04/22/14 By Janessa Osle
Jeannie Lee, gifted anime and manga artist and co-author of The Art of Drawing Manga & Comic Book Characters, became "obsessed" with drawing at the age of 9. This was around the time she discovered Japanese animation and Korean comics; she was drawn in both visually and spiritually. Initially, she traced panels from comics and, eventually memorizing the lineart, was able to draw them from memory, altering details and making the art her own.
"When I look back, I realize that this is how I learned to deconstruct artwork. I remember this experience as my very first stepping stone into drawing and developing my own work."
Art by Jeannie Lee
As a professional commercial artist, Jeannie works mostly with digital media; however, she has over a decade of traditional art training and a profound love and respect for all traditional media. Her favorite media include colored pencils, watercolor, and alcohol markers, but she also enjoys oil pastels, acrylic, and gouache.
Each medium has its own unique characteristics and challenges, and I always encourage artists to step away from the computer once in a while to broaden their horizons.
Jeannie has many creative outlets; she also makes clay and paper crafts, enjoys gardening, and likes to bake and cook.
"I particularly like to spend 12+ hours making these epic cakes and decorating them, and then cursing and vowing to never make them again!"
Jeannie finds inspiration in seeing what other artists are doing and in trying out new techniques. She also gets motivated by doing what she loves – watching cartoons, reading comics, playing video games, and seeing what her friends are creating.
"Being surrounded by creativity in turn helps bring out my own."
Jeannie believes that despite all of the new technology and advancing digital art techniques, traditional fundamental concepts are still extremely important. In order to draw a comic full of action heroes, the artist must first learn to draw the human figure. According to Jeannie, knowing the fundamentals is crucial for all professional artists.
"An artist should forever be a student, always learning and always challenging oneself."
To see more of Jeannie's fun and unique artwork, visit www.gneeworks.com.
Janessa is Assistant Editor at Walter Foster Publishing. With strong opinions about everything, Janessa has an insatiable appetite for life and a profound love for the Ramones (and music in general), literature, art, nature, and her cats.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
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