challenge. At the early stages of an illustration, I spend a great deal of time thinking about composition. Once the composition is solid, I can then proceed to inking the drawing. Manga Studio has a wealth of useful rulers that I use when needed - like for the swords in this samurai illustration. After inks, I proceed to add colors and finish out the drawing. It generally takes me between two to four hours to complete a drawing from start to finish.
Q: What specific challenges do you face in creating your art?
A: My biggest challenge as an artist is managing multiple projects and handling the business side of the equation. Being an independent artist, I've had to learn business, promotion and marketing by the seat of my pants. Thankfully, there are good resources now available online and in print that have filled in some of the blanks for me.
Q: What do you consider your biggest success so far?
A: My biggest success as an artist was landing a very sizeable project for Microsoft a few years ago. I'm also particularly proud of having my first self published book, PC Weenies: Rebootus Maximus, appear on all seven continents, thanks to the aid of resourceful readers.
Q: Do you have any advice for other artists out there?
A: There's a lot of great advice online for up and coming artists. My biggest advice boils down to one sentence: Done is better than perfect. Many artists wait and wait and wait without even starting a project. Just do it, and don't worry about failing.[gallery ids="4822,4821,4823"]
You can learn more about Krishna and check out his portfolio here.