Ep.5: About Manga art and hard work with Asia Ladowska

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 11, 2017 •  Interviews

Asia Ladowska is a designer & illustrator based in the UK.

Her Instagram page is full of amazing character designs inspired by Manga and mostly created by either pencils or Copic markers. She is constantly growing her Instagram following of almost 500k followers. She has been just featured in Anime and Manga magazine NEO.

Asia shares her drawing process videos with her YouTube followers and you can find full process videos on her Patreon page.

Get in touch with Asia

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Key Takeaways

“Whatever you have to do tomorrow, do yesterday”

Resources mentioned

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Special thanks to Asia for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Asia Ladowska, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is super talented illustrator and designer. Originally from Poland now living and working in London, UK. Her work is full of amazing character designs inspired by manga, and mostly created by either pencils or Copic markers. She is constantly growing her Instagram fanbase of almost 500,000 followers. She has just been featured in anime and manga magazine near she shares her drawing process videos with her YouTube and Patreon followers. Her dream is working in Japan. And she’s learning Japanese every day. So please welcome our Asia Ladowska. And let’s get to the interview. Hello, and welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And today my guest is amazing Asha. So please welcome.

Asia Ladowska  

Thank you for introduction.

Iva Mikles  

I would like to start with the the background. And maybe if you can mention what these are maybe what was the first thing you drew or if there is something you remember.

Asia Ladowska  

All right, it’s very difficult to remember it. You know, my, my journey started really early. Because just around the time when I was born, my cousin has 13 years older than me, got to art school. So when she was spending time with me, she was teaching me everything she learned that score from drawing from a painting. I really admire her paintings, by the way. So maybe that’s probably what got me into it. Because I had my head so much. I wanted to be live here. So I’ve got absolutely no idea what was the first thing I drew? It was it just started. As soon as I started on this planet, it just started.

Iva Mikles  

And do you remember maybe if you talk with your parents, or someone close to you the first conversation when you said like, Okay, I want to do this professionally.

Asia Ladowska  

You’d be surprised, but it wasn’t my mom who encouraged me to do it because she was observing me very well. And she she noticed that like it. It wasn’t that she decided that, oh, let’s let’s send you to art school, she would show me everything else. I had piano lessons. I studied English outside of school. She gave me all the opportunities to discover different things. And then she just watched what I like the most. And it was alright. And she encouraged me as well to go to art school just like my cousin did.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s super nice.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I don’t regret any of that. To be honest. I like the time.

Iva Mikles  

And so we turned maybe the biggest decisions you had to do in order to follow your passions.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, because the decisions until I got to high school were mostly influenced by everything around me, my parents and everybody who encouraged me the first biggest decision that I made on my own was to go to university I, I applied to different ones. I applied to some universities in Poland and I applied to university in the UK. And it was a really tough decision because I got goes wherever I wanted that I got to one of the best art universities in Poland. It was in Poznan. And I got there and it was it was very tough decision to go abroad to go abroad or to study it in Poland and you know, one of these prestigious universities that everybody in high school was saying, Hey, you got to go that it’s, it’s the best everybody wants to go there. And exams were actually two or three days. So it was It wasn’t just that I got there. There were exams they had to pass. So this was one of the very difficult decisions but I decided to go to UK and it wasn’t such a prestigious university but I decided to study design and illustrations and in the UK, that was the first decision there were more decision.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have maybe someone else as well who inspired you? Or like a mentor you can mention because you mentioned family? And is there someone else you kind of the advice is kind of stuck to you?

