Manga Artists

Many of our readers love Manga and Anime, and I’m sure many of you own at least one Manga volume, or have watched at least one episode of an anime before. Maybe you’ve seen fanart of your favorite anime character, or maybe you actually draw your own OCs in a style similar to the animes you’ve watched.

As such, JNL Team thought it would be nice to find Dutch and Belgian artists to share their stories with you, as well as maybe give you some advice. This entire post will be decicated to amazing Dutch and Belgian artists, just to show our aspiring readers that they, too, can be as great as their favorite mangaka.

We have contacted a few fantastic Dutch and Belgian artists, all whom have a unique drawing style. We have interviewed these wonderful artists for you as well! Every participant has answered 6 questions in total: a set of standard questions, and a set of personalized questions; meaning, all artists have 6 questions, out of which 3 are the same for all of them, and 3 are specifically chosen for them.

The first person we will talk about is Melanie Sanders, better known as Shimmer5O. Melanie is a Dutch artist, residing in Drenthe, who draws mainly manga and anime, but also draws MyLittlePony / PonySonas. She’s popular for her cute and bright drawing style. Melanie accepts commissions when she has time.

We contacted Melanie after seeing her wonderful art on DeviantArt, and interviewed her about her work.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Well my name is Melanie Sanders, most people know me as Shimmer. I live in the Netherlands with my mother, stepdad, brother, stepbrother and boyfriend. I love animals, ALOT. I am in my last school year, studying to become a vet assistent. If everything goes well I can soon start working as a vet assistent. Since the age of 5 (maybe 6) I started drawing alot. And that is also the age where I saw a picture of an anime girl for the first time. That is when I decided that I wanted to be able to draw like that, draw those cute and beautiful characters. Since april 2015 I have been drawing seriously to improve, and that is also when I bought my first drawing tablet. I use the program Clip Studio Paint pro, also known as Manga studio, and have been drawing digitally ever since.

What styles do you use when drawing? Could you tell us a little about those styles?
To start with the basics, I draw in a manga style, but of those you have different categories as well. I love the Shoujo style, and I try hard to get my art to look like that, and work hard to get there. Shoujo is a style mostly used in mangas for teenage readers. The characters are usually very beautiful and handsome. My dream is to create characters like that myself in that style some day.

What do you enjoy drawing the most, and why?
I draw females the most. The main reason is because I love designing clothes for them, giving them extremely long hair, like most of my OC’s (Original Characters) have, and draw them in cute poses. I just enjoy that alot. Also drawing guys is alot harder for me. Their bodies are different from the body of a female, but also their jaw lines, the way the face is shaped, and the eyes are shaped, are almost always different from drawing girls, which makes it hard for me to draw. I do practice, but almost never upload drawings of male characters, not untill I am completely happy to show it. Since I met my amazing friend Pillonchou I also draw ponies now and then.

Is there anywhere we might have come across your artwork?
I always share my drawing on sites such as Deviant Art, Tumbler, Twitter and share some speedpaints on YouTube. But at the moment my main focus is school and drawing is my hobby. Only recently have I been drawing to actually improve, but I never did anything big with my drawings like making books or covers. And I have yet to attend a convention as I have simply not had the time. I do hope to do things like that in the future though.

From all the art you’ve made, which is your favorite piece? Why is this piece your favorite?
Of all the art I have made so far, my favorite would be the requested drawing I drew for TamamoKitsune from Deviantart. In that drawing I drew her OC Tamamo, and even though I made a few mistakes with her design, I still am very happy with how it turned out. The face actually looks pretty to me as that is one of the hardest things to get right, and her anatomy doens’t look too bad in my eyes either.

Request Tamamo with BG by Shimmer5O

Any advice you have for aspiring artists?
Yes. No matter how unsure you are about your art, if you keep practicing and don’t be affraid to step out of your comfort zone, you WILL improve. It takes time, but don’t forget to also have fun while you draw. In the end you should not only be drawing for people to like your art, you should be mainly drawing for yourself, simply because you like doing it.

If you’re inspired by her words, interested in her other artwork, or wish to contact Melanie, please click on one of the following links:







The second artist we will talk about is Esther Bos. Esther’s artist name is Nekkohime, and she lives in Brummen. She draws anime/manga style, and can be found selling her beautiful work on anime conventions. She sells her work in many different forms such as straps, bookmarks, t-shirts and other merchandise. Esther loves drawing fan-art and her OCs, but is also open for commissions.

We contacted Esther for an interview, and luckily, she was more than willing to talk to us about her work!

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello I am Nekkohime a manga artist in the Netherlands c:
I love drawing fanart and my own characters c:

What inspired you to start drawing?
I’ve been drawing since I was a toddler but only started drawing in manga style when I was around 14. I got introduced to the anime universe by my cousin and wanted to draw as pretty as the artists I saw online. I started drawing my friends as magical girls and only really got into drawing when my mom bought me a ‘how to draw manga’ book.

When you draw, what supplies do you like to work with the most?

