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Faq-2015 by Zombiesmile

For work and hiring, e-mail me at mikikoponczeck[at]gmail.com

Since I get a lot of mails and comments that asks similar things, I have tried to put together a FAQ, because I am having a hard time replying to every one of them individually.
One thing you must understand though, is that art is different for everyone, so some of the things you will have to learn and discover for yourself. Unfortunately I do not have all the answers for you. :( Sorry.


What's your job?
I am a freelance comic artist. Clients ask of me to draw: Cover art (CD/Film/Books), writing/pencilling/inking/colouring of comics and manga, game/film concept art, storyboards, character design, workshops, logo designs, mascot designs, TV host (comic/manga/japan/game related) and even videos (reviews, drawing timelapse, promotional work). You can contact me for professional work at Mikikoponczeck[at]gmail.com.
Personal commissions are currently only available through Patreon.

How long have you been drawing?
Since childhood, I simply never stopped. I started drawing professionally around 2006.

Where did you study art?
I am entirely self-taught and have not studied art in a school or university.

Where should I study art?
Since I don’t have any experience with this, I don’t think I am fit to answer such important questions for you. You should probably research and find a place that suits you and your plans for the future best.

Can you teach me? 
Sorry, no. I get too many requests and don't have the time.

Can you look at my art and give me your opinion/any tips?
As much as I'd like to do this for everyone who asks, I do not simply due to lack of time. 
I will however take my time to analyse your work and give you personalised advice if you are my patron. (Patreon)

How did you become a comic artist?
At age 12 I decided that was what I wanted to do. I focused on art and drawing, joined contests, failed, and kept at honing my skill until I was an adult.
Once I was around 23, I applied with an indie publisher and got my first (crappy) comic done and printed. With the indie publisher I then went to manga conventions regularly while still building an online presence and taking multiple jobs. I kept publishing new material, did workshops, talked to people etc.
One day Tokyopop's boss watched my workshop on panelling, and bought one of my books because he was impressed. We then talked and eventually I got my own project with Tokyopop after a few years.
These days I self-publish or publish through PYRAMOND.

What tools do you use?
These are my favourites and most used tools.

Traditional:

  • Pencils: H for rough sketch and mechanical pencil 0.5 (lead: B) for clean sketch.
  • Lines: Copic multiliner 0.05 or 0.1, or Deleter pen with Saji, Maru or G-pen nibs
  • Colour: Polychromos by Faber Castell (colour pencils)
  • Colour: Copic Ciao, 
  • Colour: Pebeo Colorex watercolour
  • white gel pen
Digital:
  • Paint Tool Sai
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Photoshop CS5
  • Cintiq 27 HD Touch
Artist Tools by Zombiesmile <--comic version of my tool list! (outdated)

What tablet do you use/recommend?
I use a Wacom cintiq 27 HD Touch. I only have tested Wacom products: the companion 2, the cintiq and mobile studios (13, 16, 22, 24, 27) and intuos series (3, 5, pro, comic in sizes S, M and L), Bamboo Spark and Slate. Because of this I can't make any recommendations aside from Wacom as a brand since I have no other experience... I think starting with a low cost tablet to try things out is a good idea.

I want to make my own comic. where do I start? what do I do?
The first step is to write a story. Here’s a guide to how I make my own comics.
A huge chunk of it is practice and years of trial and error. I also recommend you read Scott McCloud's book, Understanding Comics.

I have a story, will you draw it? 
Sorry, no. Unless you have a contract with a publisher (and pay me per page) or have published books successfully in the past, I am not interested. 

How do I get my own style?
Style is a result of experience, in my opinion. You don't pick it, you develop it as you draw.

How do I improve?
I think it's essential to: use reference, practice a lot, read, research, learn to observe and analyse. The internet has so many free options and infos, it's important to simply sit down, do work and use the resources at your fingertips!