Asia Ladowska  

It was a little bit later as I progressed in the university. It wasn’t a real person that I talked to I don’t I don’t think there was anybody like that, but I discovered an artist in the internet thought was posting it every day. And every day, these drawings were better and better. And I, I didn’t I didn’t quite get how’s that possible? And I researched him more. I was so inspired. I wanted to try it myself. He’s getting better. Maybe I’ll get better myself. Why not? And I started drying everyday as well. So it wasn’t a mentor who was mentoring myself and forcing into labor and hardware. But he it was him who inspired me to do it every day.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s really nice. And so did you through every day.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I tried to always have a pencil and sketchbook and in my bag wherever I went. I not always had art related job, or I dropped out of university for two years as well. So it wasn’t always art directed. My life wasn’t going into one direction. But I always had the sketchbook and fancy with me. So this was one one daily thing I decided to do

Iva Mikles  

it how long did you wait it until you started using maybe copycats? Because they are like more advanced for some people? So what did you start with? Or what would you advise people do? You know try?

Asia Ladowska  

Um, I started with pencil and a piece of paper as simple as that. I didn’t discover any other tools until later until the internet until asking other artists Hey, what was that? What was that, like you use your artwork looks amazing. And then I discovered Copics I discovered watercolors. I have more about digital art as well. So basically start with whatever you have, and I think you can you can get better by doing so. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And what was maybe the worst advice you ever received when you were like learning and progressing.

Asia Ladowska  

The worst advice I will never forget that because that’s one of my biggest regrets. The worst advice was not to draw manga I always loved manga was always interesting for me. But wherever I went to any art school I went to, I was discouraged from doing so I don’t draw manga. It’s bad for you. It’s flat. It doesn’t show any, any shading, any technique, anything. Don’t Don’t draw that it’s bad for you. And unfortunately, I listened to. It’s amazing. It was discouraged both in an art school and in college and at the university. I figured that one a lot.

Iva Mikles  

So how did you overcome this?

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I wish when I was younger, I was a bit more a bit wiser. And I listened to myself. But as I grew older, I decided to do that I decided I decided to listen to myself. And that’s how I did that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, so you kind of follow that patient. What do you have?

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I was I was wanted to draw manga. And because I was discouraged so much. And I think there was this one day i i was I had a bad day at the university. I had a bad day at work because I was doing both at the same time. And I decided to start my Instagram page. This dedicated only to manga drawings. And this is how I started started from just one manga drive on Instagram page.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s so cool. So yeah, that was,

Asia Ladowska  

you see, it was such a small decision to make just to just start to cut yourself from everything that you’re doing so far. And just and just fight it. Small decision, but such a big change.

Iva Mikles  

Because then you just follow it and then you keep posting and

Asia Ladowska  

you discover other people you that you are encouraged by other people as well. If they like it, they show it to others, and then they give you some feedback. It’s amazing how the community grows and helps each each other. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely. And so how would you maybe describe your brand or what is something which always comes through your artwork?

Asia Ladowska  

People have seen my ad before know that I mastered the technique of realistic painting or realistic drawing, rather. And I really wanted to cut myself out of it. And I only want to be recognized at the moment as illustrated illustrator that draws manga style drawings, manga illustrations.

Iva Mikles  

They’re really beautiful. I love how you do it.

Asia Ladowska  

Thank you. My favorite part of the drawing,

Iva Mikles  

because you’re always such a detail and they’re always so like mesmerizing, so that’s perfect.

Asia Ladowska  

They say that eyes are the mirror of soul.

Iva Mikles  

So whatever you may be inspired by do we have like specific movies or locations you like or maybe something strange, which inspires.

Asia Ladowska  

Inspiration is everywhere, wherever you look, the light that lights different objects at different times of the day. The films that you watch, even animate I watch anything can be inspiring books that people read. And yeah, there is this one weird book that I got on my trip to to Japan in Akihabara in Mundaka. I what I can say about it is weird the anatomy in it is very good but I don’t think I should say it is very inspiring.

Iva Mikles  

Okay, maybe we should put it in the show notes and people can check it out oh no no. Okay, so like I can have one is actually quite crazy I visited as well and so all of these toys and like people are running around so it’s a place to see I think

Asia Ladowska  

I spent two days there I could spend a lot more time but yet today they’re amazing place

Iva Mikles  

yeah so everyone who would like this inspiration they should visit like the cube

Asia Ladowska  

yeah it is such an inspirational place and I’m so when I close my eyes and I imagined that plays it’s so full of color it’s so full of characters everything you want for the inspiration so many books there as well. I bought I brought home the whole suitcase

Iva Mikles  

it so cool. Yeah because I love how they they even like I don’t know like road cones or or bus signs everything had this cute character I was like how is this possible?

