HEEEERE IT IS.
THE HOW TO FUCK UP YOUR LIFE THEY SOLD IN EVERY MIDDLE SCHOOL
HEY. HEEEY. Let’s all sit down while I explain to you guys in simple terms, why you’re a twat for being a twat about Katy Coope.
So, let’s imagine you’re about fifteen years old. Manga is pretty new in the UK and you are one of the first people on this very new UK manga scene and you’re super pumped about drawing manga! Of course you are! There aren’t many good manga artists because it’s so new that when established adult artists try to draw it it’s insincere and contrived looking, but the actually manga influenced artists are all still teenagers and a bit rough about the edges.
A guy from a publishing house comes across you and your work and says “Wow, you’re great at this manga drawing thing! It’s getting really popular and people want how to draw books on it, so we’ve been looking for somebody good at manga to make something like that, would you like to?”
Would you say “No”? Would you honestly, at fifteen years old, turn down the change to be a paid, published manga artist? Would you have the self-awareness to say “Actually I don’t think I’m ready and this could bite me in the arse down the line” when a publisher is telling you you’re exactly what he’s after and offering to publish you and you’d get money!? Any artist with an ounce of sense wouldn’t turn that opportunity down!
So Katy Coope got published, and because it was, at the time, one of the only books on the subject for a non-Japanese audience, and the publisher worked hard to get it distributed in schools, it was a huge hit! It inspired young artists to try manga and many remember it fondly. It was so successful, the sequel book above was made two years later (so we’re keeping track here. She drew that at seventeen. When I was seventeen, my work looked like this: Oh god how did I ever become a professional illustrator!?
So, the first book was in 2002, the second 2004. That’s over a decade ago and she was still getting hate for these books in her mid-late twenties, so much that she eventually closed her deviantart accound because of the constant crap she had to put up with ten plus years later! She got a lot of messages from people she’d inspired too, but oh my god. Being a friend, I saw some of what she got and it was just… I don’t know how she coped and stayed such a warm, friendly person, it was horrible.
See, here’s the part people don’t talk about. She got better:
OH SHIT WHAT’S THIS!!?!!!?!?! It’s a really solid book on manga that is my number one recommended manga drawing book when I run workshops at schools and the like! The art is solid, it gives excellent general tips on things like anatomy, head rotations, drawing hair and poses and it encourages kids to try things unlike most books that just teach you how to just slavishly recreate their examples! Also, she made this book, if you’re doing the maths here, when she was like what? 21!? That is bonkers. When I was 21, my work was nowhere near publishable quality!
That book was made Only four years after that one in the picture at the top there. This lady worked her bum off improving.
Also, she is super nice. Like, really super awesome nice. She will always have time to chat and say hello at conventions. She will never ignore or look down on you if you’re not well known or not published. She’s friendly, polite and she runs great workshops for kids. She’s a skilled web designer too!
Some of you may even have been enjoying her work without even realising it’s the same person! Like:
The improvement is so great, you probably wouldn’t even know it was the same artist, but it is. She is awesome and she shouldn’t be being mocked; she ought to be a goddamn ROLE MODEL.
Please reblog and put an end to this bullshit. Katy Coope is a rad lady and we should be celebrating her current work instead of endlessly going on about stuff she did when she was still literally a child.
These books are what got me going as well! And yes, even if the anatomy is a bit questionable, it was a wonderful starting point and I loved the creativity and effort she put into it.