How do I gain a following?
There's a lot of factors, but the basics are these: create good material, update frequently, be friendly, keep your promises, be patient. Talk to a lot of people and spread your work around to get noticed.
Remember it takes a lot of time sometimes. I have been doing this since 2006.

How do I get a publisher?
I made a video with some basic info on there. you can watch it here.

What’s your favourite manga?
Manga: Berserk, hands down. I really like Dark fantasy in general! :3

What’s your favourite Anime?
Berserk again, both the old Anime series and the new Golden Age Arc are my favourites.

Who influenced you artistically?
Yoshihiro Togashi (Yuu yuu Hakusho), Tite Kubo (during his Zombie Powder time), Kentaro Miura (Berserk), Miwa Shirow (Dogs). I also really love Murata Yuusuke's art.

Can I interview you?
Sure, send me a message with the questions and I will get back to you when I have the time.

Can I make a base/render from your work? 
No. No exceptions.

Can I animate/make a 3D model of your work for practice?

Yes, if you link me back and credit me. :)

How many languages do you speak?
Four: German, English, Japanese, French.

Do you do requests? 
No, only paid work, sorry.


  • Listening to: Muff Potter
  • Watching: Jimmy Carr on Youtube
  • Playing: Dishonored - Knife of Dunwall
  • Drinking: Coffee
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchipmonk96:
chipmonk96 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
is it zombie ? .... hi zombie :3 new to deviant so don't know what to do haha :) just a quick question what would you suggest as a starting method for drawing :3 i can draw free hand without tracing but i can only ever copy another pic that's right in front of me and i want to be able to draw without having to go on google every time haha /)^~^(\ so would you be able to give me some tips or a little help :)
Reply
:iconparaphapanda:
ParaphaPanda Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was actually really informative and helpful! You seem like such a nice gal; really ready to help others out~ And honest too; I think your prices and pledges are more than reasonable, especially with someone of your experience and skill.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop by and say that, as an aspiring artist with (somewhat previously) no idea where to go from here, I think that just this little bit of information you've written has helped. And seeing someone of your stature able to say, like, yeah there was a time before now, is just... A relief? (I mean, obviously there was a time you were a kid but, it's still makes me feel weirdly better knowing that..? ...does that make sense? Probably not, I'm sorry.)

Eh, sorry for rambling! Just, I give you my best wishes~ I truly hope the best for you and for many good things to come your way.
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2018  Professional
no worries. I'm glad I could help and give you perspective. c: 
Art is hard, some of us just have been too stubborn to quit!
Reply
:iconthewhiterose000:
TheWhiteRose000 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
How do I get to know you personally?
Reply
:icontimishayd:
Timishayd Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ooooooooh now I remember!
You were the one responsible of me becoming a Berserk fan! :lol:
I guess I should thank you hehe.
Reply
:iconnotavily:
Notavily Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, I really like your comics. Can I translate them into Russian? (The word "comics" in the plural)
Sorry if the text contains errors
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner May 23, 2017  Professional
hi, yes, you may! just make sure to always link me back if you upload them somewhere. Thanks!
Reply
:iconnotavily:
Notavily Featured By Owner Edited May 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to upload them to my group in «vkontakte» (social network)  Do you need a link?
Reply
:iconhyemi1230:
Hyemi1230 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like you~ >/////< Thanks for these~ 
Reply
:iconnonos:
NoNoS Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2016
Alors ça ! ^^ tu parles français (ma langue maternelle), anglais (2nd langue), allemand (heeeu 5 ans m'ont pas suffi je ne retiens rien) et japonais (mon rêve ^-^) ?!

Amazing !
Reply
:iconemilee1401:
emilee1401 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015
Just going to put this out there: I LOVE THE IMAGE AT THE TOP
Reply
:iconmaedeer:
Maedeer Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
What's the basis of your username? Like why did you pick that specific name?
Reply
:iconphilosophish:
Philosophish Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015
You have clearly nailed your style, Zombie. I personally dislike this type of drawing, but your work somehow I don't - I really, really like it. Also, I saw you managed to reach your second milestone on Patreon! Congratz! You have a new fan here, Mikiko. 頑張ってよ!
Reply
:icondarksamurait:
Darksamurait Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015

What’s your favourite manga?
Manga: Berserk, hands down. I really like Dark fantasy in general!