Asia Ladowska  

And even even some pocket one characters on the street on this island? Oh wow. It’s a popular one bus stop.

Iva Mikles  

I left one when I saw that it was this dentist office and they had like this cute teeth you know on the floor and you should follow these to the dentist office and I’m like wow

Asia Ladowska  

she’s gracious everywhere. Even on the floor.

Iva Mikles  

It’s true. That’s true. Maybe we should implement this more in Europe as well or UK you know, just like yeah and so if you we talked about the mediums a bit as well and so for the for the digital stuff, do you use Photoshop or like other softwares

Asia Ladowska  

I think I would use Photoshop all the time. However, my computer had such a massive problem with Photoshop and a giant line and I couldn’t overcome it for ages. So I discovered other programs as well. If there is a dis manga Manga Studio, there is clip paint to paint tool sai Dias Clip Studio. They all work.

Iva Mikles  

Okay, I haven’t tried any of them. Okay, yeah,

Asia Ladowska  

you should you should I always come back to Photoshop for the effects they can put on top of the illustrations but Clip Studio Paint for example has better line support. So if you’re working in the comics tile, it does a lot better than something that doesn’t have line support.

Iva Mikles  

Okay, so I do use it on a tablet or like iPad or whatever.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I’ve got I’ve got a tablet like quite a recent by its sin Cintiq tablet with it with a screen so I can actually see what I’m drawing and let’s just draw on the desk and look at the screen that was very complicated for me and I couldn’t I just couldn’t get through that. So I invested in the tablet and a better one.

Iva Mikles  

So the you had before like the into us I guess and

Asia Ladowska  

it was not even that I had a bamboo tablet. The cheapest you could buy like you’re gonna spend some

Iva Mikles  

for sure. And now the Cintiq is the companion or like the giant one

Asia Ladowska  

No, I don’t have a giant tire it’s just something that to connect to the computer it’s 16 inch I think it’s the smallest one that you can get

Iva Mikles  

it’s good yeah because now they have this you know that the one you can take with you so that’s

Asia Ladowska  

not the price range.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, but yeah, because we need to progress like you start with the paper and the pencil then you go to bamboo

Asia Ladowska  

stick maybe later if like if you get the return on investment you can invest more.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, exactly. And so now when we are talking about like different projects and maybe income so what is your main income? Or how do you split your income sources?

Asia Ladowska  

I don’t have to quite split it. I have a full time job and my nine to 530 and this is my main source of income every month the same at least I don’t have to worry about anything if I made enough Commission’s or if I solid enough, this is just something safe. Yeah. And so what do you do? I am a graphic designer. And yeah, and outside of the job I do all the art stuff and on the drawing and for some additional income aka Patreon page and a little shop with originals and prints.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, and so now when you do like a Patreon and all of these and So do you have like a platform you enjoy the most? Or somewhere where you spend time more? Or you don’t really have like preference?

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I think I’m super addicted to Instagram. It’s amazing how quickly is growing and how many people, it’s easy to communicate that. I think I like this one the most.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And so do you maybe have some tips for starting young people, you know, on Instagram?

Asia Ladowska  

Like, I get a lot of questions about that. But I think that people asking questions are how do I start? How do I overcome everything? And how do I get into drawing is already a little bit waste of time. Because if you took the pencil and just started, it will be the first step. And everybody just goes all the way around and let us know how it works. You get you to do something yourself. Just Just do it. Just mobilize yourself enough and and start because No, nobody’s gonna start boy.

Iva Mikles  

That’s true. That’s true. But it took us like some time like few years, I guess.

