Disclaimer: I know there’s difference between manga and anime, but for the sake of story, and the fact that older teachers refer to it as “anime art”, I’m just going to call it that. And there’s a few references for my fellow young-ins’, don’t feel bad if you don’t get them.
I entered my first high school art class freshmen year. *Record scratch* (Yeah, I do my own sound effects) But before that, for most of my life I’ve been told by my peers that I was a great artist. I didn’t always feel that way but I did appreciate the compliment.
Just like most kids at the time, I loved anime. It went from Pokémon to Yu-Gi-Oh to Inuyasha and so on. I’ve always loved drawing even before that, but anime was a major influence in my work. So, that’s mostly what I drew. I would buy manga books and try to copy the style, buy books on how to draw manga and try to learn. I would use the manga style to make my own characters.
Fast forward back to high school, entering that freshmen art class I had no idea what was going to happen next. For the most part, I think my art teacher liked me. I’ve always been the model student. But, there’s was one thing she despised: “Anime art”. She hated it. My teacher even referred to it as “shit” (and when you’re in high school you know the teacher cursing is like the most mind-blowing thing ever).
I never understood why she felt that way for longest time. I felt like she was just a cranky old lady stuck in her cranky old lady ways and just “didn’t understand me” (gosh. . .you’re ruining my life *listens to Paramore*).
After some time spent growing up (barely), I realized why. So, I’d like to share with you why your art teacher hates your anime art.
Because they see it all the time
Your art teacher, especially if you’re in middle school or high school sees it all the time. It’s not unique. The characteristics of anime art is pretty much the same. Big eyes, crazy hair, big boobies, yadda yadda. I guarantee most of your class draws in that style, the other draw stick figures and then maybe there’s one or two of those people who make you think “Why are you here? You draw like you’re the love child of Bob Ross and Leonardo da Vinci.”
It’s also because, it’s not your style. Yes, you can kind of change up the anime style and make it your own, but chances are if you’re in the early years of your art-making career the anime style you emulate is something you’ve seen. It’s much more refreshing to see something different.
Because you need to learn the basics
An art teacher wants to teach you the basics. In order to do that, you need to build a foundation. When you learn to draw anime art, you’re usually just copying a style. But art teachers like to break it down it to parts; color theory, shading, perspective, etc.
They want you to learn to draw the human figure from life, whether it be an actual model or a poseable wooden one. When you’re copying someone else’s work, you’re not learning proportions or techniques to remember where the position of the thumb should be when drawings hands just by looking at it.
In an art class, you’ll also notice that art teacher want you to play with an array of different mediums, a lot of which you know you’ll never touch again. Like vine charcoal, c’mon that shit is messy, when are you ever going to using that again? But it’s fun, it gets your creative juices flowing, it’s different. When drawing your anime art, you’re mostly likely going to be only using pencils and pens. It’s nice to have an art class to take you out of your shell and explore some things you may realize later is something you want to work with often.
Your art teacher also wants you to learn about art from around the world. It exposes you to different cultures, their history and how they express themselves. Anime is from Japan, so you’re going to be mostly exposed to Japanese culture through anime art, which is great, but there’s much more in the world to learn about.
In addition to art around the world, you want to learn about that art in history. How historical events affected the different types of styles that appeared throughout the years of human existence. Anime and manga is relatively new, and again, pretty niche to Japanese culture.
It’s not the way they learned art
The one you may be thinking and the one I was thinking while in that art class freshmen year was that, it’s just not the way they learned how to make art.
Let’s face it, when you get older you get more and more set in your ways. Whatever the younger generation is doing is usually of very little interest of you.
They didn’t have the internet, and most likely, access to manga and anime. So, they learned the traditional way through still life and their damned vine charcoal. They can’t relate with the younger generation’s interest and passion of anime art.
Even though I’m far from old enough to truly understand how my art teacher felt because of the generation gap, these are the things I felt are why she may have felt this way. Perhaps some of this applies for your situation. I’m curious of your story, let me know in the comments why you think your teacher hates your anime art.