Do you have questions that you want to ask me? If so, feel free to PM me or comment one of the pages about it. For now I am just going to list the questions that I have been asked recently. :)
1. Are you a Filipino?
Yes, and I'm proud of it. :D
2. Where did you get your background?
I got it from this Japanese site. Their items are really nice! I've been using their stuff since way back. :)
3. Are the characters Mexicans?
No. They're Filipino, even though they don't look like it. ^^;;
4. In what country does this story take place?
It's in the Philippines. The first part will take place in Manila (the place where I grew up), but the entire story will be in Bora: a fictional Boracay.
5. What is Boracay/Bora?
Boracay is the one of the most popular tourist spots in the Philippines. It is also one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. Hands down, it's one of the nicest beaches you would find in your whole life. The funny thing is, despite the fact that I grew up in the Philippines majority of my life, I never had a chance to visit this wonderful place. I really want to go there someday, which prompted me to use Boracay as the main setting of L13.
I decided to make a fictional version of Boracay because even though I know a lot of things about it (with all the research I did), I know I am bound to make some mistakes. Another reason is because there are some things I had to change some things, like how to get to Bora. Also, I don't think there's any residence house in Bora, which is kind of pivotal to this story. I hope you will all forgive me for that. ^^;;
If you want to learn more about Boracay, click here. If you plan to go there as your next vacation spot, you can find all the information you need in here.
6. Why is it in the Philippines?
Originally, I planned to set this story in Japan, and then in America. But then, I thought Philippines is a great choice because it is pretty rare to find mangas set in the Philippines. :)
7. What is halo-halo?
Halo-halo (from the Tagalog word halo, "mix") is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl. You should try it!
If you want to read more about this delicious dessert, click here.
8. What is Mall of Asia?
Mall of Asia is the second highest shopping mall in the Philippines, and a lot of people go there because it has so many attractions. It has a wonderful view, as well as fireworks at night for certain days. You can find all sort of things in MoA so I decided to choose this place. c:
If you want to learn more about Mall of Asia, click here.
9. What is up with your songs?
Oh, you mean the playlist underneath the pages? I decided to choose a mix of Japanese, English, and Filipino songs instead of sticking to a single language. All of them are songs that I think are related to Cyril, Baron, or both. :)
10. What song(s) do you listen to when you work on this manga?
At first when I was working on the cover all I listened to was Speed live by Misono (I love this version better than the one I put up on my playlist) because it's upbeat and happy, just like what I was aiming for this manga. Later on, however, I started to listen to Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five and Akin Ka Na Lang by Itchyworms whenever I brainstorm ideas for the pages and stuff. The song Realize is a good song for me to listen to when I think of Baron/Cyril scenarios...it really sets me in a romantic mood. XD
11. How did you come up with L13's story?
I know the story sounds cheesy, but coming up up with it (or rather connecting the ideas together) was no cakewalk. I thought of the whole idea of an unlucky girl who won a fake ticket to go somewhere really grand and then end up working at some stall that some guy works at to earn back some money to go back home way back in 2007, but I couldn't come up with ideas to connect things together. For me, the idea was too fragmented and ordinary for my taste. Even the idea of how the characters would look like was really difficult for me. Cyril used to be this short-haired, worrywart girl, whereas Baron ended up looking like a Tamaki copycat (in terms of personality). I wasn't too happy with things that I got so frustrated with it and just abandoned it all together. It was just recently when I was sketching Poypoy (unnamed at that time) and some characters (like Cyril and her scene hairstyle) that I came up with that character. "She"* is the character that tied the whole story together for me. I talked to my editor about the story, and with enough support/encouragement from him, I finally summoned enough courage to make a smackjeeves account to create L13. :)
* She is the character that will be introduced later in the story. :)
12. What software(s)/tools do you use in your drawings?
I use the good, old Adobe Photoshop CS2. I don't have SAI, Manga Studio, or any of the fancy softwares that people are using nowadays. ^^;; I also you mechanical pencils, Japanese white erasers, regular photocopy papers, and Staedtler Pigment Liners and/or Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. I use the last two mostly for manga pages. I ink digitally for regular, colored illustrations, though.
13. How do you work on a page?
Hmm. Well, for me, I make a script for each page I work on, and then I grab any paper to make a Name (a.k.a very first rough draft) just so I could experiment on how I want my page to look like (i.e panelling, facial expressions, etc.). After that, I would draw what I drew in Name in my first actual rough draft using pencil, then ink it afterwards. I then scan it in high resolution and edit the page in Photoshop by erasing the parts that were wrong and adjust the Level to make it really clean. I also tone and put on the texts with Photoshop. Sometimes, I like my pages to be somewhat blurry so what I do is duplicate the flattened image, use Gaussian Blur, and then set it in Multiply. I play around with the Opacity until I get the effect that I want, and there you have it. :)
14. Can I send a fanart?
*blush* O-Of course! Fanarts make me really happy, and I really appreciate the fact that you bothered to make one for me. ;__; Feel free to send them to me any time by sending the picture/link of the picture through PM. Thank you so, so much! >/////<
15. Why won't you let us criticize your art/manga?
I know that when I made that small note on the profile, it sounded really stuck up of me, and I truly apologize for that. I made that note not because I think that I'm a really great artist (in fact, I readily admit that I'm so far from being one), but because of my experiences in the past. You see, back then, I used to welcome constructive criticisms. Instead of improving on my problems, however, I decided to avoid them all together so that I could prevent myself from making the mistakes that people pointed out. It was really foolish, I know that, but that's how I was. It made me so wary and self-conscious, I only ended up improving a tiny bit.
This is why I ask people to not criticize the art. I know you all want me to help me improve, and I truly appreciate that, but allow me the freedom to make mistakes. Let me fix and improve on the things that I need to improve on. Incrementally. I know that with my major, I would have to face a lot of C&C's from my professional and fellow blockmates, and I would be ready for that. This manga will be my experiment, and I hope you enjoy watching my growth.
On the other hand, if you really want to give me C&C's, please send it to me via PM. Please don't do it in the comments or anywhere so openly. Thank you so much for your understanding. :)
16. Your characters look like ____________.
I...would appreciate it if you just not tell me. ^^;; Thank you.
17. Your art style reminds me of Aya Nakahara.
In all honesty, Aya Nakahara is my most favorite manga artist. Her illustrations are really beautiful and her clothing designs are really wonderful. I love the way she colors, and I truly aspire to be as good as her someday. Although her style influenced me a whole lot now, this is already the way I draw even before I encountered her work. I do appreciate the fact that you found my art similar to hers. ^^