Asia Ladowska  

Ah, hmm. To get to the to the to the stage where I’m in at the moment. Yeah. Yeah, you know, my journey I’ve always been drawing, I just changed styles recently to my manga inspired illustrations. It was over a year ago, so it wasn’t long. Okay. You see, just just to Yeah, but it’s, it takes a lot of motivation to draw every day. And, you know, I’m gonna jump in, I come back home at seven, around six, seven in the evening, and this is where my day starts. I’m tired. I probably didn’t sleep the day before. But, you know, nobody wants to hear excuses, who you’re going to excuse yourself. You just if you want to, if you want to do it, you got to do it. So doesn’t matter. What are the circumstances I draw every day? And I practice every day?

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I think that’s really good advice. Because people have, you know, like excuses like

Asia Ladowska  

everybody has, I have excuses, do I’m tired. That’s my primary excuse. I’m tired. It doesn’t matter if if you’d like drawing, it shouldn’t get you more tired, it should be more of a relaxed for you. So if you don’t like drawing, if it’s not relaxing for you, that’s not something for you. But if it’s for me, it’s really relaxing. It’s less, it’s more, it’s more stressful. What goes behind the drawing, preparing the desk, recording the video, because the cameras always in my face, and I can hardly see what I’m drawing. But in the drawing process is the most enjoyable. It’s for fun and experimenting.

Iva Mikles  

So maybe like, do you think about stories when you’re creating your characters.

Asia Ladowska  

I’m usually inspired by something. So these aren’t probably not stories, because I’m not drawing stories I mostly don’t purchase at the moment is going to come to stories in time. But because I’m drawing portraits, it’s more inspired by emotions. So whether someone’s sad when someone’s happy, as you said, you want to look into some that illustrations, eyes, and you want to know what they’re feeling or who they are. So that’s that’s what I looked at when I look into

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because sometimes, you know, yeah, exactly when you mentioned because, like when you have the emotion and sometimes I started to think about the kind of the background story of the character like why

Asia Ladowska  

everything. The mind doesn’t stop at it, you don’t think about the color is up? It just it’s just that somatic. But you think about everything else.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, like, oh, maybe why do they have bag bag? Why do they have like short hair, long hair, whatever. So there’s some kind of thinking behind it? And

Asia Ladowska  

do you check that you change a lot of stuff at the last minute, because I did that. For the whole illustration, the character had short hair, but in the end is going to have to be like it and I change everything.

Iva Mikles  

But it’s I don’t work with lines because I like to work like more loosely. And then I can just change quickly. Basically,

Asia Ladowska  

there is a way to change when you’re drawing with lines as a result.

Iva Mikles  

And so now thinking about different projects, maybe is there like a project you would like to share something which is coming up or something what you’re working on now something exciting?

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, there is a little project that I’m working on at the moment, because I’m so constrained that time. I can spend too much time on it. But I’m i It started in June on my Patreon page, then new joining people could request a sketch of their favorite character. And some some people who supported me the longest that could it could request the sketch of their favorite character too. So this is the project I’m currently working on. It’s on top of the job on top of everything I posted on Instagram. I spent extra hours is piling up the nice fit You see, and, and this is the project, I decided that because I want, I don’t want people to regret that they join my page. So I want them to be happy and very content with what they get. So I’m spending quite some time on each drawing. And I want to publish the full video on YouTube channel and of the process of creation. So this isn’t a thing, I didn’t decide on what characters I’m drawing, sometimes they’re challenging. Some people requested male characters, and I’m not so, so good at drawing men, or maybe I’m not bad, too, but it’s not something I do every day. So there are some challenges with it.

Iva Mikles  

So you’re not used to it like the dailies?

Asia Ladowska  

That wouldn’t be something I would draw for myself, but they requested it, they’re gonna get it and they’re gonna get it the best I can possibly my

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, for sure. Do you have maybe the favorite character style or not the style, but maybe like, long hair or someone you know, like dreamy or something which you always enjoy drawing?

