Manga artist draws in attention

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photo courtesy of Julia Vogl

Julia Vogl’s artwork is called Japanese manga art that she both draws and digitalizes. She’s now known as a very skilled producer of manga.

Emily Kruse, photographer

Karate expert and Japanese-style manga art enthusiast Julia Vogl, freshman, has compiled a portfolio of thousands of manga sketches and digitalized art pieces for as long as she can remember. While working as a commissioned online artist, Vogl often takes requests from other users and receives recognition as a skilled veteran art producer.

Vogl’s role as a commissioned artist involves creating and posting her artwork to the manga website, DeviantART, that supports an open drawing forum for all users. “I usually make traditional art that I draw out by hand, then I scan it on my computer to digitalize it, but sometimes I work on computer-generated art,” said Vogl.

After developing her drawing hobby and receiving compliments on her natural ability, Vogl became involved in artistic media websites and publicizing and attended a summer camp that sparked her creativity. “I had been interested in DeviantART for a while, and when I noticed the “Points and Commissions” tab and decided it would be a good thing for me to do,” said Vogl. “I’ve always been interested in manga-style Japanese art, and a girl I went to summer art camp with showed me her portfolio and I loved it.”

Despite frequent speech team and debate practices, Vogl finds time to pursue her talent on Sunday afternoons or after her homework is completed. “[Finding time] usually isn’t a conflict. Lots of times I will have my homework done on Friday afternoon and I can work on my art after speech tournaments on Saturday or throughout the day on Sunday,” said Vogl.

Any given art piece can take anywhere from a few minutes to an entire day, depending on the format, style, and concept of the illustration. “A drawing can take about three to five hours. The shortest amount I can crank out a drawing in is about ten minutes,” said Vogl. “For something small on the computer it might be an hour; my record for an online piece is thirty minutes.”

Vogl produces large volumes of artwork in small periods of time and keeps a gallery of all her work on the website. “I’ve made about 70 digital pieces and thousands of traditional pieces. The gallery I have online is basically my portfolio: I have a journal where I make daily sketches, so if I want to show somebody my work, they can look at my journal,” said Vogl.

Online users, family members, and friends put in requests for Vogl’s traditional drawings and online pieces, giving her recognition for her hobby. “Sometimes I am featured on the website; that’s kind of weird,” said Vogl. “People will ask me to draw their characters if it’s online, or they will ask me if they can draw a portrait of them if it’s in person.”

Actual commissions are often offered to Vogl, but she gifts most drawings and artistry without earning payment and simply enjoys sharing her talent with others. DeviantART users often receive a few cents for each commissioned drawing, or a larger amount if somebody specifically requests and pays for the piece. “I’m definitely not worried if I don’t get paid, there usually isn’t money involved. I just like doing it for fun. If I am paid, it’s not that much –– the DeviantART website has a point system that results in very small commissions,” said Vogl.

Vogl plans to pursue her interests in art and hopefully have the opportunity to continue drawing and creating digital pieces in the future. “It’s a lot of work, but really pays off for me –– I love seeing my improvement. I am working on improving my artistic skills so I can work for Pixar or Nintendo someday,” said Vogl.