During a recent trip to Anime Boston with STEAM Box, I had the pleasure of meeting an amazing author and artist. Her series, Sacred is performing well world wide. She was kind enough to take a moment to answer a few questions for us fans…
How did you like Anime Boston? Do you have a favorite con?
I’ve always loved being a part of Anime Boston, and this year was no different! My readers are very loving and supportive, and meeting them here at Anime Boston was so much fun! My favorite con? Hmmm…that’s hard! I may have to say Zenkaicon in PA because it’s a small enough convention that I can have time t talk to all of my customers, and the con goers are really friendly!
How old were you when you were first introduced to anime?
I had watched a lot of old-school anime form the 70’s growing up and always loved that look. But when I was 11 years old, I stayed home from school (I was sick), turned on Cartoon Network, and there it was: Dragon Ball Z!! I fell in love and it’s been a love affair with anime ever since!
What inspired you to start drawing/writing? Why Manga?
I’ve always been an illustrator and storyteller, but I grew up watching things like Looney Toons and Rugrats, where the characters never grew up, developed, and the episodes could be watched in any order because it wouldn’t effect the story. Anime had characters that grew as people, and (to my absolute surprise) characters could even pass away. It fascinated me and made me realize that cartoons weren’t limited: you could tell a complex story through cartoons and even create stories that adults cold read and love!
Are the opportunities different for a Latina or a woman in general to break into Manga?
Unfortunately, women (especially women of different races) are not taken as seriously in the art world. Our work sells for less and the comics world is dominated by men. That doesn’t mean we can’t make it! That just means that we have to work harder to prove ourselves, and right now, I’m loving the journey. I can honestly say, I’ve never felt inferior and I aim to be one of the “pioneers” that pave the way for other Hispanic female artists.
How would you describe the project that you write and illustrate, Sacred? and when can we watch the anime?
I would describe Sacred as a story that embodies my love for mythology, spirituality, mysticism, and mystery. It takes place in a sanctuary built for people touched by the supernatural, and follows the lives a LOT of funny characters from all walks of life! OMG An anime?! I would love to see that one day! God willing, when I’m almost done with series, I could happily announce that it’ll be animated!
Do you have any other projects you’re working on?
I’m actually working on 11 stories, but Sacred is the longest and most developed one. I really wanted to share Sacred first because it’s nearest and dearest to my heart.
What are your favorite manga/animes?
LOL This question is sooo hard!! But I’ll narrow it down to a few: Favorite anime: Ouran Host Club, Attack on Titans, Loveless, Utena, and Free!
Favorite manga: Ouran Host Club, Godchild/Cain Saga, Wild Adapter
Do you look at any other manga/anime for ideas/references/inspiration?
Life, culture and family are my inspirations! I get ideas all throughout the day! LOL
What type of social group did you find yourself in during high school?
I attended the High School of Art and Design, so was happy to find that there weren’t any groups or clicks! Everyone loved everyone, but of course all of my friends (including myself) were total anime nerds and loved Lolita fashion!
How do you defeat writers block?
Just keep writing! 😀 Sometimes thinking too hard is what causes writers block. My teacher in high school taught us how to free-write, which is writing without thinking and just allowing your mind to race and just write whatever comes to your mind. This technique has prevented me from ever getting writers block!
How did your parents react to your career choice?
They were…um…less than confident in my career choice and many fights have broken out in the past, but they still supported me along the way and nowadays are very proud to say that their daughter didn’t just say “I wanna write comics” and did nothing; their daughter actually got their Manga into bookstores and has readers worldwide! They know it’ll be a long and hard journey, but they realize now that this is my dream and nothing will stand in my way!
Any advice for a teenage manga fan who might want their own book one day?
Absolutely! Believe in your abilities and remember why you wanted to create a story: you love to write and love creating! Don’t ever let anything change that and don’t ever create anything just to impress people or because you think “this might sell better.” Do it for YOU and no one else! Also, if you do anything just for money, you’re going to be miserable. Because being an artist isn’t about money; it’s about making people happy and creating a story and piece of art that will bring a smile to peoples faces during hard times in their lives. Artists are crucial in this world, so if you’re going to pursue this, do it for the right reasons.
Also, finish school and go to college! Having a day job doesn’t mean you don’t think you’re going to make it as a writer! It’s such a good idea to have your degree and know that you can pursue your dreams freely!
We at STEAM Box want to thank Lizabeth Jimenez for taking the time to participate in this interview. We wish her well and good luck with the other 10 Mangas!