Asia Ladowska  

That’s a difficult question. I draw inspired by the moment. So I don’t think there’s anything in particular, you know that these are girls, mostly because you can just sell any stuff with girls hair, girls, faces, eyelashes, makeup, smile, or anything. We’ve always closed, it can be really complex or very simple. So yeah, in this change, whatever, whatever is the moment just catch it.

Iva Mikles  

Yes, definitely. And is there maybe a tool which kind of simplifies your life? Something you bought?

Asia Ladowska  

I have thought about this. And I can think of anything, absolutely anything. If it comes to creating, I wouldn’t really get anything myself. It’s just my husband’s watching me from from behind, like, hey, you need that to help you. Because you’re putting a lot of effort into something that is already done there for you. But yeah, that wasn’t something I would choose myself. Like, I usually get that. Good. Thanks, my life’s difficult.

Iva Mikles  

So maybe, how do you design your day? How do you plan stuff? Or, you know, like, how do you plan ahead in a week or in a month? Or do you have like physical diary or like digital tool, or something, if you do daily, you know, like medication or whatever.

Asia Ladowska  

I got this board that I removed everything confidential from it, but I’ve read that I’m going to do less than it usually is depressing, basically. And I can I can design the day myself because I work and because I come back home really late. So my day usually starts at seven or even eight in the evening. And then I just sit and whatever, whatever I feel like doing from all the projects that I’m currently working on, I would take this one or no one that wasn’t planned. It happens too many times. Yeah, the inspiration or the moment.

Iva Mikles  

So when you are doing like a different project, like outside of like, daily job, how do you decide what to take? And how to say no to projects? Or what is your kind of self talk?

Asia Ladowska  

The primary thing would the primary thing would be is it fun to do, because if I if I’m not gonna enjoy the working on it, it’s not worth the money. It’s my life. It’s my time. It’s my free time especially. And I really want to spend it either learning something new or doing something that I like. So this is the primary criteria. I’m going to take a project or decide I want to do a commission if this is something interesting or something I can then learn new stuff from it. I would say this is

Iva Mikles  

like when you are looking for a new paid projects or they come to you is it mostly through social media? Or do you go to events when you maybe sell your art prints? Or how do you do the networking?

Asia Ladowska  

I am super shy person if you can’t tell that yet. I don’t go anywhere. All the time that I possibly can I love spending at home and the projects usually the people usually come to me I am so sad to say I’ve got around over over 300 messages that I could not reply to them either by the Commission’s or something. Hey, do I like read the book together with me? But have you been time to think about this? So I don’t I don’t look for any paid work because I’m gonna disable income at the moment. The moment I wasn’t looking for anything. It was just coming to me through social media. It’s a good tool for marketing.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And so do you think maybe in the future there will be like a book or story which you would like to you know, or more books.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I really wish I I could work and stuff like that it is it is all in plant, I’ve got a good message I want to convey to the world I want to tell the world. And I’m going to do a dominant reveal anything yet, but so far I’m working on technical stuff running from my illustrations to get faster, better, the more effective practice stuff then don’t draw so often like man or environment. And then and then the books gonna happen. I’m sad to know that or more books or coloring books are probably I film as well, because they love seeing my illustrations move. It’s amazing.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I think it’s nice, because you also, as you mentioned, you work with the motion picture a bit. So you know, the editing. So you can already imagine it how it can look, basically,

Asia Ladowska  

yeah, I do a lot of tests like two second animations, I usually put them up and, and the person’s paying, like, these are very simple stuff. But it I learned a lot with that. Some animations can be seen on my Instagram page as well. Simple stuff, that usually takes a lot of time. But I really I love frame by frame animation. Most animes are made frame by frame. So you get my inspirations. I really want to be like that on a Sunday like that, too.

Iva Mikles  

And so if you think about maybe like, the most difficult time of your career so far, or kind of the worst moment, and maybe what you learned from it, or how did you overcome it?

