My Son, The Aspiring Anime Artist

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.

20140603_anime_1It’s fun to see him sketch and watch the pictures develop as he draws. He sketches with pencil, draws the outline in ink, then colors and shades with professional markers.

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.

anime_2Ryan’s Drawing of a Character from Legend of Zelda

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.

double_chevrons_topI then let him pick out the backing, which I’m sure will get displayed more than the front! The sheet we are using isn’t quite wide enough so I will add some extra fabric to the sides.

double_chevrons_backingAs I have been working on his quilt, he has been improving his drawing skills and learning all about the best tools and supplies to use for the job (wonder where he gets that from?)

He has a healthy collection of Copic markers, which are not cheap! I’ve been very proud of him though – he works for us, and uses the money he earns to buy his own supplies.

markersEach hobby has its own set of tools and supplies!

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!

anime_3He’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).

anime_4A current WIP – we all have them!

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. 🙂


32 thoughts on “My Son, The Aspiring Anime Artist

  1. Rose says:

    R u kidding me? A 14 year old Drew these? At first I thought his drawing was a professional style that he was imitating. All of those Coptic markets ate a great investment.

  2. karriesmith says:

    Thats so awesome! He’s really talented. If he can draw using a tablet on the computer, he could make a lot of money NOW as a kid! My daughter’s friend does it, and while she doesn’t draw Manga per se, the drawings/cartoons will easily bring in $20 easily per pic for someone that wants an unique avatar to the million games kids play that we don’t even know about. (well..I do. but she’s an adult now so I’ve been letting it slowly go for the last year). It’s the kind of role playing games that are similar to the characters he is drawing, but aren’t mainstream. Its easy to see where he gets his creative genius from 🙂 Whatever he decides to do, he will be great at it

  3. Karen M. says:

    Your son has amazing talent, not only with drawing but shading as well. Thanks for sharing his work with us and keep us posted!

  4. Pamela says:

    Artistry runs in the family. And, Christa, you sure get around everywhere on the web. Just read about you on the NQA site as the June Member Spotlight. Congrats!

  5. Crystal says:

    Hi Christa, WOW! Your son is very talented. I was surprised when my auto-view came up for my e-mail and I am staring at Link. I was a little confused. As a gamer for years, Link is by far my favorite character (‘Ocarina of Time’ being my fav game of the Zelda series). I am very impressed at his skill and like others have said, clearly artistry and creativity run in the family genes. Tell him to keep up the GREAT work. I don’t give compliments easily so truly, I am amazed at the quality of his work and even at 40 years old, I still love some of the same stuff he does. It transcends generations.

  6. Nancy Kavaky says:

    Please tell your son how impressed I was with his work. It is beautiful and awesome. He has a special talent. Encourage him to develop his “own character’s” down the line. My Grandaughter has an awesome job at Disney World in Orlando. Your son may desire to work for an amazing company such as Disney. After all it is the happiest place in the world!.

  7. Andrea Raymond says:

    Fabulous talent! I love to watch creativity blossom. Thanks for sharing with all of us 💕👏👏👏

  8. Karen says:

    Great work, Ryan! I can’t wait till you’re old enough to meet in person all those other artists your age who love to do anime out in the world! It’ll be mind blowing!
    A shout out to all three of your kiddos. Whenever I get an order from you good folks, I think of all the hard work that Jenna, Ryan and Jason do to get all your wonderful fabrics to me–and so fast!

  9. springleafstudios says:

    Your son is very talented. It’s important to have supportive parents urging him along so it’s wonderful that you are involved. Keep encouraging him. Always fun to watch our children develop their talents and pursue their passions. I remember my own son doing a lot of drawing/painting when younger. And my daughter ended up studying art, got a metalsmithing degree, and is now chasing her dream of making/selling her jewelry.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Wow. Such creative genius at a young age. I hope this does lead to a future career that is not a “job” but a wonderfully paying hobby.

  11. Katie says:

    Wow, he is really amazing! Love to see young people using their gifts! How lucky is he to have such a creative environment to grow up in!!

  12. eswatniki says:

    Isn’t it exciting to watch our children develop skills and talents as they grow. My son had the talent to make a living as an artist but he ended up in IT and doing his art when he can fit it in. Your 14 year old has not only talent in art but in detail and organizational skills that will see him well in any job he seeks in the future. Congratulations to his parents for allowing him to have the senses of satisfaction in hard work to buy his own supplies. As a retired High School Counselor, I am thrilled to see a young man growing up in the environment you have created for your home. Good Job!

  13. Peggy Jebavy says:

    Your son is talented!
    My son was always drawing anime, too. He ended up going to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA for his education. As we feared, it’s been a tough field to get work. He’s been out for over 2 years and still nothing but we keep hoping. He took illustration for movies and games. Hopefully one day he’ll find work in that field. He does a little commission work on the side but so far that’s about it.

    • Crystal says:

      Peggy- he might also try seeing what Blizzard Entertainment has going on if he has not already (my guess is he has). They are based in Irvine. It’s another gaming community, like Zelda, above in the pics, but for the online gaming community. They have several artists on staff who make appearances for the public at their annual Blizcon conventions. Not sure where he has been looking but Blizz seems to always be hiring and if they are approaching new game launches, may need additional team members.

  14. Pat Sell says:

    You must be very prud of hum! He definitely has talent and “good at math” is soooo important these days. My youngestson showed the same kind of talent and is now designing for the Defense Dept, so there is a path through art to finance! Keep encouraging! 🙂

  15. Raffaela V says:

    Dear Christa,

    It has been a pleasure to read about your very talented son, Ryan.  My congratulations and very best wishes to him for a very successful future with his fine eye for detail.   Congratulations to you too, Christa.  You are achieving so much on your quilting journey.  May God bless you and your family.

    Warm Best Wishes,

    Raffaela Vasta (Australia)

  16. darlsc says:

    He is an artist!!! He is running with his creativity, and he is GOOD! We already know artistic Talent runs in his family. My son is an artist, and he started very young. He was accepted into an Art program in a school in another town, The Academy for Arts and Science Technology. He studied there for his last two years in High School. It was not always easy or convenient to get him there everyday, but we made it happen. Being good in math helped him a lot too! Keep us updated on his works, and tell him I am excited for him:)

  17. Ann Pugh says:

    Tell Ryan that I look forward to seeing more of his work. I am impressed with his drawing ability and his attention to detail. Life is a journey…life is an adventure…enjoy the trip!

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