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20 Quesitons with Sakura Maku

I used to send out a survey of 20 questions to different artists I admired. I’ve been lax with workign on that, but with Domino I want to start doing it again. What better artist to start with than Sakura Maku (by the way, Sakura just redesigned her website andits full of beautiful art). Don’t forget to check out her new comic Dark Tomato.

(above image from cheebcheebshkaa)

1. Can you describe your drawing routine—how often you draw, how many hour per day—how you break up the day with drawing?

I draw and paint around eight hours a day for half the week, more if I’m lucky.

2. how much revision/editing do you do in you work?
I like to revise and edit, I love problem solving on the page.
3. talk about your process—do you write a script or make up the drawing as you go?
I think about my characters, write down scenes, thumbnails, image banks, research, poetry, pencil and/or raw drawing and apply washes of ink.  I like it all.
4. Do you compose the page as a whole or do you focus more on individual panel composition?
I enjoy both.
5. What tools do you use (please list all)?
Pens and nibs, pencils, brushes, India ink, collage, glue and scissors..
6. What kind(s) of paper do you use?

Pads of T.H. Saunders from NY Central.

7. Do you read a lot of comics? Are you someone who reads comics and then gets exctied to make more comics—or is your passion for making comics not linked to any particular love for other comics?
I like to read new comics often and sure, seeing art definitely helps me make more.
8. Do you make comics for a living? if not, how do you support yourself, and how does this relate to your comics making process?

People make comics for a living??  I work at a printshop at an art college.  I like getting on the subway in the morning and being around people making art.

9. Do other artforms often seem more attractive to you?

No, there’s a place for it all.

10. what artwork (or artists) do you feel kinship with?
My childhood hero was Momoko Sakura (Sakura is her last name btw).  She did Chibimarukochan, a story about a girl in the third grade living in the burbs of Japan in the 60s, who had a normal dysfunctional family (loser dad.. delusional grandpa..) and aspired to become a cartoonist, despite her parents’ disdain of her paltry dreams.  Her stories are hilarious, autobiographic, and she became a super successful cartoonist in Japan in real life.  I always thought of her main character Maruko, as a female, Japanese Bart Simpson, who was another hero of mine as well..  My sister grew up with Doraemon, and my mom grew up with Sazaesan.  I also feel kinship with Keiji Nakazawa, who did Barefoot Gen, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I loved Krang, who kind of looks like a mean, older Meatwad..  Shredder and April were fulfilling characters as well.

I grew up by Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida and Knott’s Berry Farm (Snoopy, Woodstock) in Buena Park, California, so I guess oranges, American fantastic narratives and intelligent talking animals were fairly real to me..

11. Is a community of artists important or not important to you?
It’s neat to have good friends around who have known your work for a long time.  I value their insights.
12. Is there a particular line quality you like—thick/thin/clean/etc?
I like it all.
13. What is more important to you—style or idea?
Style can be a heightened way to express an intelligent idea, or not.
14. is drawing a pleasure to you or a pain?
It’s fun when it’s freeing.. sad if it’s healing.
15. When you meet someone new, do you talk about being an artist right away? Do you identify yourself as an artist or something else?
I like being an artist, it’s nice to meet other artists and smart, friendly people.  It’s fulfilling to share insights with different kinds of people.
16. Do you feel at all connected to older comic artists like steve ditko or jack kirby—or does this seem like a foreign world to you?
I guess I can relate to an older comic artist like Osamu Tezuka, my mom can sing the theme song to Astro Boy, that she used to watch everyday as a kid in Japan.  As a kid I remember trips to the library and borrowing Peanuts and Garfield.  I learned about The Spirit, Watchmen, Maus, Crumb and the cartooning greats who started School of Visual Arts, where I studied storytelling with Joey Cavalieri from D.C. Comics and Nick Bertozzi.  I’m a big fan of Aunt May and Mary Jane Watson.  Sometimes the war heavy American maleness makes me a bit nervous about older American comics history, but the art, storytelling and views of old New York are tour de force, no doubt.  It’s easy to forget that these courageous artists, most who come from poor backgrounds, who fought for our country decided they’d rather draw for a living, and paved the way for many of us.
17. Do you ever feel the impulse to not draw comics?
Maybe if my wrist or fingers hurt..
18. Do you draw from life?
Yes I’ll draw from life to understand what’s going on, and use that knowledge to express what I really want to say.
19. Do you pencil out comics and then ink? or do you sometimes not pencil?

I enjoy doing both.

20. What does your drawing space look like?
I’ve use many spaces for a single story, keeps things handy.  I need a flat surface, my pencil case, a bottle of ink, a can of water and some light.
This is my grandma’s table in her living room…I started my cheebcheebshkaa on this table. I certainly didn’t finish it there, but I really loved working there, and I think I made my best pages from that story there.
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One Comment on “20 Quesitons with Sakura Maku”

  1. […] twenty questions series continues with Spider Monkey artist Jesse […]


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