Asia Ladowska  

We’re coming into the heart. There, there were there were some bad career moments, and one of them was signing up a contract for five years with art agent. I was young and five years is a lot of time, I didn’t know what to expect. And I’m not sure how to say it. Because it’s not it’s not a bad thing to have an ad agent and some people are really willing to have one. And why not? It’s a good thing. But it wasn’t it wasn’t our agency that would market which I wanted to do these mice, I wouldn’t fit into what they did. Okay, so it was it was kind of a bad experience for me. And I didn’t know how to get out of it. Because the contract was signed for five years as like, oh, I can’t mark it myself. Because everything I’m gonna make it myself in the contract says I, whatever I do needs to go through them fast. I couldn’t get any commission myself, because I need to direct all the people to them. And I was pretty much unhappy because of that. And I stopped trying for a while. It was much more motivating. They were telling me what to do. And I didn’t want to do it.

Iva Mikles  

And so how did you find maybe the agent or kind of what made you decided you want to have an agent.

Asia Ladowska  

He found I was I was published in a magazine. And he found me there and just found my email address and contacted me. I met with him. He was really nice guy. It was a nice art agency. I love their work. And the people that they were already representing, but I knew very little about about robots, everything that goes behind that. And if I had to make that decision again, I wouldn’t.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, so you’ll learn that you would like to more handle your own project.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, yeah, I think that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And is there something else you kind of wish you knew before you started?

Asia Ladowska  

And, yeah, there is a lot of there’s a lot of legal stuff. I wish I know. You know, I didn’t when I started doing commissions for people, I didn’t like to sign any contract. So just, hey, I want something from you. Okay, I’m gonna do it, and then you’re gonna pay and that’s something I got burned with too, because they have, you know, it might never happen to anybody else might never happen to you. But it happened to me that the client didn’t pay and it was a loss of money. And I almost started legal procedure with it. So I had to learn so much I had to meet with with lawyers and discuss what are my rights that’s something I learned from it as well. I learned that I have rights that my that my art is a copyrighted that I have some like rights too, but there are some rights I have to obey as well. And that was one of them was to sign contracts and I didn’t do so. I learned a lot from that. It was a painful experience. And then I think that was a lot discouraging from drawing that kind of that time it was alright yeah, that was fighting with this issue. So

Iva Mikles  

because it can be like really frustrating. And so what would you advise young people when they are starting you know, like the commission work that they ask a person you know, to maybe have a contract and maybe pay health in advance or do your advice

Asia Ladowska  

I do have a contract and in the contract there there are some points that you should you should state you should state clearly. What what are you going to produce for the customer I from start to finish, you should include the price there should the contract that is very is very important. So, I do take payment in advance. If it’s small, if it’s bigger, I’m I’m okay to take half of it. And I also have a disclaimer that I do think I do I do give refunds if people are not happy with my work, but it’s only 50%. So that, because I’ve already put work into it, I’ve used all my tools, materials I’ve invested in the work, so it’s 50% is gonna go to me regardless, but

Iva Mikles  

yeah. Yeah, they also know that you know what they can expect? Because they saw a lot of your work already. And yeah, and do you do also like revisions?

Asia Ladowska  

What do you mean, my revision? You know, like,

Iva Mikles  

some artists sometimes include like, Okay, I delivered the work and you have one revision, like, I don’t know, like, I don’t, I would like to actually change the dark hair to blonde hair. But

Asia Ladowska  

yeah, I provide. I provide customers with sketches, at least two sketches so that they can choose. And in this cash firm, everybody can make any changes they want. So I wouldn’t take on if they’re not big if if it requires a new sketch to be produced. It isn’t the contract as well. But I will charge finder’s cash if it has to be the beginning.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. But I think this is really good to define for everyone who is starting Yeah,

Asia Ladowska  

yeah. So some people saw only digital stuff, like producing a computer not printed and sent via via post. So if it’s finished, and I might think the customer might not want it, I like it. I send a small resolution with a big watermark on top of it so that I’m sure they can’t use it. But they can check and approve if they like it. I’m gonna finish everything and sent off whenever they wanted. Yeah, I

Iva Mikles  

think that’s really good approach. Because then if you send low right away the big Oh, yeah.

