Is anime/manga art? Watch

acw151
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Some time I ago, my friend was in the middle of doing her art exam at school (I can't quite remember whether it was GCSE or A Level). She is incredibly talented at drawing and in particular, has a talent at drawing manga.

When she was trying to plan her final piece, she of course wanted to do something that had a manga-inspired theme to it. However, several teachers took it upon themselves to discourage her from doing so, with one teacher actually making the statement: "Manga isn't art". She was therefore forced into creating a piece which quite frankly, didn't display her strengths as well as she could have if she'd been allowed to create the piece she wanted to. In a way, I could tell she was made to feel stupid for choosing to create a manga-inspired piece.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an expert at art. Maybe she would have gotten a lower grade if she had done a manga-inspired piece. But I do think saying that manga isn't art is pretty unfair and ridiculous considering that I've seen some pretty awful/grotesque pieces in my time getting called "art".

Am I missing something here? Or were those teachers out of order?
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goldfishgirl
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Your friend sounds a bit like me when I first started GCSE Art, I loved drawing manga and illustration in general but my teacher tried to dissuade me from it (and even made fun of me sometimes as well).

As long as she can back up her final piece with prep work, shown that she's explored lots of mediums and a good portfolio then there's nothing wrong with playing to her strengths. I did some of my prep sketches for my final piece in manga style, and one of my friends did a manga inspired piece for one of her projects and got an A so it's definitely not impossible to get a good mark.

Manga IS still art, it's been incredibly influential not just in Japan but in many countries. Though on the one hand the teachers might have good intentions and would like her to break out of her comfort zone and try something new, but forcing her to do something she doesn't like is going completely the wrong way. I hope she does well though!
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Aaron_xyz
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Manga is art. What I'm more curious is why her teachers disuaded her from doing a manga-inspired piece (asking from a non-art students perspective). Would her teachers say the same thing about American comic book art?
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R4INBOW
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Definitely
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acw151
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(Original post by goldfishgirl)
Your friend sounds a bit like me when I first started GCSE Art, I loved drawing manga and illustration in general but my teacher tried to dissuade me from it (and even made fun of me sometimes as well).

As long as she can back up her final piece with prep work, shown that she's explored lots of mediums and a good portfolio then there's nothing wrong with playing to her strengths. I did some of my prep sketches for my final piece in manga style, and one of my friends did a manga inspired piece for one of her projects and got an A so it's definitely not impossible to get a good mark.

Manga IS still art, it's been incredibly influential not just in Japan but in many countries. Though on the one hand the teachers might have good intentions and would like her to break out of her comfort zone and try something new, but forcing her to do something she doesn't like is going completely the wrong way. I hope she does well though!
This was a few years ago now - when she applied to do an Animation course, she had an incredibly vast range of work e.g. nude life drawings to present to the person interviewing her. She also brought along her manga work with her and from what I heard, they were incredibly impressed with it and they accepted her on to the degree course straight away.
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goldfishgirl
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Ah sorry, I assumed that this was a recent thing.
It's great to hear that she did well though.
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miser
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Of course it's art. What teachers take it upon themselves to discourage their students??
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laprenti
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She probably means that it's not representational art, which most great manga artists study before deciding to stylize their work. You can't play around with something until you know how it works in the first place.

I suggest that she forgets about manga for now, focus on art fundamentals and leave sites like deviantart for a place like conceptart.org, where there are some great professional manga artists, by the way.
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johnaulich
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Manga absolutely is art, but I have found that much of it is derivative and uninspired (I'm not suggesting your friend's art is, I've not seen it). A lot of amateur Manga artists tend to copy styles and content they've seen in the books or films without giving much thought to it. Such art, to me, seems a little empty... the craft is there but it doesn't seem to 'say' anything.

