The best manga art books that have inspired me as an artist

Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  


I wrote...

Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

By Mina Petrović,

Book cover of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

What is my book about?

This book is an intermediate-level tutorial book on how to draw manga, but with a spin on creating your own fantasy stories, worlds and characters. Guided by a decade of experience from my own manga classroom, I managed to present all the most effective shortcuts to someone who wants to make their own stories, and even inserted games to make the process fun!

This book features all the basic-level lessons, so even if you never drew anything in your life, you can start drawing manga today.

The books I picked & why

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Santa Lilio Sangre Ayami Kojima Artworks Art Book

By Ayami Kojima,

Book cover of Santa Lilio Sangre Ayami Kojima Artworks Art Book

Why this book?

Ayami Kojima has held my heart for as long as I was an artist. Her visual style is something anyone can recognize, and the aftershock of knowing that this artist defined an entire video game industry aesthetic made me love her work even more. I managed to find only pieces of this book online until I was able to finally afford this super rare book filled with her hyper-detailed oil paintings.

Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D

By Yoshitaka Amano,

Book cover of Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D

Why this book?

Speaking of video-game and anime industry pioneers, it would be a complete miss not to mention Yoshitaka Amano, a man whose personal style marked the entire legendary Final Fantasy franchise, after which I was delighted to learn that he also did the original illustrations of my all-time favorite anime "Vampire Hunter D". His imaginative dynamic visuals are as equally beautiful as they are simple, and yet he keeps shocking with his ability to perfectly fuse traditional imagery with sci-fi buildings and details.


All About Clamp Art Book And Manga

By Clamp,

Book cover of All About Clamp Art Book And Manga

Why this book?

A team of four female artists who have redefined the shoujo genre, and created one of the most iconic anime and manga aesthetics to date has been one of my original influences as a young girl. Big eyes, watercolor art, glittery effects, cute and gorgeous characters as well as adorable mascots were the inspiration for the foundations of my art style today. 


Sailor Moon

By Kodansha,

Book cover of Sailor Moon

Why this book?

Nothing will create an impact on my life's work as the original transformation scene from Sailor Moon. This scene inspired me to pursue my fashion schooling, and the pages of this art book are pure inspiration. Watching traditionally drawn dresses and beautiful characters always motivated me to push my creative boundaries and strive for perfection. Revisiting the ways of creating magical light effects and textures by using only watercolors and ink is crucial for any artist, especially one wanting to connect with manga.


The Art of Fullmetal Alchemist

By Hiromu Arakawa,

Book cover of The Art of Fullmetal Alchemist

Why this book?

This is an art book that showcases the masterful craft of an artist who knows how to weave souls into their characters and worlds. Her titles made me laugh, cry, jump up from my seat, and the characters and concepts in the pages of this book make me re-live these moments again and again. She uses a very unusual gouache technique, unlike any other manga artist I know of. The precision and determination in every stroke are stunning, and a book I believe any aspiring artist should have in their library.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in comics, the moon, and vampires?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Moon Hunters: A Thrilling Dystopian Adventure, Garlic and the Vampire, and Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight if you like this list.