Asia Ladowska  

Because some people are fair, and you really hope when you meet people, you trust them, and you hope they’re going to be fair, but there are some people out there who and myself and we’re just gonna try to use you or get stuff for free. Unfortunately, I learned I learned everything the hard way. And I wouldn’t never know that if I didn’t experience had a bad experience. So any younger artists can take from it. Right contracts, right contracts

Iva Mikles  

is definitely good. Yeah. Because I was also like, now in discussion with one customer. And then I wrote all that like definitions, what I will need from him, and how will the process be and blah, blah, blah. And now he didn’t get back to me. So I’m like, okay, but good to end now. Then, like later with regret. So never know who you are.

Asia Ladowska  

Basically, sometimes it is time it is it is time that you think it’s wasted. Because you put effort into writing the contract is different for everybody. You You spend so much time messaging people back and forth. And you never know if they’re gonna go into commission or not. But this is fine.

Iva Mikles  

But better than if you spent like, I don’t know, a week on commission, or whatever. And then, yeah,

Asia Ladowska  

happens as well. Yeah, definitely.

Iva Mikles  

But yeah, so I think this is really good advice for young people like how to approach because this is basically not written anywhere. And if you start like full time job, then you kind of know what to expect, then you get the payment, then, you know, that’s how it works. But now with this, like freelance and all of the work on the side, it’s it’s just different approach.

Asia Ladowska  

Everything in your hands. So much so much more drawing is the most pleasant stuff of it, but there is at least three times more work outside of drawing that you have to do.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, and do you have maybe some software for you know, like, writing the contract or, like special website, you go for the resources? Or, you know, maybe because also you know, that you have to do the taxation and all of these things.

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, it’s, it’s a lot. I use where I’ve got just one template for contract and it’s an it’s a way to go all the way. But all the invoices I put through PayPal, PayPal can create an invoice for you. So I think there’s just an optional called invoice there, and you can put all the information, what is the work gonna be you can attach files, so I usually attack attach the contract that I that I provide, and then just send an invoice to the customer.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, yeah, that’s actually really helpful. So that’s really nice.

Asia Ladowska  

Paper has its protection, its money protection as well. So it’s bought it both covers the customer and the seller. Yeah, I think it’s worth going into something that’s already been tested and tried to point out others and made especially for that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. And I did ask you about the tools like the paper maybe or do you use only when you use traditional? Do you use Copic markers and something else or maybe what is your favorite sketchbook?

Asia Ladowska  

I think I did covered my favorite paper yesterday. I haven’t tried it. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think good in the post, and it was so sort of I have not tested favorite like that before. So I hope I’m not wrong about it. So you see every day I’m discovering something, notice I’m not limiting myself, I really want to try new things. For sketches for sketches, I use the cheapest tools possible because I do a lot of sketches. And if a person wants to get good, they have to do a lot of sketches. I recommend printer paper, printer paper and and just some soft stuff pencils, that works the best. But if I’m working, if I’m working for a customer, if I’m doing a work that’s going to be sold later that has to look beautiful and better. expensive tools, a Copic markers, watercolors, not cheap brands, but expensive brands as well. A paper thicker, smoother, hotpress. The Best Buy. So it’s not cheap. But it’s not limiting. I recommend starting on cheap materials, and then just discovering all the others.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And so what I would like to ask is also the future, you know, we touched on the project of it. And I would like to ask you how, where would you see yourself in like five to 10 years, like you cannot fail? And you know, like you’re not afraid of anything? And what is kind of the dream scenario?