I like to work the most with markers and colored pencil. I mostly use cheap brands but always check if they look good.
The marker brands I use are Copic, spectrum noir and winser&newton brushmarker. The colored pencils I use are cheap non brand ones from the super market.

Out of all your artwork, which is your favorite piece?
Oh, that’s dificult. I like everything I make and I draw a lot. But if I have to choose I think I’ll go with this one.

My Story by Nekkohime

You told us you sell your work on conventions. What conventions can your fans find you? And what products do you sell there?
The next convention were I’ll be selling, will be animecon in The Hague!
I’ll be selling: straps (anime, movie, kpop), bookmarks (anime, movie, kpop), prints (anime, kpop), bags (anime, kpop),shirts (anime, kpop),notebooks (anime, kpop) and I’ll be accepting commissions as well c:

Any advice you have for aspiring artists?
Just keep drawing! You won’t suddenly become amazing at drawing overnight. Keep practicing and you’ll improve! But remember, keep it fun! Having fun is the most important thing!

If you’re inspired by her words, interested in her other artwork, or wish to contact Esther, please click on one of the following links:







Next up is the great Lina Casteleyn. Lina is from East-Flanders in Belgium. Lina is known as LinaXxXHayabusa on Deviantart. Her DA name comes from her first ever created OC. Lina is currently focused on perfecting her Shounen art style, which is a style most famously used in Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. She hopes to go to the Seinen side of anime, which is a style more suitable for the adult public, and often has a lot of fighting, action and drama. Lina focuses a lot on the hair and eyes of the characters she draws, as she focuses a lot on those two things in real life as well. She wants people to admire the beauty of those two small things.

We contacted Lina for an interview, and despite her busy life, she made time for this interview!

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Lina Casteleyn. I’m a 24-year old Flemish girl with a passion that I wish to make into my profession one day. Drawing is what I love, like so many others beside myself. However, I am determined enough to make it work.

I don’t come from a wealthy family, so in order to get the desired education I need to make this dream a reality, I worked hard so that I could pay for my education myself.

Right now I am studying in the Belgian capital Brussels, and I’ve seen some major improvements on myself as an artist, despite it being my first year.

When did you start drawing / When did you realize how much you love to draw?

Like most people, I started drawing back when I was still a toddler. I went to art school when I was young, and stopped when I was 10. After that I paid no attention to these talents, until my grandfather passed away. The only way I could manage his death was through doodling, he was the one who taught me nearly anything  I know about drawing in general. That’s when I found my love for art again. I was 16 when that happened. Ever since then, I started drawing the anime I liked, be it fanart or original characters of my own.

Are there any artists, Dutch or Foreign, that you get inspiration from? Who are they and why/how do they inspire you?

One of the artists I greatly admire and look up to is Hoshino Katsura, the creator of D.Gray-man. Despite her illness, she keeps going on with her life’s work. She loves it, then again, what artist wouldn’t like it if they got the praise they worked hard for and deserve?

From your own art, which is your favorite piece? Why is this piece your favorite?

My favorite piece of my own art is without a doubt ‘Tranquility’. It might not seem like much when you look at it, lots of anatomy mistakes and errors in countless things. But to me, it was the biggest leap of art I ever had. It was the drawing that showed me that if I tried hard enough, I could make anything I want. After that realization, all of my other drawings started to improve to a whole new level, always learning new methods and options.

Did you go to an art school to improve your skills?

Like I said before, I went to artschool as a child. I barely remember anything about it. Right now though, I’m in College, learning how to animate the drawings that I love so much. Teachers are often telling me not to draw ‘anime’. It’s not ‘Belgian’. But that’s like saying that I should stop drawing what I love. At the end of the school year now, they finally accepted the fact that I won’t be drawing anything but what I love.

Any advice you have for new artists out there?

My advice for all the artists out there is to find a reason for why you draw. Reasons are the best motivation. Be it because you want to prove something, make other people aware of a certain topic you find important, whatever. There are countless reasons to pick out.

But most importantly, you draw for ‘you’ and ‘you’ alone. Don’t draw to try to impress someone else but yourself. People have the tendency to see what is at fault, no matter how good you are. People want perfection whilst perfection doesn’t exist.

I’ll describe my own reasoning with this; ‘What is art if not the desire to make real that which exists in the imagination?

If you’re inspired by her words, interested in her other artwork, or wish to contact Lina, please click on the following link:



The fourth artist we will talk about is Marlon Teunissen, from Limburg. Marlon draws Manga style, and is especially inspired by Japanese Manga styles used in the 80’s-90’s, and by video game concept art. Marlon is the creator of the Dutch manga Heartlandstories: Robocity, which was published last year and will be printed a second time. Marlon also sells her work on conventions, and has a lot of different merchandise for you to choose from.

We contacted Marlon for an interview, and she was happy to answer our questions!

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Marlon Teunissen, also known as Deamchaserart, and I am a professional Dutch manga artist and illustrator from Limburg, who has created the comic series Heartlandstories, of which the first book “Robocity” has been published in the Netherlands recently. Aside from making comics, I also draw many illustrations for merchandise and books.

