© Mishelly’s Art
Not many people appreciate the beauty and brilliance of watercolour art as it requires the right application of medium and patience. So when we first encountered Mishelly’s artworks … it was love at first sight for us. An Australian budding cosplayer, manga artist and traditional artist — Michelle T is one of a kind. And luckily for us, we got the opportunity to speak to Michelle about her illustration style, and upcoming manga series, Chaos’ War.
+ About Mishelly’s Art and illustration style …
ABOVE: An unfinished – but majestic – painting by Mishelly.
When did you first realise that you have the talent and passion for art? I had always loved art, even from a young age, but I guess I found a passion for it after I discovered the Japanese art style of anime. Namely Pokemon, DBZ and CardCaptor Sakura.
How would you describe your illustration style in a few words? I guess it’s quite a smooth style, since I hardly use sharp jagged lines. It’s just a habit I can’t break.
Growing up, who or what were your artistic inspirations (in general)? How have they influenced you to become the artist you are today?
Definitely CLAMP, Tetsuya Nomura and Yusuke Nakano. I grew up playing and watching their series, and I still look back on them for inspiration when I need it. They have all influenced my drawing style, and my art wouldn’t look the same as it does if I hadn’t found them.
Being an artist, what has been some of your biggest challenges and achievements?
Finishing art. You can start something and really like it, but when you stare at it for hour upon hours, you begin to nit-pick it which then ends up being unfinished.
For the Lost is a picture close to my heart. I drew it just after my Grandfather passed away and it was during a time where the world seemed to be at great loss of life, due to the disasters in the world at the time. The painting helped me get through it, and hopefully it will help others as well.
What are your other hobbies/interests? If you weren’t into art, what other hobbies would you have invested your time in?
I love doing crafty things, playing games, reading manga, and sewing. Though I can’t imagine a life without art — it’s way important to me.
Watercolour art is probably the most underrated form of traditional art, and it isn’t something that you can master in one or two days. How long did it take you to hone watercolour art?
I was taught how to use watercolours for one semester only. I then pushed myself to continue the art as I wanted to use the skills I’ve learnt that reflects my own style.
I’d say it took me over a year to get it down, especially learning how to control a paint brush, and smoothing tiny lines even with the largest of brushes (mainly because that would save time having to change brushes all the time).
Compared to other style and forms, what is it about watercolour art that makes it unique?
Rather then layering, watercolours is about blending and creating effects. You can’t mask your mistakes as easily as you would with acrylic or oils. And unlike copics, you can do additional things like adding salt to create amazing effects.
You also do digital art — do you have a strong preference for traditional or digital art?
I definitely prefer using watercolours. I don’t have the digital style down yet, and I still need a lot of practice to work out how I want to use it and how to use it effectively — although it is handy to Ctrl+Z to undo mistakes. It’s very hard to get away with mistakes with watercolours …I even find myself thinking about pressing Ctrl+Z in my head, only to be disappointed because I know it’s impossible.
+ About Mishelly’s Chaos’ War manga series …
You’re currently working on your own manga series called Chaos’ War. How long have you been working on the series, and how did this manga come about?
I’ve been working on the series with my friend for about 10 years now. Chaos’ War was the first story that my friend and I came up with together. We would toss ideas back and forth as we walked to the train station after school. She’d come up with half of the characters and I’d come up with the other half, and then I’d draw them (Besides Aira. She was actually drawn up before and found a home with the story.)
Tell us a bit more about Chaos’ War and your characters.
It is a medieval fantasy centered around two girls, Reign and Aira. We have eight main characters in total — Reign; the beast in the skin of a girl, Aira; the princess who is more then she sees, Tremar; the schemer who wants more then he has, Rluke; the god who should probably be brighter than he is, Button; the terrified little brother of Reign, Damean; the prankster, Demetrious; Aira’s determined older brother, and Sental; who gets the job done, no matter how dirty. You can read the blurb at: Chaoswarmanga.com
ABOVE: Character illustrations from Chaos’ War.
What are some of the challenges in making this manga?
It puts me way out of my comfort zone. I am doing a lot of things that I have never done before, so it is like I’m shooting in the dark and hoping that it turns out well. I have never been able to draw architecture or fight scenes, and now I have to do both in abundance. Getting exposure will be difficult as well as getting people to read the manga or looking at it is something that I don’t have much luck with.
ABOVE: WIP paintings from Chaos’ War
When would we be seeing the final product?
I’m looking at early next year as I plan to release the first two chapters, and then complete the first volume by mid-year. I have a big cosplay competition at the end of this month so I had to delay work on the manga.
And lastly, where do you see yourself in three years time?
Hopefully, I will have a manga that is half-way done. I’m looking to slow down my cosplay after next year, and concentrate a lot more on my art and manga series.
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You can follow Mishelly’s Art below:
Chaos’ War website: http://www.chaoswarmanga.com/