Artist passes on joy of anime and manga to Lima students

LIMA — School may be out, but for some local students following their passion, the excitement of learning is just beginning.

That’s what took place at ArtSpace/Lima’s Anime and Manga Camp this week, where artist Bryan Moss taught participants the basics of the artforms coming from Japan.

“The cool thing about this camp, because we did one last year too, is that a lot of these students are returning, so it builds up like a narrative,” Moss said. “And then with the new artists that are here for the program, it allows them to feel more comfortable. So I think it’s a really cool balance between last year and this year, and I really like it.”

Moss, who works as a painter, illustrator and comic book/graphic novel artist, said he got the idea when he traveled to Japan for a month two weeks ago and brought back materials such as paper, ink and deleters specific to creating manga, a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels.

“To be able to bring something from Japan that I picked up and learned and bring that back to Lima is very visceral for me and exciting,” he said. “It makes me consider and think about the art differently because now there’s a shared language between going to Japan and learning how to create manga there and bringing it back. And now the kids get to experience that too. It’s giving me goosebumps to think about how proud I am of it and the excitement the kids have for the art.”

The camp only lasted one week, but Moss was quickly impressed with the results the students got from going outside of their comfort zone.

“One student was doing something all color-based, and I taught him how to use the deleters, and now his whole comic will be done in that style,” Moss said. “That’s all because of the supplies I brought from Japan. And his cousin who is in Lima’s sister city, Harima-Cho, Japan, is actually picking up art supplies to bring back to him.”

Moss said that he has high hopes for the future of the camp.

“My goal is to see returning students and new students keep coming in so that the kids can teach each other, as opposed to relying on the teacher to do all of that work,” he said. “If you’re able to do that, it means that as an educator, it means they’ve learned it, and their comprehension is at 80 to 90%. And those are the outcomes I look for with students.”

And if kids are interested in creating anime or manga art on their own, Moss had a few recommendations.

“I would say draw a picture every day,” he said, “and learn a different technique through YouTube, which is a really good platform for kids to learn from. You start off with things that are fun and that you enjoy and then you challenge yourself as an artist.”

For more information on ArtSpace programs, call Sally Windle at 419-222-1721.

Moss’ art has been featured all over the world, and his first solo exhibition “About Time: The Art of Bryan Moss” premiered at the Columbus Museum of Art last year.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.