Do you know or like any other Dutch artists that draw in a similar style to yours? Tell us a bit about them. Why does their style appeal to you so much?

Manga has been a popular style for many years so more and more young artists from the Netherlands have been inspired by that style. One of the dutch artists that I like is named Loish. While not necessarily manga, I do like her style because of her colouring technique and it reminds me a little of the concept art for some Japanese videogames that I really like.

From your own art, which is your favorite piece? Why is this piece your favorite?

This is a very difficult question because I never have just one favourite piece, and I always want to try and improve to create even better pieces because once I finished a drawing, no matter how good it is, I always feel like I could do better afterwards. But one of my more recent drawings that I like is “Jellyfishgirl” I love the colour blue and I am happy with how the jellyfish and lighting came out. And it is a popular drawing as a print at conventions.

jellyfishgirl - marlon teunissen

How did you improve your drawing skills over the years? Is there anything specific that helped you get this good?

It might be a bit of a cliché but all that I can really say is that I practiced every single day for years and I’ve tried out many different drawing materials and coloring techniques to see what works best for me. I also have observed many artists throughout the years and tried to learn as much as I could from their artworks.

Could you give our readers a short description of your drawing process?

When I create a digital illustration, I work as follows:

I always start of by creating a rough sketch by pencil. Then I scan it into my computer and create the lineart in Paint tool SAI. After that I put in the flat/base coloring in Photoshop after which I then move over to Corel painter to completely color the drawing, and then finally move back to Photoshop for the finishing touches and to finish up the drawing. So I tend to switch between many different programs when I work on a digital drawing.

Do you have any advice for new artists out there?

If drawing makes you happy, try not to care too much about what others think but keep on doing it. Practice as much as you can, and never stop learning because there are always new things to learn in this field.

If you’re inspired by her words, interested in her other artwork, or wish to contact Marlon, please click on the following links:




And last, but definitely not least, we spoke to Chantal Visser. You may have read about her or her webshop before in our article about Osharecon. Chantal is from Alkmaar, in North Holland. Her art is inspired by Manga, anime and anything ‘kawaii’. You will find many Shoujo style in her art, but she tries to incorporate some tougher styles into her work as well, because she enjoys adventure manga too. Chantal mainly draws digitally with Manga Studio 5.

Chantal’s known for her webshop EnChantalled, and sells many types of manga merchandise, such as shirts, wallets, bags, keychains and many more.

We contacted Chantal for the interview, and she was interested in our article!

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, my name is Chantal Visser and I create manga and kawaii illustrations. These illustrations are then professionally printed on women´s, children´s and baby-shirts and other accessories like bags, mobile-phone cases and lots more. You can buy these wonderful items in my webshop at I live in Holland with my wonderful boyfriend, two adorable bunnies and one very sweet cat.

What do you enjoy the most about drawing or making any form of art?

Simply creating it. Creating anything really makes me happy, especially if I create something for someone else.

Do you ever get frustrated with a piece you’re working on, or do you ever feel dissatisfied with a finished piece? What do you do to help yourself deal with those feelings of frustration or disappointment?

Absolutely. Usually I take a break from making illustrations. I simply put it away for an hour or even a day, just to get it out of my system. Most of the time I can get back on it after my break and if not… I’ll just work on something else. In the mean time I put on some happy music, mostly Japanese music, so I can stay in a good mood and keep my spirits up.

From your own art, which is your favorite piece? Why is this piece your favorite?

I actually don’t have a favourite. I like all of my illustrations, especially the ones I put on products to sell. I do have an illustration I think is the most kawaii: Mommy Round Rabbit. I originally came up with the idea for her when I was working on a children’s picture book, but in the end I made several illustrations of her for baby-shirts. I got such great comments and reviews on Mommy Round Rabbit I now also have women’s shirts with her on them.

mama rond konijn op shirts_EnChantalled

Is there anything our readers can look forward to in the future, regarding your work? Do you have plans for your own Manga, or is there something else that you’re working on that they should keep an eye out for?

I’m still expanding my web shop with new manga- and kawaii illustrations and products but I’m also working on two different projects:

The first one is a manga titled: Boronda. It is written by Maria Joanne Wolf and we are working together on transforming her first book of Boronda into a nice, thick, fantasy adventure Manga. We really have our hands full on this one and we will for some foreseeable time. I think we will be able to publish in 2018 but in the mean time you can look on my website and read what the story is about.

The other project is a series of children’s books about a little elf for which I’m creating the Manga style illustrations. The first two books will be released this September.

Any advice you have for new artists out there?

Keep drawing and keep enjoying it! Even if you turn it into your profession.

If you’re inspired by her words, interested in her other artwork, or wish to contact Chantal, please click on the following links:







Free art tips

As you can see, all these wonderful artists draw in a manga or anime style, yet all of their results are completely different. Their talent and hard work makes these amazing pieces possible, and I’m sure if you wish you draw like this, and you practice hard, you can make your own amazing artwork.

Many thanks to all of the wonderful artists who took time our of their busy schedules to talk to us about their artwork, workprocess and experiences.

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