I'm an artist who draws in anime and semi-realistic style. From black and white manga drawings to colourful paintings of characters, Ask Me Anything

Danica Dela Rosa Profeta
Sep 12, 2018

Hi, I'm Danica Profeta. I've been drawing in anime style since I was a kid. I mostly draw using pencils and ink pens but am mastering coloured pencils and watercolours. I also am trying my hand on digital art.

I've entered several art and manga contests both locally and internationally, and although I have only won a couple of times on small competitions, I greatly learned from all of them.

I used to draw realistic portraits alongside my full-time job and have gained a couple of patrons. But in my mind and heart, I really want to draw in anime style, and write stories.

Now I am a stay-at-home mom to an almost one-year-old girl, and married to a very supportive husband, I'm still passionate for the arts. I practice every now and then. I currently draw pen and graphite drawings and watercolour paintings for commissions. I am still developing my art style and want to become a professional manga artist or novelist.

Ask me anything regarding my art, my experiences, commissions info, or maybe being an otaku and a mom? ^_^

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Danica Dela Rosa Profeta says:

This AMA will end Sep 17, 2018 9AM EDT

Danica Dela Rosa Profeta says:

This AMA will end Sep 14, 2018 9AM EDT

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Is there anything you keep in mind to make your work better?
Sep 14, 7:04AM EDT0
How much do you think that the roots and origins of Art affect what you create today?
Sep 14, 4:12AM EDT0
What do you consider the most iconic artwork of all time and why?
Sep 13, 12:44PM EDT0

Hi JOHN, thanks for the question! 

I'd like to say that, for me, the most iconic artwork is Michelangelo's paintings on the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel. It is an epic work with nine paintings including The Creation of Adam, and required painstaking hardwork to create. Another artwork that I admire and think comes close to second when it comes to influence and significance, is Van Gogh's Starry Night. You can see it being referred to in modern works, like songs and other forms of art. It also is a symbol of an artist's vulnerability and complexity.

Sep 13, 7:07PM EDT0
What are some of the difficulties you have faced, especially when it comes to trying out new ways of creating art?
Sep 13, 2:39AM EDT0

Hi! Thanks for the question!

At first I just drew using pencil and pen, and didn't feel the need to even put shading on my drawings. I was afraid to come out of my comfort zone which was just plain sketches and linearts. Then I saw my artist friends were comfortable in rendering drawings and also painting, and I was kinda envious but couldn't do anything about it. Or so I thought. Then there came a time that I bought myself a figure drawing book, and read and practiced with it. I started drawing with reference for poses too, like movie stills, Michelangelo artworks, fashion models on newspapers, and Slam Dunk posters, just to get the feel of how to draw people. I even learned to draw some inanimate objects and backgrounds. So really it was just me limiting myself. It was hard at first but if you really want to learn new things, you have to go ahead and do it. I used my shading skills in using colored pencils, then I tried watercolors and watercolor pencils. It was frustrating at first, and even if you're doing it for months, there are still times you feel that you suck because you're still new to painting. So I watched tutorials and it really helped. I'm still practicing though. Same goes with learning digital art. Now digital art has its own difficulties for me, like at first I couldn't even afford a tablet. Then I saved up and was able to buy one. I found it hard to adapt to the effects, because I'm used to traditional, and the 'what you see is what you get' state of mind. But it is an edge if you know how to produce art digitally so, I think I'm still going to pursue it alongside traditional. And that's about it, I hope I managed to answer your question. ^_^

Sep 13, 5:51AM EDT0
What are your favorite ways or people to learn how to do art?
Sep 13, 2:18AM EDT0

Hi and thanks for the awesome question! People most of the time start out just drawing whatever they want or maybe copying pre-existing works (like from pictures, shows, etc.). Then they become conscious that it's what they want to do or that they want to improve. If they reach that kind of awareness and inclination to the arts, they should get back or know the basics. If their subject is people, start learning anatomy and figure drawing. You don't have to learn them very thoroughly, but enough to know how muscles and bones connect and look so that when you draw the human figure, you'll get the proportion right, then you can proceed in practicing dynamics. Also draw from life, as you'll get the feel of it. Sometimes it's just not enough to rely on imagination. You have to study the real life thing, too. Same goes especially if your subject is nature or buildings, or inanimate objects like trains or cars. You have to expose yourself to your subject. So there's the first and second: learn the basics, and draw from life.Third on my list, but is the most important, is constant practice. If you just rely on talent and don't back it up with hard work, you'd be just wasting it. However, taking a break is necessary too, because it could mean your brain is looking for improvement and want to do something. Try other things too. You can get inspiration from doing and observing other things outside your usual work. I might have missed some other things but the ones I've mentioned are my favorite ways of learning art.

