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Educational Institutions:Case Studies

Osaka University of Arts


"CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX can be used for everything from manga and illustrations to animation"

Professor Machiko Satonaka
Chairperson, Character Creation Department

Osaka University of Arts' Character Creation Department began using CLIP STUDIO PAINT in April 2015. We asked Professor Satonaka about why her department started using CLIP STUDIO PAINT, what inspired her to become a manga artist and the impact of manga.

Many options and forms of expression

ーWhy did Osaka University of Arts start including digital manga production in its classes?

First, we wanted our students to have many options open to them when they graduated - not just manga but many other industries. Being able to use the software is a key point in production fields.Digital technology also allows art to be commissioned more efficiently as the data can be delivered without having to meet directly. The most important thing is to provide as many different forms of expression as possible, so we began using digital technology in our classes so that our students could master the skills necessary to create art digitally by the time they graduated.

Digital art is a form of expression that goes beyond other drawing materials

ーWhat do you personally think of digital production?

Digital tools are thought of as just another drawing material, but learning to use them has a greater benefit than learning to use other drawing materials. The individual characteristics of a person's work can still be seen in every stroke drawn, even with digital tools. I think that this expression method goes beyond other drawing materials. You're learning the techniques of more materials than you could fit in a desk drawer.

Production in the latest environments

ーWhy did you decide to switch from ComicStudio to CLIP STUDIO PAINT?

The first big reason was that, since new software had been released, I thought that our students should learn how to use software suitable for the latest production environments. It also came to our attention that many of our students who were learning to draw manga were also interested in animation, but our animation course taught completely different things. At around this time, we heard about CLIP STUDIO PAINT's animation features.

Software that breaks down the barriers between manga, illustration and animation

ーSo at the time you were using ComicStudio, your students specialized only in manga, but CLIP STUDIO PAINT allowed them to learn animation as well as manga and illustrations?

That's right. As it was, students were having to decide whether they wanted to make manga or animation while they were still in their adolescence, which is a tough choice for someone to have to make. And the two types of art probably share the same world. At the end of the day, I think young people have many options for their future and can change their path as many times as they want throughout their lives. I figured that if CLIP STUDIO PAINT would be a standard tool for making animation in addition to manga and illustrations, it would take away the stress of choosing that young people were facing.

A career in manga that began with wanting to keep Mighty Atom alive

ーHow did you decide on your own career path?

When I was a child, I loved Mighty Atom. It made a huge impression on me.But some people were against it just because it was a manga. There was a white-hot movement to get rid of "harmful" books, and Mighty Atom was classified as a "harmful" series.
When I thought about my future career path during junior school, I wanted more than anything to keep manga alive, and I really wanted to be part of that world.I thought it was amazing that manga artists brought us such wonderful stories despite the condemnation they received from society, and I wanted to learn from them in some way. That was what inspired me to be a manga artist.
My parents were strongly opposed from the moment I told them I wanted to be a manga artist.
Then KODANSHA held a competition to find a new manga artist, with prize money awarded jointly by four of its manga magazines.
The prize money was 100,000 yen. For reference, a stewardess's starting salary at that time was 17,000 per month.
The problem was that I couldn't send my manuscript because the post office closed before I got out of school.There was no mail on Sundays, and courier services did not exist in those days.I bought a stamp and asked my mother to post my entry, but she refused for a long time.
I asked her again and again until she finally relented and posted it. My entry was chosen and my debut was arranged.I was so happy.
I started thinking about what to do with my prize money, and decided to put it in a savings account.I was surprised when I only received 90,000 yen because it had been taxed.I hadn't been aware of tax before that.From that day on, my parents stopped opposing my decision and began supporting me. They told me that if that was what I wanted to do, then I should give it my best shot.

Manga as a way to put oneself in other people's shoes

I think it is ludicrous to say that people shouldn't let children read manga.
In things like movies and TV shows, the story proceeds unilaterally.With manga and novels, on the other hand, the story only proceeds as long as you keep reading.On top of that, novels are generally written in the third person.That means they are written in an objective way.
But with manga, there are as many character perspectives as there are characters. If there are 10 characters, there are 10 different points being made and 10 different reactions. You become emotionally invested in the characters as you get to know them.
I think this is a wonderful characteristic of manga.
I think all children should draw at least one manga with around five characters during the course of their compulsory education.When you do that, you have to think not only of the protagonist's perspective but the opposing perspective too. That leads you to put yourself in the other character's shoes.Even in good versus evil stories, you have to tell the evil character's side of the story too.
I think you develop emotional maturity as a result of that.I would like to see manga included in compulsory education someday.

Imagination enriches society

ーWhat message do you have for those who want to be manga artists?

Manga is a world you can create alone in the corner of a room, so you have the opportunity to make your debut at any time.
You create the characters you want to create, move them through a story created by you, and in doing so, you have an emotional impact on people. I think nothing is as wonderful as that, and I hope that you will keep drawing for that reason.
Now that we can get our manga out there via the Internet in addition to paper media, more and more people are reading manga.
This is an age where each and every person can be an artist.
While things like sketches are important, the most important thing when making manga is to develop your own sense of expression and unique style.
I believe that the imagination it takes to come up with stories and fictional characters ultimately enriches society.

About Osaka University of Arts

Osaka University of Arts was established in 1945.
It is a general art university with 15 departments covering a wide range of areas from art fields such as fine arts, technical arts and design to entertainment fields such as music, literature, theater and broadcasting.
Its Character Creation Department teaches four courses: manga, animation, games and figure arts. Students study all four disciplines in their first year, then take the specialist course of their choice from their second year.
Plenty of the latest digital programs and equipment are used so that students can master the artistic skills required in each field.

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