What’s your favourite Anime?
Berserk again, both the old Anime series and the new Golden Age Arc are my favourites.

MArry me plz!!! *o* Je t'aime!

Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Professional
haha, happy to see another fan. it's a great series.
Reply
:iconimdsound:
IMDSound Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Wow! Four languages! I'm proficient in two so far (English and Tagalog) and I'm working on Japanese! It's also good to see self-taught artists such as yourself become successful (however you define it)!
Reply
:icondtjb:
DTJB Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thumbs up on Berserk, but I can't say I'm fond of Togashi; I remember seeing a lot of white space on his pages for Yuu Yuu Hakusho.

Teaching myself hiragana (I'm up the the M characters) and I really need to push myself on re-learning Spanish (all I know are my numbers and a few simple phrases).
Reply
:iconkimseyoun:
kimseyoun Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
do you fluently speak all those languages? If yes then wow I'm pretty impressed. Do you have any tips on how to be fluent or be good at the language ?
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Professional
yeah, I grew up with all but french.
there's really not much aside from practising with native speakers and immersing yourself.
Reply
:iconpoki-art:
Poki-art Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
its amazing to get to know you a little bit more!
Reply
:iconfreiha:
Freiha Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
おもしろいです :)

Hast du Japanisch gelernt, oder ist das eine zweite Muttersprache?
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional
es ist meine Muttersprache. :>
Reply
:iconfreiha:
Freiha Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Waaaaaaaah! Wirklich?! :la: *_*
Ich versuch seit 3 Jahren Japanisch zu lernen, aber meine Kurse haben immer zu wenig Teilnehmer, deshalb fallen die ständig weg. Jetzt bin ich im nächst höheren Kurs, der angeboten wird, aber ich versteh kein Wort :XD:

Ich hätte Japanisch auch gerne als Muttersprache. Stell dir vor, was du alles machen kannst. Mangas im Original lesen und bei Anime nich immer pausieren, weil du mal wieder nich mitkommst die Untertitel zu lesen :love:
Reply
:iconnyan-puu:
NYAN-puu Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015   General Artist
I was wondering if you had a college degree in anything or college in general?
So you pretty much taught yourself everything and was able to have so many jobs? 
(I'm probably asking a bit too much, but I am curious about your life history) 
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Professional
The first question is:
Where did you study art?
I am entirely self-taught and have not studied art in a school or university.

College is like university, I am guessing. (I am not in the USA) so I have no formal education past high school (Gymnasium in Germany).
As for jobs, yes, it took a long time, but my reputation online has gotten me all my jobs so far.
Reply
:iconnyan-puu:
NYAN-puu Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015   General Artist
That's really amazing, honestly.
How did you go about making a reputation online? Was it through just posting work up, or was it through several commissions that led to bigger projects? And I vaguely remember you even submitted to tokyopop your story a few times and even had several pages to showcase the work. 
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Professional
I mainly just posted on DA for 10 years while also actively going to conventions and meeting people in person.
I never submitted anything to Toykopop, they approached me actually. I have 5 books published with them now.
Reply
:iconnyan-puu:
NYAN-puu Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015   General Artist
Did you go to conventions to sell art prints or to go to the events there? Or even both? I've started thinking I wanted to start going to conventions but I haven't quite put my foot down on what I'll be doing. 
Oh wow, that's amazing! I guess they saw your work and reached out to you?
Reply
:iconoefremine:
oefremine Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015
Hey Cool tu parles Français? ^^
Sugoiiii :) le Français est une langue difficile! (Enfin l'Allemand aussi ! lol)
Je parle Français Anglais Español, et un peu l'Italien (en Allemand je sais compter jusqu'à 99 haha) et j'aimerais tellement apprendre le Japonais !!

