While most of us are relaxing and taking a well-deserved break when the school term ended, one of our student – Jessica Hendrawan Putri (S2) was working hard to put the finishing touches to her entry for the 10th International Manga Award 2016. 


Manga is a Japanese comics art form that has taken the world by storm. The Manga competition, the International Manga Award, was established in May 2007 upon the initiative of the then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Taro Aso with the aim of acknowledging and awarding Manga creators who contribute to the spread of Manga culture overseas and international cultural exchange through Manga. This competition is open to anyone in the world, including publishing companies, which means that competition is going to be really tough.

We caught up with Jessica during the school holiday to find out more.

Peter: First of all, congratulations on completing the manga competition submission piece. It looked wonderful and I wouldn’t have guessed that a Secondary 2 student did it. But first, can you tell us more about the competition that you are participating in?

Jessica: Thanks! It’s an international competition for all ages, and some of the entries might be one of those that are already published. I would probably not win it, but it has given me more experience by joining this competition. I wish I could’ve done better, since I only had around 8 or 10 days to finish the whole thing. If I’ve had more time, I would pay attention more on the anatomy and other stuff.

Peter: What inspired you to create “Reunite”? Was the story personally relatable to you?

Jessica: I met some people in Instagram, after which I became friends with them. We made a story together with our characters and such. After hearing about the competition, I wanted to make the manga about it and I asked them if it’s okay for them for me to use their characters, which they allowed me to.

Peter: Is 千花 your actual Chinese name or a pen name? Initially I thought I should perhaps pronounce it in Japanese as well, so I better clarify it with you.

Jessica: 千花 is read as Chika in japanese, which is also my nickname, so I use it as my pen name.

Peter: What got you interested in creating manga art? How long have you started doing this art genre?

Jessica: It was first when my brother started watching anime and I got interested in them. As a result, I wanted to try drawing them too. I think it was when I was in P4 or P5, I really found their style really cool. So I’ve been drawing for around 3 to 4 years now.

Peter: How about other forms of art? Do you have interest in them too?

Jessica: Does music counts too? But I don’t really have as much interest on them.

Peter: Sure, music is a form of art, so it counts! Do you have a role-model/idol that you look up to in arts?

Jessica: I really admire Sidu, who is the illustrator and character designer of the Kagepro series. They also make MVs for especially Kagepro and Neru. I really like their style and the way they hace improved during the past few years have inspired me.

Peter: Do you intend to pursue art professionally in the future or is it just a hobby at the moment?

Jessica: I do intend on pursuing art as my career in the future. It’s nice to be able to do things that you enjoy and making money out of it in the process.

Peter: I’m really happy that you have found your passion! What advise would you give to your schoolmates who might be inspired by you to take up arts? How can they get started in creating manga arts, for example.

Jessica: Keep practicing and don’t give up. Being good is a process that takes years and it can’t be done in just one night. Critics are more valuable than compliments, so don’t let them bring you down, instead use it to improve your art or in anything you do.

We thank Jessica for indulging us in this interview during the school holidays and we wish her all the best in the 10th International Manga Award.

Images featured in this article are the sole copyright of Jessica Hendrawan Putri and are published in this article with permission. Do not copy/reproduce without permission from Jessica Hendrawan Putri.


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