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Yumi Sakugawa p2

Yumi Sakugawa talks about the business side of being a comics artist...

READERSVOICE.COM: I like the clarity of the layout and simplicity of style in comics like 11 Weird and Wonderful Uses for Magnets and your story on feng shui. Do you kind of apply feng shui principles to your comics layout and style?

YUMI SAKUGAWA: I don’t think I consciously apply feng shui principles to my comic layout and style (I honestly just have a very superficial understanding of what feng shui even means), though I do strongly believe that less is more when it comes to both writing and drawing. It is important for me to give my comics layout and style “breathing space” — empty visual or narrative spaces that give readers a silent moment to absorb what they have just read before moving onto the next panel or chapter.

RV: The business or promotional side of comics seems like hard work. What are the main things comics artists should do as far as internet promotion for their work goes, and how important are zine fests and comic-cons?

YS: The best thing I have done for myself in terms of internet promotion is to put myself in a position where I am forced to create comics on a regular deadline. I started out as a monthly comic columnist for the online magazine Sadie Magazine (sadiemagazine.com), forcing me to come up with a new story every month. Right now, I contribute a new comic every other week to The Rumpus (therumpus.com), which also forces me to not overthink things when it comes to making comics, which probably helps me come up with new narrative and visual ideas on a more intuitive level. I am also a regular contributor to Wonderhowto (wonderhowto.com) where I come up with a new illustrated guide three times a week, and that has also been really, really amazing for bringing a lot of internet exposure to my artwork.

Being obligated to fulfill a regular deadline increases my output as an artist and also gives my readers a reason to keep coming back to my social media outlets to check out newer work.

I absolutely love exhibiting at zine fests and comic conventions. Not only is it a great opportunity to connect with new readers, it is also the best way to get to know your fellow zine-makers and comic book artists who are active in the same community that you are a part of. Having allies in the comic book artist community is extremely important, and it is quite possibly the easiest and coolest way to make new friends who are interested in the same things that you are.

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– copyright Simon Sandall