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Japanese manga, most popular comic genre among artists, webtoon readership also on the rise Data from survey of 8,000 European creators

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Celsys, the developer and distributor of drawing app for creators, “Clip Studio Paint,” conducted a survey on the creative activities of 8,000* visual art creators in four European countries (the UK, France, Germany, and Spain) from November to December 2021. The survey was conducted in the form of an online questionnaire, and responses were received from a total of 2,000 people in each country, with 500 respondents from each age group from 10s to 40s.

The survey looked at the changing landscape of digital art, such as the use of digital equipment and what kind of artworks creators are drawing.

Increase in digital tools after COVID measures
According to the previous years’ surveys, 2019 to 2020 saw a large jump in people who draw digitally, with a 12.9% increase from 54.4% to 67.3% (Figure 1). This was possibly as a result of restrictions that led people to seek new hobbies indoors.  In the 2021 survey, 68.4% of creators said they draw digitally, indicating that the move to digital art is maintained at the same level as in 2020.

Figure 1: Do you draw with traditional media or digitally? Please choose the option that most closely matches your situation.
(If you draw with media such as pencils, pens, paint, and watercolor, choose traditional. If you draw with digital tools such as a computer, smartphone, or graphics tablet, please choose digital.)

About 30% of creators create comic-related artwork
31.5% of creators answered that they draw some type of comic (American comic, Japanese manga, European bande dessinée, or webtoon) (Figure 2). Of creators who currently do not create comics or manga, 38.4% chose manga as a new genre they’d like to try, ranking in the top 3 behind categories such as fashion design and 2D animation, out of a total of 13 categories.
Across the four countries surveyed, 13.2% of respondents considered the ease of drawing comics to be an advantage of digital art (Figure 3).

Figure 2: What type of drawing do you do for your hobby/school/work/side job? (multiple response)

Figure 3: If you were to draw digitally, what aspects or features would you find useful? Please select up to three.

Japanese manga is the most popular comic genre
Japanese manga remains a popular genre compared to western genres such as American-style graphic novels and bandes dessinées. In France, Germany, and Spain, more respondents answered that they draw Japanese manga than American-style comics or European bandes dessinées.  

In the United Kingdom, Japanese manga is more popular with female artists, and American-style comics are more popular with male artists.  

16.8% of artists indicated an interest in drawing Japanese-style manga in the future, slightly higher than American comics (16.3%), bandes dessinées (12.3%), and webtoons (11.8%) (Figure 2).

Webtoon readership also rose significantly
The past year also saw an increase in awareness of webtoons: vertically scrolling comics designed to be read on a smartphone. In 2020, 58.4% of respondents said they had never heard of webtoons, but in 2021, this dropped to 33.9%. This growth is especially noticeable in Germany, where 74.6% of all respondents answered that they know webtoons (Figure 4).

Similarly, the number of people who answered that they read webtoons "often" or "occasionally" increased from an average of 25.5% to 32.8% across the four countries. Webtoon readership was highest in Germany, at 39.0%, and lowest in France, at 26.2% (Figure 5).

Figure 4: Have you ever heard of the vertically formatted comics called Webtoons?

Figure 5: Have you ever heard of the vertically formatted comics called Webtoons?

Many surveys in the past have found that Japanese manga is read widely in Europe. In this survey, we saw many answers indicating that people want to draw a wide range of comic genres such as American-style comics, French bandes dessinées, and Korean webtoons. From this, it can be seen that many forms of visual storytelling have taken root as entertainment in Europe. Readers have grown into creators and there is a stable population of comic creators. In the future, we can expect the cycle of local production for local consumption to expand further and a wide range of new and unique local comic expressions to emerge, propelled by the nurturing of new creators, the business environment that allows people to make a living as full-time professional artists, and the expansion of readership through the distribution of comics on smartphones.

Celsys has been supporting creators globally in the production of digital art using its technology for more than 30 years. 
Celsys provides apps and services to support content creation, with its drawing app “Clip Studio Paint” used by more than 20 million people worldwide for the creation of illustrations, comics, and animation. Celsys supports creators in publishing their artwork and is currently holding an International Comic/Manga School Contest aimed at schools worldwide. 

*People who answered that they had drawn in the last 30 days

Survey Method
This survey was conducted online by MADE IN SURVEYS (France, https://en.misgroup.io/) between November 5–December 23, 2021, with a total of 8,353 respondents in four countries: the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.
Breakdown of respondents:
UK: 2,128 total respondents (13–19 age group: 536; 20–29 age group: 533; 30–39 age group: 534; 40–49 age group: 525)
France: 2,120 total respondents (13–19 age group: 533; 20–29 age group: 538; 30–39 age group: 539; 40–49 age group: 510)
Germany: 2,001 total respondents (13–19 age group: 481; 20–29 age group: 503; 30–39 age group: 509; 40–49 age group: 508)
Spain: 2,104 total respondents (13–19 age group: 521; 20–29 age group: 523; 30–39 age group: 525; 40–49 age group: 535)

Similar studies conducted in 2019 and 2020 were used to draw comparisons with 2021.
The 2020 survey was conducted online by MADE IN SURVEYS (France, https://en.misgroup.io/) between October 2–December 18, 2020, with a total of 10,555 respondents in four countries: the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.
Breakdown of respondents:
UK: 2,545 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,035; 20–29 age group: 485; 30–39 age group: 520; 40–49 age group: 505)
France: 2,676 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,096; 20–29 age group: 530; 30–39 age group: 532; 40–49 age group: 518)
Germany: 2,627 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,080; 20–29 age group: 528; 30–39 age group: 517; 40–49 age group: 502)
Spain: 2,707 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,076; 20–29 age group: 536; 30–39 age group: 502; 40–49 age group: 593)

The 2019 survey was conducted online by MADE IN SURVEYS (France, https://en.misgroup.io/) with a total of 16,145 respondents in four countries: the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.
Breakdown of respondents:
United Kingdom (June 5–July 5, 2019): 4,090 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,017; 20–29 age group: 1,021; 30–39 age group: 1,027; 40–49 age group: 1,025)
France (December 28, 2018–February 6, 2019): 4,000 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,000; 20–29 age group: 1,000; 30–39 age group: 1,000; 40–49 age group: 1,000)
Germany (April 11–June 20, 2019): 4,010 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,005; 20–29 age group: 1,003; 30–39 age group: 1,000; 40–49 age group: 1,002)
Spain (May 20–June 10, 2019): 4,045 total respondents (13–19 age group: 1,004; 20–29 age group: 1,020; 30–39 age group: 1,013; 40–49 age group: 1,008)

Celsys continues to support creators to create artistic content with digital technology.
Celsys provides solutions for content creation, distribution, and browsing, including support of creative activities through the “Clip Studio Paint” app for illustration, manga and animation production, as well as the “Clip Studio” web service, and the “Clip Studio Reader” e-book solution.

Corporate site: https://www.celsys.co.jp/en/
Clip Studio Paint site: https://www.clipstudio.net/en/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clipstudioofficial/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clipstudiopaint
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/celsys.clipstudiopaint/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CLIPSTUDIOPAINTchannel

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