Hello, everyone! As I have promised, various people from the manga and anime industry will be interviewed by me. Since I am keener on putting the lights upon those who were in the shadows more than needed, I have decided to introduce you to one of my favourite artists when it comes to manga colourings and fanart. Her name is Polina, but we all know her as Ioshik – the person behind a lot of the great colour arts we see of One Piece, Bleach, Bakuman and even Dogs Bullets and Carnage (a personal favourite manga series)
Here it is, my interview with our Ukrainian internet star! I hope you like it!
First of all, I have to ask you: Why Ioshik? What’s the connection between Polina (judging from your deviantart, this is your true name, I am not wrong am I?) and this name and does it mean something particular?
Hello, giving interviews is new to me. I don’t speak English too well, so, I apologize in advance if I am not very coherent. ^.^ As for my nickname Ioshik (Йошик), it is a variation of the Russian word for a small hedgehog (йожик).
1. Based on my impressions from your DeviantArt profile, you are Ukrainian. Ukraine is a big country and a very popular tourist destination, but is manga as popular in there? How did a young Ukrainian girl decided to become one of the best fanart creators around the world?
Yes, I am Ukrainian and a real patriot, by the way. Actually, manga is not very popular in our country. You cannot find any manga in Ukrainian, because of which I read it in Russian. On the internet, however, I have managed to meet and communicate with many Ukrainian manga fans.
In regard to manga art, I just wanted to be able to see manga in colour, and if you want something to be done well, you better do it yourself. It all started when I wanted to see a specific page with Lilinette (Bleach) in colour, but I found none that I liked. Then I decided to do it myself. It was bad. Ah-ha-ha!
Later, I made a revamped, better version. In the beginning it was hard, but I got so into it…
2. Have you ever studied and learned how to draw and do graphics, or are you just a natural?
I have never studied how to draw or do graphics; I was in a math group at school and later graduated university with economics. I remember though, that I did pretty good drawings while in junior high. I’ve never been that interested in it at the time, though.
3. Have you ever had an official work offer by a company and if not, how would you react to one? Would you accept working for an anime or manga developer or are your professional views aimed at a different future?
To be honest, I’ve had some offers, but I think people in general overestimate me. I may be good at colouring, but drawing and design from scratch is an entirely different level. To do such things, even related to anime and manga, which I like as much, I need more knowledge and skills.
4. We have seen your works all around the web on Bleach, One Piece and other manga’s scanlations. How do you feel about already having such a steady relationship with the audience and the scanlation groups?
First of all, I am very happy that my colourings are used by scanlation groups, thus making it available to a larger public; hence I can read more feedback and opinions on my works. It’s a feeling damn nice to be shown as much, but it’s even nicer when a scnlation group uses my colourart in a manga release, thus confirming it’s deserving such a place.
5. How do you support the original manga creators and do you think the scanlation business can work together with the industry in order to provide both paid high-quality and free-of-charge first view?
You know, for me colouring work like a sort of a manga PR. I, for example, often read a manga after seeing such a fanart. Bleach is a good example for this.
I don’t think scanlation will turn into a profitable nor entirely legal business. It exists as a phenomenon because too many manga works are not translated officially in many countries.
6. How do you choose your projects?
It’s not as difficult. First, I am a big manga fan and when I read and see a beautiful moment’s depiction, I just can’t hold back! I simply choose these moments and colour them.
7. What is a favourite project of yours and the one you hated the most?
I cannot choose a best or worst work of mine, because I both hate and love them all at the same time. I’ve changed them so many times, yet, I’m still unsatisfied with the results. XD
8. You have various accounts in different art forums, portals and anime/manga-related pages. Do you plan on making a special domain where you will share your works in the future? Do you plan on having your own personal and professional site?
I may have various accounts in different art forums or other communities of the kind, but I’m not as active on them. I always upload my new works first on DeviantArt. I’m not planning to make an own website or even just get a domain because it’d take too much time to make it work and look appropriately.
9. Do you plan to continue sharing your works for free?
Of course! I’m not going to make it paid! After all, it’s just manga colouring.
10. Do you plan on making an own project such as a webtoon or manga? You would definitely have success with such a thing, so why haven’t we seen anything entirely by you yet?
No, I don’t plan on a deeper engagement in the field. Ah-ha-ha, at least not for now. In this moment, it’s just a hobby for me. If I’d like to make it though, I’d have to get some professional education first.
11. I know you’ve been doing a type of artbook in collaboration with trololo-art. Can you explain this a bit? Are we able to buy it and have it on our shelves or is it only digital?
Yes, I did participate in the trololo-art project, but I no longer do. It is only in digital format, nothing printed. About the team, we basically knew each other before joining up in a team. We were all in the same Russian-speaking forum and some of us thought that we should make something like a collection of our colourings and manga fanarts. In fact, though, it wasn’t as easy a task as we initially thought. The ones involved should really be engaged in project.
Heh, there were quite a lot of organizational problems.
12. What would you say to all the newbies in fanart and manga colouring (I know that you have a separate lineart account where you share all your precisely done lines)?
I would like to wish you lots of luck ad also to try and enjoy what you’re doing!
13. Would you like to share some wisdom with Shinigami-sama and the readers of the site?
Ah-ha-ha, I’m not that wise, but here’s a favourite phrase of mine: “All comes with experience.”
Experience is definitely a path to follow. Definitely will become better if you learn from your experience. Shinigami-sama thinks so too!
Again, I want to thank Ioshik for her answers and the time she has taken to answer me! Now, it’s the time for a sad farewell!
A Russian Version of this Interview will be added later this week.