Sep 13, 5:30AM EDT0
You really are a great artist. What steps have you taken to show the world what you can do?
Sep 12, 3:10PM EDT0

Thank you, but to be honest, I still have a lot to do to be called a great artist. As for the things I've taken to show others what I can do, it is sharing what I love doing. I entered contests, try to be active in the anime art community and support others in their craft, did a few commissions. Things like that. Talking about the whole world seems overwhelming. But I did make portraits (realistic and/or animefied) of friends, co-workers, relatives, and other people, and they said that that made them happy. And that for me is enough and a great reward as an artist.

Sep 13, 5:13AM EDT0
How has your life changed after becoming a mom?
Sep 12, 2:02AM EDT0

I think it awakened a different personality in me, one that is more assertive and strong. It also required me to mature emotionally as I can't afford to think of only myself now. It requires balance as well. I was so fixated on being so hands on that I tired myself out. So now, I allow myself to relax and have some 'me' time. 

Sep 12, 12:44PM EDT0
Is there anything you consciously do in order to make your work better?
Sep 12, 1:57AM EDT0

I try my best to practice as much as I can and believe more in myself. There was a point when I really don't want to draw in anime style or anything at all because I figured almost everyone's doing it now, and that everybody else is way better than I am. I almost let go of my stories and just give up. But that phase coincided with a lot of problems in my personal life, so it must be the stress taking a toll on me. It's difficult to choose between your passion and making a living because almost everyone will just bring you down and say be practical. But, deep in my heart, I can't escape who I really am. I may not be that great, I may have my flaws as an artist but all I can do is believe in myself and my craft, because this is what I really want to do. And if I embrace that, and erase the negativity, I know I'll have the strength to improve my craft.

Sep 12, 12:38PM EDT0
Did you go to school to learn how to draw or are you a self taught artist?
Sep 11, 5:12PM EDT0

Thanks for the question TONIJAY89!I’m proudly a self-taught artist. I wasn’t able to attend any art schools or art classes during my school years because of the lack of money and because I’m not yet that aware that this was what I wanted to do back then. As the years went by, I practiced and sketched and just had fun with it, thinking it’s just a hobby, but all this time it was the one thing that I want to keep on doing for the rest of my life. 

Sep 12, 12:30PM EDT0
Was there an artist or a particular story that inspired you to become a professional artist?
Sep 11, 9:10AM EDT0

Hi MARYACHURRA!I think it’s an accumulation of all the things I found relevant or interesting. Like from The Little Prince, I was and still am enamored by its duality in its simplicity and mystery, in both the story and illustration. It’s those kinds of works that inspire me to pay tribute to life by drawing out personalities, histories, emotions, in my side of the world or comprehension. I know I still have a long way to go to fully convey what I want through my drawings, but I'm getting there. ^_^

Sep 12, 12:26PM EDT0
What do you like do to when you're not drawing anime?
Sep 11, 7:57AM EDT0

Thanks for asking EESHFAR! My husband and I, as bonding time, we watch a movie or a series (an episode a day if the schedule permits and our baby is asleep or we’re done feeding her etc.). We often watch them on parts though because we're almost always busy. Also, I go online on FB to catch up on friends and family. I also read philosophical books. Right now I’m reading Hermann Hesse’s books. And of course I watch anime like SnK and Hataraku Saibou.

Sep 12, 12:18PM EDT0
When you’re working, do you listen to music? If so, what sort of music do you like to listen to?
Sep 11, 1:56AM EDT0

Thanks for the question MISTRALDANAO! For me, it's the other way around. Sometimes when I happen to listen to a song that enchants me, I draw. It’s like the music gives birth to a drawing. Once when I was listening to Snowmine’s Let Me In while preparing to go to work, I got the urge to draw, and a portrait of a woman came out. My husband said that it looked haunting--like she’s really alive and will open her eyes. When I was younger, I liked rock music. Linkin Park is my fave, I could listen to them over and over. But now, I listen to more mellow things, still with meaningful lyrics. I try to find independent music or unique artists like Fleet Foxes, Snowmine, and Mogwai. And of course anime songs especially Tokyo Ghoul theme songs and also Naruto songs. Asian Kung Fu Generation. But recently, I’ve been listening to BTS. ^_^

Sep 12, 12:13PM EDT0
From where do you draw inspiration to draw? What motivates you as an artist?
Sep 11, 12:10AM EDT0

Hi MYKA! It may sound silly but, I want to be remembered—leave something behind in this world that will last for a long time. The ideas, the characters, the stories I have buried in my mind and heart, those dreams I turn into drawings or stories, I want those to reach people. 