Asia Ladowska  

Yeah, I had a dream around two years ago, that was I had a dream to move to Japan and start working there. Because manga drawing anatomy so popular that it’s probably easier to find a job into animation, which I keep repeating, I love seeing my drawings. And I want to work in animation. So I had a dream two years ago, to it wasn’t big, it wasn’t to get a job, it was just the right to be able to write a CV in Japanese. And I wrote my best CV in Japanese around a month ago. So I’m one goal achieved. I’m not giving up on learning Japanese, I’m gonna study twice a week, beginning October or September. It used to be just once a week before, but I’m learning and practicing every day as well. So you see, after some more hours of my day, it starts at seven in the evening. And you see how much I’m doing everyday, everyday sketching everyday doing some drawings, or even a drive for Instagram page, or for Patreon, some videos. And then on top of that I’m learning Japanese, but it’s just the skill to use time wisely because I commute on the train to work and I can practice Japanese, there are many different apps or books that can have with me. So in five years, or 10 years, I really wish I could live in Japan and work for an animation studio. And it doesn’t have to be a big job. I want to I want to just see how they work I want to learn and then maybe maybe one day, get like, you know, bigger grow up a coke career there.

Iva Mikles  

It sounds really good. I think you would enjoy it.

Asia Ladowska  

I would love it. I’ve been to Japan now. That was like, you know, the other dream come true. And I want to go back and never come back here.

Iva Mikles  

There was actually this guy we met in a in LA Yeah, it was in Little Tokyo in LA. And he was actually working with me as Aki. And he had the original drawings, you know. And like he brought like, this is the Castle in the Sky and Totoro. So he actually had the drawings there with him, you know, and he was just showing you then. And I’m like, wow, this is like really interesting.

Asia Ladowska  

I oh my god, this is even beyond my wishes. Work with me as I keep my favorite documentaries about me and lackey is a kingdom of dreams and madness. I think I’ve watched it so many times I wrote my academic essay about just that documentary because it couldn’t get it out of my head. Me as I keep Yeah, if he’s a big Master, I can’t deny that one.

Iva Mikles  

Did you go to the museum in Tokyo? The I went

Asia Ladowska  

and I’m really grateful to my friends from Japanese classes, who told me that you have to book a ticket in advance because yeah, I would never know that. But they were just chatting, chatting, we were just chatting casually and they mentioned, Hey, I gotta wait up until two in the morning to buy tickets to cheaply immediately. I was like, why don’t you go? I was so grateful. And I don’t have to wait until two in the morning because I’m always awake. But I managed to buy tickets and I went there and it is on the ticket. It says just go and lose yourself and this is exactly what you do. You start being a kid basically you go on your knees and discover all the different corridors. Kingdom of dreams and madness.

Iva Mikles  

Did you go through like these different restaurants you know, like when they have like alleys He’s in Wonderland restaurant, and I don’t know what

Asia Ladowska  

I know about them, then but next trip to Japan.

Iva Mikles  

Because they don’t be like super cool inspiration for your drawings.

Asia Ladowska  

I want to visit them.

Iva Mikles  

It’s really cool. And so if we like the last question I would like to ask you is about like, far, far future? And maybe what would you like to be remembered for, like 100 years.

Asia Ladowska  

As you know, my master me is making animated future movies. And I really want to really, really want to leave one like that behind for future for people. I want to make a feature movie, so but one one biggest dream and lifetime goal to make make a feature animate or animated movie.

Iva Mikles  

I would love to see that

Asia Ladowska  

I would love to make. So I really hope it’s gonna happen.

Iva Mikles  

Good. That’s so that’s a challenge accepted. Okay. Really nice. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. And if you have like last advice for young artists before we say goodbye,

Asia Ladowska  

um, I think I have one. There is this one sentence that I carry with myself. I learned it from from the teacher in high school, which, you know, I went to art school. And he was saying whatever you have to do tomorrow, due yesterday, and I didn’t get it by mistake. But that doesn’t make sense. It is a mistake in the sentence. But it is true. The time is flying by so quickly. So it means that whatever you are planning to do, you’re already late with it. You should have already started don’t even think about it just started to take action is my advice to everybody else.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that’s perfect. I love it.

Asia Ladowska  

Thank you. And thank you very much for your time. So it was lovely. It was lovely meeting.

Iva Mikles  

You too. I’m really excited. This is fun. Thank you. Thank you everyone for joining us. See you next time. They hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you so go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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