Interview With Creator Sharean Morishita Of New Manga Series Love! Love! Fighting!
Can you give a brief synopsis of Love! Love! Fighting!
It’s a story about a girl that is learning how to find herself and what it is that she wants from life. She gets so caught up in pleasing others or seeking approval from her family that it’s turned into a crutch. It’s hard to learn how to live your life for yourself when you’re so used to living for others.
What do you love most about being a writer? The least?
What I like most is seeing others react to my story and feel what I felt with my story was comforting in a way. Being the youngest of 2 siblings I usually stay to myself. But often times I just felt disconnected from others, so feeling that connection through my stories at a young age really stuck with me.
What I like least is the struggle that I have when I try to portray something but tend to forget that since I already know the story. It’s easy for me to put 2 and 2 together with different events that happen in the story, but for those reading the story they don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe that is where a bit of confusion comes in as they don’t know the story like I know it. Sometimes it can get a little difficult when there’s misunderstandings between myself and my readers but that just means that I have to try harder to learn to be a better storyteller and implement that into my work.
What was the inspiration for for Love! Love! Fighting?
I first made the story for a comic contest in a group on Deviantart called Manga-apps. I chose the topic ‘Beauty is skin deep’ because I was battling with bad postpartum depression after giving birth to my third child. Talking to others about my depression wasn’t helping as I’m not very good with my words, but, I could draw. Since I wasn’t getting the response I was looking for from others, I drew this comic to encourage myself instead. I used this as an outlet so I was sure to pour out some of my own fears, frustration, and confidence issues into my work.
What was the inspiration for your main character Oriana?
For Oriana, she is based on people around me, and fused with my own personal faults and my life aspirations. I wanted to show that she kept a strong outward appearance, but mentally she was battling with things that she kept hidden and is afraid to bring those issues up to others. Mental illness isn’t talked about enough within the black community and I wanted to see how Oriama handles getting through that.
Aesthetically, Oriana doesn’t fit the typical mold you that is the norm comics/manga. Have you found people have been able to relate her character? Or is she met with backlash?
When I first created and shared my story, I did receive backlash because Oriana is a dark-skinned, plus-size woman. I let it get to me in the beginning, so I ended up closing out my old art account. I lost all of the positive, and kind comments that I received from fans as well.
When I restarted the story around 2011-2012 I had to learn not everyone is going to like my work. People are entitled to their own opinion, and that’s all.. I learned that I don’t need their validation or approval to do the type of stories that I want to do. I now focus on the kind and encouraging comments that I see from others. These are the people who believe truly empathetic with Oriana’s struggles. Trying to create a story that I am not personally invested in is not something that I want to do. I want to enjoy what I create because I’m going to spend a lot of time with it.
As the main artist, how did you decide on the particulars of the artwork? How did it help shape your vision?
Since I’m the artist, writer/creator of the comic I didn’t really have to worry about getting to approval of someone else to go ahead with a certain style of my work. That’s the beauty of working alone, you’re in full control 😀
What were some of the difficulties, or, challenges you experienced while creating this comic?
Definitely my own mental battles with art, motivation, and time management. I had 3 children under the age of 1 at that time, and since I was just starting out with my comic, I took to heart the different criticism I received. Right now, I’ve put a clear line between my work and my children’s education. I’m homeschooling them, so a lot of my time goes to that. It took a lot longer to finish my comic and other art work, but I’m grateful for those that have been understanding of my situation.
When I get different comment from people who are upset that I haven’t worked on a new page yet, (regardless of me having left a comment or written a blog post about our current situation), I get upset and stressed. I want my readers to be happy, and relate to my story, but I also want to make sure my children have their education. I just remind myself that their education comes first. School is only a few months out of the year, so I can catch up on work during school break.
Where do you hope to see the success of, Love! Love! Fighting! a year from now?
I hope to have the story finished and up on my bookshelf so that I can look at it and be encouraged that I was able to start something and achieve my goal by finishing it. I’d like to play around with some animated short clips at as well
Can you provide any advice for those looking to write for independent comic book companies or self publishing?
My advice would be to try to keep doing what you love to do because it makes you happy. Not because you feel obligated to do it. Try your best not to get stuck in that vicious cycle of “I’m not good enough to start my story so I need practice first.” Let your work be the practice. Don’t let fear hold you back.
What can fans expect from you in the future?
Hopefully more comics! Right now I really want to finish what I have on my plate. I’d love to start learning animation, but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. So for now just keep expecting more fun and fluffy comics!
**If you want more information and videos about Love! Love! Fighting! Be sure to like S-Morishita studios on Facebook, follow her on Twitter. Also be sure to visit her website S-Morishita Studio and sky-art designs**