Generalization over. Bottom line: If she's capable, she should be able to do whatever she wants, and its entirely possible they were being snobby.
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Architecture-er
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For example, definitely yes! Just because it's medium is generally computer-based, doesn't mean it's not expressive and imaginative, which is what art is all about

It's just a style of art, possibly even defined as a movement by now
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johnaulich
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(Original post by Architecture-er)

For example, definitely yes! Just because it's medium is generally computer-based, doesn't mean it's not expressive and imaginative, which is what art is all about

It's just a style of art, possibly even defined as a movement by now
And what, prey tell, is that picture expressing? Where's the concept? Where's the statement? Where's the question? Where's the answer? Am I just too thick? Am I missing something huge, here?
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Imamomobird
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It's just a piece of concept art/character design. It doesn't need a statement or an answer to be art.

Still, it's pretty common for teachers to say that Manga isn't art. And I think the reason is because most people who draw manga are just drawing it because they have seen a few animes they liked and fancy the style. Manga is a stylized form of art and to be good at that you have to be good at the basics, which is probably what the teacher thought that she lacked (I'm just saying this based on generalisations, your friend could well be amazing at all art).
Manga artists today, and people like Picasso are all incredibly good at realistic drawings and tradition methods, before beginning to develop their styles. That's probably what the art teacher was talking about.
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Architecture-er
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(Original post by johnaulich)
And what, prey tell, is that picture expressing? Where's the concept? Where's the statement? Where's the question? Where's the answer? Am I just too thick? Am I missing something huge, here?


Same question right back at you. I think you're trying to restrict art into a series of tickboxes, which is exactly what art isn't about
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Sherlock.H
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Those teachers come of as ignorant. I've seen some amazing art in manga.

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johnaulich
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(Original post by Architecture-er)


Same question right back at you. I think you're trying to restrict art into a series of tickboxes, which is exactly what art isn't about
No, I just think there's a difference between carpenter and sculptor. The same means to a different ends.
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Architecture-er
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(Original post by johnaulich)
No, I just think there's a difference between carpenter and sculptor. The same means to a different ends.
Well you're being incredibly obtuse, so I can imagine you're quite 'arty'.. Just because you're a member of the emperor's court, wearing no clothes along with everyone else, doesn't make that the only correct fashion around

Just because manga is used in popular media doesn't mean its style has been *******ised into something unworthy of being art - it's incredibly pompous to think that a style of art can only be used as wall decorations or installations
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kittyb99
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According to a module I did in Japanese culture last term it is!
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johnaulich
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(Original post by Architecture-er)
Well you're being incredibly obtuse, so I can imagine you're quite 'arty'.. Just because you're a member of the emperor's court, wearing no clothes along with everyone else, doesn't make that the only correct fashion around

Just because manga is used in popular media doesn't mean its style has been *******ised into something unworthy of being art - it's incredibly pompous to think that a style of art can only be used as wall decorations or installations
I'm sorry I didn't make my position more clear. I absolutely DON'T think any style of art is 'above' or 'below' another, that depends entirely on what you do with it. I was criticizing the picture chosen as an example, not the style.
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Architecture-er
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(Original post by johnaulich)
I'm sorry I didn't make my position more clear. I absolutely DON'T think any style of art is 'above' or 'below' another, that depends entirely on what you do with it. I was criticizing the picture chosen as an example, not the style.
Well why on earth are you criticizing the picture, when it's one of billions that I could've randomly chosen from Google Images? I just picked one that showed the amount of talent lurking in the manga community :lol:

The thread is about the style :p:
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puddledancer
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I did art at GCSE and A Level so I know what it's like to have teachers not like your ideas. ><

The thing with manga is that it's hard to get all the background research and stuff which gets you the higher grade. Yes you can go in the internet to find sources but you can't really go to a gallery and get primary research and you are kinda limited to the subject matter you can draw, you can't really go into a park take some random pictures and draw from them in a way which shows your strengths like doing it abstract or expressionist.

I personally love manga but you need to do things that the exam board will like and that will give you a good grade rather than your own preferences sometimes.
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