Saturday, 2 November 2019

Inktober 2019 - Asian mythological creatures and monsters

For the 3rd year in a row (and 5th year in my life) I successfully completed the Inktober challenge!

I can't tell you how much this means for me. During this month, I suffered, I cried, I desperately wanted to sleep... And now I'm physically and mentally exhausted. But I am so happy I did it and so proud of myself! :)

It's hard to keep motivated to keep doing anything when you are all alone, and when you have little spare time for creative work. It makes such a big difference even if for just a month, to be part of a global community of artists and to have to commit to posting a drawing every single day. It's painful and it's totally beautiful. It can be even addictive.

I don't know if I'll do it again next year, but I really hope so.

Mr. Jake Parker, thank you for creating this challenge. ♥

This year I decided to put together a few things I really love: mythology and Asia. The theme became: "Asian mythological creatures and monsters". I didn't expect to find so many terrifying legends and grim folktales. I tried to keep a balance between beautiful and interesting creatures and scary ghosts but I'm not sure I succeeded. It was definitely something new for me, I don't even watch horror movies!

This year I also learnt something new. Since I've been quite unwell recently, I had to let go of a bit of my perfectionism and post drawings that were less detailed and more sketchy than the previous years, in order to go to sleep at an acceptable time. But the response from the audience hasn't been very different. I am not even sure people noticed how technically inferior this year's drawings were! Actually, one of the drawings I made for this Inktober was liked and shared more than any other content I have ever posted! How inspiring is this?

Cover of my "Inktober 2019" sketchbook:

Francesca Mancuso - Inktober 2019

You can see the whole collection on Facebook or DeviantArt.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Jang Hyuk (장혁)

(Very) long time no see! This year has seen another big and energy-consuming set of changes in my life: new city, new job and so much need to sleep. I also discovered Korean drama which admittedly cheered me up a lot but took up a lot of my beauty sleep time LOL

Turns out that one of my favourite actors and the most handsome man on Earth is South Korean. This fan art is dedicated to him even though it doesn't do him justice.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you don't know Jang Hyuk (장혁) yet, you are missing out :)

Jang Hyuk as Chuno by Francesca Mancuso

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Happy new year :)

In December, just before the Christmas break, I made a postcard-sized watercolour illustration (top left in the photo).

I really liked it, and it expressed how I felt... but somehow my work wasn't complete.

After the break, I created 3 more illustrations and it became a set.

I hope you like it! Happy 2019!

Snowflakes - Postcards set by Francesca Mancuso

Monday, 12 November 2018

Inktober 2018

It took me a while to scan them all, but for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, you can now see my Inktober 2018 in my illustration website.

The theme I chose this year is "Versailles Wars", that is Star Wars characters in a XVII century Versailles setting.

It was a random idea that popped up in my mind one day in September, and I immediately said to myself: "Oh that's silly! I like it. It will be my Inktober! :)". It turned out to be quite challenging as well. I love challenges :)

It was a brave idea, as it is equally disliked by Star Wars haters, those who have never watched Star Wars and finally the Star Wars worshippers, who take this saga very seriously.

Also, being the characters so well known, it was an ambitious plan to make good portraits... I am not exactly a portraitist... I felt a bit of pressure!

Last but not least, even if I spent a lot of time researching costumes, I am sure there are mistakes, anachronisms, inaccurate details.

It was probably the least popular among my 4 Inktobers so far. And yet, the few who liked it, liked it very much. Most important, I loved every minute I spent researching and drawing each page.

So for me, it was as successful as the other ones.

Drawing is one of the very few things that make me happy.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Break The Cake - Fred Egg Comics

On more positive note, my 1-page comic drawn for David Robertson is now on paper, and I have the whole fabulous book in my hands!

I love it :) It feels really good to be part of such a great project!

Break The Cake - Fred Egg Comics Fred Egg Comics

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Happy birthday Masumi Hayami! - 速水さん, お誕生日おめでとう!

I stood awake until very late at night just to draw this on time. So I'll congratulate with myself for my hard work and effort. Haha

Happy birthday Masumi Hayami!

Happy birthday Masumi Hayami! by Francesca Mancuso

Friday, 2 November 2018

Glass no Kamen Exhibition at the Sendai Literature Museum - The emotional rollercoaster

So, the Sendai Literature Museum exhibition will always held a special place in my heart, even if I didn't have a chance to be there myself.

Here's a quick update of what happened recently.

October 25th 2018

Sendai Literature Museum announces on Twitter that 10 fan art have been shortlisted and the 3 top one will receive a gift from Suzue Miuchi sensei! The 3 top one have a flower and a ribbon. My fan art is one of them! Just imagine my feelings when I saw this photo!

Sendai Literature Museum - Glass no Kamen Exhibtion - Selected fan art by Suzue Miuchi

Photo from the official Twitter account of Sendai Literature Museum.

November 2nd 2018

It's finally arrived! An autographed post card from Miuchi sensei! I'm so happy!

Suzue Miuchi autographed postcard

I'm a bit frustrated that I was probably rewarded for all my hard work as a fan rather than for the fanart itself. There were some great digital artworks at the exhibition and I am aware that my drawing didn't stand out next to them, and Miuchi sensei herself congratulated personally to the other two winners but not to me... Yeah, the impostor syndrome is out in full force and ruining my happiness a bit.

Anyway, I'm overall content, and I mean to keep drawing, and focus also on other stuff than this manga. I can't afford visiting Japan or buying all the merchandise I dream of buying, so this postcard is still a special item of my collection. Yeah!

Also, I'll be endlessly grateful to Sendai Literature Museum and if one day I have a chance to be in the area, I will definitely pay a visit. The nature surrounding the building seems pretty beautiful too, so what's not to like?

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Suzue Miuchi at the Glass no Kamen exhibition in Sendai

So... It finally happened! Suzue Miuchi arrived at the Sendai Literature Museum in Sendai and after an autographs session she hopefully looked at the fan art that was sent by crazy fans like me. I don't know if she was too tired to even look at them, and even less if she noticed my humble contribution, but... I am so happy and proud that I sent it anyway.

I have come to terms with the fact that I may never be able to visit Japan (sigh), and even less I am likely to meet Miuchi sensei... So this is the closest I may ever be to meeting Suzue Miuchi. I hope she felt my love for her manga, if she ever looked at my postcard :)

Suzue Miuchi at the Glass no Kamen exhibition at Sendai Literature Museum

Suzue Miuchi at the Glass no Kamen exhibition at Sendai Literature Museum, October 20th 2018. In the background, the postcards sent by fans. You can see my drawing on the second row from the top, in the panel at the very right.

Photo from Sendai Literature Museum's Twitter account

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Recruitment, or how to neutralize a Jedi

Last year I created the infographic: "Recruitment, we have a problem". Initially I drafted a story, but then I abandoned the project for a more serious infographic...

More than one year later the story still wanted to be written, and it's now online.

Francesca Mancuso - Comics - How to neutralize a Jedi

You can read it in my comics website.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

My illustration was safely delivered to Sendai Literature Museum, Japan. ♥

Since I haven't yet found the courage and the finances to do the trip of a lifetime to a country I have been dreaming of for 20+ years, I am very happy to know that at least my fan art will be part of the exhibition for the 40th anniversary of ガラスの仮面, "The Glass Mask".

This time last year a short interview to me about my fan site was published on Japanese magazine AERA. ♥

The illustration I sent:

Francesca Mancuso - ガラスの仮面 illustration for Sendai Literature Museum

Sendai Literture Museum's tweet

Sendai Literature Museum's tweet

Sendai Literature Museum on Twitter