We love to encourage creativity around here. So it makes me happy when I see my kids exploring their artistic sides. My 14 year old son has really taken to the Japanese style of cartoon drawing, usually called Manga or Anime.
It started off with his fascination with Yugioh, an animated Japanese cartoon and card game. He would make up his own cards and draw detailed diagrams of the game playing equipment.
Several months ago, he got a drawing book from the craft store and he’s been going to town with his drawings ever since, enjoying the coloring and shading just as much as sketching the outlines of the characters. He’s studied proportions in detail and isn’t afraid to draw a line and erase, over and over again, until he gets it just right.
Being the supportive mom that I am, I wanted to incorporate some of his favorite things into a quilt I’m making for him. I’ve recently finished a quilt top that matches the colors in his bedroom. The double chevron design is purely for my own aesthetic pleasure.
In this drawing, I love how he added a swatch chart, so he knows which colors he’s using when adding ink to his drawings.
I really like this one, too. It’s a character from another show he watches (in Japanese with English subtitles), called Naruto. Just look at all that detail and expression! I really don’t mind that he enjoys TV and plays video games for inspiration (in moderation of course), especially when it leads to such creativity!
He’s very good at adding details and shading to make the characters really come alive. He’s also becoming fascinated with Japanese culture and even longs to go there on his church mission when he gets older (though of course you don’t really get to pick).
Although he’s never really said he wants to do this as a career when he gets older, he’s always had a knack for drawing detailed diagrams and schematics, and he’s really good with math. So who knows – maybe he has a future as an architect or an engineer some day. Whatever path he chooses, we know from experience that the joy is in the journey. :-)