Be inspired by a manga classic
Toni Infante taps into the influence of Akira, and uses colour, contrast and composition to create a striking cover image
Toni Infante taps into Akira’s influence.
I’ve been a huge manga fan since childhood and it’s impossible to hide the influence that passion has on my art. In my quest to learn how to paint powerful and dynamic images, I’ve learned a lot from my favourite manga artists through observation, and trial and error.
Yet as illustrators we can also make use of a range of visual techniques – composition, colour, lighting, perspective – to help us achieve such goals. People rarely spend more than a few seconds looking at something before moving on. So in the case of art that also serves a commercial purpose – such as a magazine cover – it’s even more important to ensure those techniques are all working to create an eye-catching composition. It may feel overwhelming at times, but the trick is divide up the workflow, focus on one step at a time and solve any problems as they arise.
Because it’s a static medium, I always try to create dynamism by playing with and exaggerating these techniques. Use of complementary colours, diagonal shapes and forced perspectives are some of the elements I repeatedly use in my work and I’ll talk about these and more in this workshop. From the initial rough sketches, creating more detailed line art, adding colour and final touches, I’ll dive into this neon world to explain you my choices during the process and pass on some tips or observations that hopefully will help you in your own work.