This week, we talk about Akira Toriyama, a world famous mangaka, character designer, game artist and creator in the Japanese anime industry. Toriyama launched his career off with his famous Dr. Slump manga which hit bookshelves all across Japan and further built up his presence as one of the major leading artists of the industry when his manga, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z came to life.
He started drawing when he was 5 years old and seriously took off his career when one of the editors approached him from Shounen Jump after his regular submissions at the Jump amateur contests (even though he didn't win, he continued submitting). He trained for about a year from there and went pro. His inspiration for Dragon Ball comes from Jackie Chan's films and his hobby is model-making.
Toriyama's Dragon Ball narrates the story of a monkey tailed boy who fights kung-fu style and his adventures on a quest to search for the Dragon Balls that grant any wish one desires.
His favourite choice of materials to work on is Kent paper, G-pen, waterproof inks and color inks. These days, he uses a Macintosh for colouring.
Toriyama used to copy a lot in his classes manga style. He was highly inspired by Osamu Tezuka's works. His breakthrough as an artist began when he first started drawing real life faces and started sketching portraits of his classmates, real life objects and his surroundings. That's when his observation skills skyrocketed and he slowly started branching out from being just a copycat to a creator who can study references and use and play with them to his own advantage.
He has also worked on the Dragon Ball Online (MMORPG) game whose servers were shut down before and is now currently working on Dragon Ball Super along with artist Toyotaro. Dragon Ball Super is a continuation of the story of Dragon Ball Z except after the Majin Buu Arc.
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