Recipes for Greatness: An interview with the creator of Magical Confectionary
Kaine Akizuki is a Japanese manga artist and super creator who is putting out some incredibly interesting work. By using the power of the internet to bolster the voices of independent creatives, Kaine hopes to help create a future for mangaka that isn't bogged down by greed and archaic industry traditions. Read on to get to know this exciting artist.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am a Japanese manga artist. My mother was an animator, so at first, I wanted to be an animator.
But more than that, I wanted to have my own characters drawn, so I decided to become a manga artist.
I went to bring my work to a publisher and my drawings were immediately accepted, but I was not good at creating stories, so at first, I could not make my debut.
However, I developed my ability to draw manga while working as an assistant, and after my debut,
I continued to study scenario creation and finally became able to create the kind of work I wanted in the last few years.
I am still enjoying my evolution.
What are the things you find most important or helpful in creating an artistic practice and process?
If I can create an environment where I can make art my life's work while also making it my rice work, then I can immerse myself in art my whole life!
You meet so many great artists along the way and learn so much.
You will also find a balance between the importance of painting what others want and the importance of not losing your own expression.
What are your main inspirations and who are some artists you look up to?
My mother. She is the most wonderful person who taught me a life of eating through art. I still ask her for advice on drawing.
Also, my mentor as a manga artist is Ms Aya Kanno.
She is the artist I helped as an assistant the longest. I learned a lot about what is required of a manga artist as a professional.
Her work "Funeral Row of the Rose King" is also an animated work.
What do you consider the greatest contribution to your growth as an artist?
In my case, I have had the aforementioned two artists I admire as mentors.
They got to know me, praised me for the good parts and pointed out the areas where I was lacking.
What I did was to be patient and keep drawing until I overcame those shortcomings.
I enjoyed my growth, just like levelling up in video games.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self about your career path and lessons?
There is a difference between listening to others and learning from them.
When you lose sight of yourself, you lose motivation.
But there is a difference between thinking that you alone are perfect.
While money, likes, and followers are certainly important, the most important thing is to create work that you love.
Tell me about the most difficult project you’ve worked on and how you managed to finish it?
It was a project proposed by a publishing company.
It was very hard to work with people whose top priority was money, and who insisted that their work would sell as long as they could get publicity.
Even if the project failed, I was treated as if I should abandon the artist.
Because it was such a painful experience, I thought it would be a waste if I did not make the most of it in the future, and I got through it by setting a goal that I wanted, not the success they wanted.
From that experience, I learned that in my case, no matter how much money is offered, it is better to turn down projects I don't like.
Are you currently trying to learn any specific skill, and how do you go about learning it?
I am focusing on NFT.
I have a lot to learn, technically and otherwise.
I am having fun and making mistakes to find the right way to use it for me.
What is your dream project and can you tell us a little more about it?
Through NFT, I want to bring Japanese manga to the world.
I have met many great manga artists who have had the misfortune of not becoming professionals.
But they just didn't fit the publisher's wishes. I want them to find a place where they can create and be recognized for their work.
I would like to find a way to do that first.
I want to have a world where lots of artists can develop their talents.
What is the best advice you've ever received regarding operating a creative business?
When I was afraid to send out messages because I was scared of hurtful words from anonymous people on social media.
'If it's someone you're not going to have dinner with, just ignore all but the good words.'
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on a fantasy manga about a magical candy that is said to make people unhappy if they eat it, which can be read using NFT.
In order to make that manga available for the world to enjoy, I am working on a collection of voice comics and an NFT that will give people access to a website where they can read the manga.
If I can make this work as a sales model, then the world will have more manga to enjoy!
I hope you like my manga.