En tout cas, merci pour ce FAQ bien utile! 

J'ai une question, j'utilise une Wacom bamboo, mais j'aimerais investir dans quelque chose d'un peu plus grand avec un stylet un peu plus précis, que me conseillerais tu? 
*** Bonne nuit/ Güten nacht/ "Oyasuminasai"/ Buenas noches/ Buona notte ***
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional
Oui, j'ai habite en belgique pour 7 ans quand j'etais petite.
Il y a beaucoup que j'ai oubliee, mais c'est parce-que j'ai personne avec qui je parle francais aujourd'hui (ou ecrire, d'ailleurs) . :C c'est un peu triste.

hum, je crois que le bamboo n'est pas mal deja, mais j'utilise le Intuos 5 en ce moment. Je trouve que le M est assez grand (le miens est L. c'est trop...)
Dans ma experience, le cintiq est le meilleur, mais c'est aussi le plus cher. Je suis en train d'economiser pour une Cintiq 22. > _<; 

Desolee, il n'ya pas d'accents sur mon clavier.
Reply
:iconchaoslady97:
Chaoslady97 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Student Artist
Hey I have a membership it runs out on the 9 July why am I seeing adds
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional
I don't know, you might want to ask staff.
Reply
:iconchaoslady97:
Chaoslady97 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Student Artist
Ok
Reply
:iconjubiiirubs:
Jubiiirubs Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Student General Artist
why are you asking this here?.
Reply
:iconchaoslady97:
Chaoslady97 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Student Artist
Cuz I can get help
Reply
:iconhina-monoko:
Hina-Monoko Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I feel like I know you a bit better :D
Speaking for languages. Cool.
Reply
:icontheonknownklaw:
TheonknownKLAW Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Student Filmographer
Wooo! Berserk! I recently got into it and pretty much blazed through it in a week, its freaking awesome!
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional
hehe, Berserk is the best! <3
Reply
:iconshi-ryuu:
Shi-Ryuu Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I would learn japanese ;;A;;
I just speak three languages XD english spanish and italian :3
I have a question, can you suggest me a good setting and tool for the lineart on photoshop and paint tool sai? I draw whit an ugly graphire4 |'D
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional
those are pretty cool languages too. :}

well, I never use photoshop for lines, but for Sai, I recommend setting the stabiliser to 10. brush size is dependent on how thick you want the lines.
Reply
:iconshi-ryuu:
Shi-Ryuu Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I see, thank you soo much!! I'll try it! :)
Reply
:iconcrystalcritic:
CrystalCritic Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm always jealous of people who can speak French and I don't know why. Big Fool Emoji-07 (Cry) [V2] 
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional
french is a lovely language! I wish I had more people to practice it with, it's getting a bit rusty. :C
Reply
:iconcrystalcritic:
CrystalCritic Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My mom speaks fluent French, but this chat is completely public to anyone so, you know.
Reply
:icondreamingexperience:
DreamingExperience Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
I am quite jeally at your ability to speak four languages. XD
Reply
:iconotaku-mom:
Otaku-Mom Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish Tite Kubo would re-visit Zombie Powder. I loved it so much. 
Reply
:iconthorn-publications:
Thorn-Publications Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Professional Writer
I just started watching you, and your work is so amazing. I envy the talent that you and other artists have. :)  I'm only a humble author, but yet I have to master the art of drawing a straight line!  :giggle:  
Reply
:iconmusicoverload:
MusicOverload Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I was so upset when Tite didn't finish Zombie Powder! Also, four languages?? How do you even learn a second one!? I've been trying but with no avail 
Reply
:iconzombiesmile:
Zombiesmile Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Professional
I grew up speaking three: japanese with my mum, german with my dad, and english since they talk to each other in english and we spent a lot of time abroad.
French was the only language I actually learned in school.
Reply
:iconmusicoverload:
MusicOverload Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Still, that's very impressive! I've been trying to learn Japanese and Latin, but... well :iconsighingplz:
Reply
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November 30, 2013
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