My motivation would have to be my family--my daughter and my husband. Also, my friends who support me in pursuing this path.

Sep 12, 11:18AM EDT0
Why do you like to draw manga style characters? What are your favorite anime or manga? What do you love about their art style or stories?
Sep 10, 9:27PM EDT0

Hi HUMPREY! Thanks for the question, and I think I'm going to geek out in answering this. ^_^

I grew up watching anime so my style is inclined to that genre of shows. My favorite anime would have to be Yu Yu Hakusho, XXXHolic, Shingeki no Kyojin, and Hachimitsu to Clover, Bakuman, and Psycho Pass. Very diverse list of faves, isn’t it? Their art styles are very different from each other but they’re all beautiful in their own way. For example, in Yu Yu Hakusho, especially in the manga, you can see the development of the artist’s style. It’s a childhood anime for me, and it’s one of the best shounen or action anime in my opinion. In XXXHolic, CLAMP (the group of manga artists behind it) shows their signature intricate details, both in the art and the plot. SnK has that raw art style that will grip you, and it really fits the dystopian story. H&C is a sweet slice of life manga about students in an art college. I relate to some of the protagonists’ insecurities, indecisiveness, and even their perseverance. Bakuman is about the life of manga artists and it shows how difficult but rewarding it is to be in that field. Psycho Pass, well, it’s a sci fi anime, and it incorporated some philosophies in living, society, and justice. They’re all different but you can learn a lot from them. ^_^

Sep 12, 11:14AM EDT0
What are your career aspirations? What are some of the art related careers you are interested in?
Sep 10, 6:32PM EDT0

I want to be a professional manga artist and have my own manga be published. I also want to release an art book. In addition, I write stories and poetry so I want my written works published, too.

Last edited @ Sep 13, 6:00AM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:36AM EDT0
What kind of environment do you work in while you're drawing your manga characters?
Sep 10, 5:13PM EDT0

Thanks for your question DEVEOPER! I prefer working in a quiet place, where I can focus, because sometimes I get easily distracted. But I have experienced collaborating with a friend once, so I guess I can say I can also adapt to that kind of setup.

Sep 12, 10:32AM EDT0
In which areas would you like to improve as an artist?
Sep 10, 2:13PM EDT0

Hi CHI! 

That’s a great question, and one I often ask myself as a reminder. I want to improve on doing backgrounds, and poses. I also want to better my compositions especially when drawing many characters in one picture. I also need to be more open to drawing things I haven’t explored yet or didn’t want to draw initially.

Sep 12, 10:26AM EDT0
You apply vivid colors in your drawings which make them cute and colorful. What things do you consider when choosing colors?
Sep 10, 7:30AM EDT0

Thank you DIXON! In choosing colors, it has to suit the personality of the character. In anime, they usually use color to show who the character is, like if he’s associated with red, he’s supposed to be brave, outgoing. Pink means they’re bubbly and cute. I try to apply those things, but of course there are no rules. I also choose colors depending on my emotions at the moment I’m painting.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 12:51PM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:22AM EDT0
What about designing original characters do you enjoy the most and find the most rewarding?
Sep 10, 5:03AM EDT0

They have to be unique enough for people to be able to distinguish them from each other, and from other people’s works. Or at least for me to know their every inch and personality and build their backgrounds that they won’t be mistaken as another. There are many artists and stories in our history, so I create characters that I love and mean something to me. That is the most important and exciting thing for me, to be able to express something through them. Also when other people say they like that character and they love how I draw the eyes, hair, and hands, or design costumes. It is like being complemented for your own eyes, hair, hands, and fashion.

Sep 12, 10:05AM EDT0
Are there any works or experiences that influence you and your art?
Sep 9, 8:28PM EDT0

For my art style, I’ve been influenced by some anime and manga I love, like Yu Yu Hakusho, Saiyuki, Angel Sanctuary, and Card Captor Sakura. But aside from those, I also was able to get a hand of shading from Drawspace, an art learning website; and practice figure drawing by studying Michelangelo’s works (I love him, he’s my fave Renaissance artist). I also love mythology, particularly Greek/Roman myth, and also about angels. And of course, it is a necessity that I draw from life as well, so I also draw real people, like my friends. Ever since I was in grade  school, I’ve been drawing characters I sort of base on myself and my classmates and friends and create fantastic scenarios around them.

Sep 12, 9:52AM EDT0
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