Creative Inspiration

by on 週五, 16 三月 2012 評論

Being a Manga artist is a job which demands a lot of sustained creative and imaginative output, in this section several of the artists discuss how they get their inspiration and how they are able to sustain creativity throughout their careers. Or as Chen Uen puts it "Amateurs talk about inspiration, professionals will tell you that you have to rely on life experiences accumulated".

“Writing comic books is like hatching some eggs: All sorts of birds will fly from the nest.”

CHEN Uen, whose real name is CHEN Jin-wen, worked for twelve different design companies before founding his own interior design company. His career was launched when he published his first comic The belligerent black panther, in the magazine China Times Weekly in 1984. Acclaimed by critics he immediately published two more comics which he illustrated with Chinese ink, and which were both inspired by real Chinese history accounts by Sima Qian. His style, painstakingly detailed and bold, rests upon a mastery of Chinese ink and Western illustration. His creations have a chivalrous, heroic, generous, and tender feel to them. In 1991, after publishing a very popular Chinese historical comic in Japan, he became the first foreign author in 20 years to receive the prize for excellence in manga creation from the Japanese manga association.

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Readers in mainland China can view here

“Comic books are mirrors in which I reveal myself”


Chi, whose real name is LIU Yi-chi (in mandarin it is pronounced like the numbers 617), was born in 1988 in Kaohsiung, in the South of Taiwan. As a student of art, she spent almost ten years learning about fine arts. The year before entering university she published her first comic book, and throughout her time studying, published a whole series of them. Chi belongs to a whole new generation of Taiwanese comic book artists; her mastery of graphics is surprising, her style covers children’s illustrations, the realistic American design, and even extends to Japanese aesthetics. Activities she is involved with include design, illustration, and photography, but most of her interest and creations still lie within the realms of comics and publication. Chi attempts to merge the beauty of design and art into her comics and illustrations. Her dream is to go on a trip around the world, and she hopes one day to be able to see that Northern Lights and the Loch Ness monster.

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Readers in mainland China can view here

“Comic books are life itself”

Born in Taipei in 1968, Chang Sheng graduated from the Fu-Hsin college of art and commerce, in the department of western painting. After working for 15 years in the advertising business, he realised one day that his childhood dream of becoming a comic book artist had never been realised. This is what pushed him to quit his job and launch into a new artistic career. For Chang, beautiful illustrations and a good plot are the basis for a fantastic science fiction story. A fan of cinema, Chang often bases his characters on real movie stars. Films, videogames, and alcohol or his favourite pastimes, but he is also interested in collecting figurines and in building models. When he is not so busy with drawing, he plans to dive into the world of cinema or writing.

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Readers in mainland China can view here

“For me, comic books are a way to accomplish what I was born to do: entertain people.”

Born in 1965, Loїc HSIAO arranges his comics with only one illustration per page. Amongst all the Chinese comic book artists to arrange their images this way, he is the most famous. He started his career by publishing The hidden side of fairy tales. This book, consisting of 30 individual vignettes, sold 500.000 copies, it’s a best-seller known all around the Chinese-speaking world. Loїc has a wide array of interests, and is involved in hosting TV shows, and acting in commercial spots amongst others. He is also a very active stage actor, and has founded his own silent theatre troupe, called House of Sugar. In 2010, he even created some lucky charm mascots for the Tourism Bureau to promote Taiwan North coast’s National Scenic Route. The Taiwanese edition of GQ called him “the most talented comic book artist of Taiwan”.

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Readers in mainland China can view here

Conor Stuart (蕭辰宇)

Born in Belfast. Just finished his Master from the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature at National Taiwan University (NTU). Currently lives and works in Taipei. 

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