What’s up Otaku Fam!
I’m back again with another Otaku Highlight! This week we had the chance to catch up the amazingly talented Montarious Benjamin who is the creator and author of “Rage”,which is his own manga series! He is also the Illustrator for “Itera” another original manga series, which is going to be published in Monthly Hype this summer! If you’ve ever had the inspiration or idea to create your very own manga series, this is the go to guy to help you get one step closer to that dream!
Where were you born and raised?
I was born June 12, 1993 and raised in Tifton, Georgia, a small town a few hours south of Atlanta.
What inspired you to get into illustration?
I’ve always had a moderately “geeky” childhood. Watching Toonami was pretty much an after-school ritual for me. During school, my friends and I would sit and geek about anime and videogames as I doodled in my notebook. One day, some classmates noticed me drawing and absolutely flipped out telling me how good it looked. I guess their enthusiasm really inspired me to take my art more seriously.
How long have you been at it?
It sounds so cliche, but I really have been drawing since the first time I picked up a pencil. I started off drawing DBZ and Sonic characters back when I was around 3 or 4. Around middle school, I was introduced to the artwork of Tetsuya Nomura ( video game artist for Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts). His work pushed me to develop my own style.
What equipment do you use and what is your favorite tool out of them?
As of now, I’m more of a traditional artist, using pencils and ink. For colors, I enjoy using watercolors, but lately I’ve been experimenting with alcohol-based medium like Copics and Chameleon markers. Eventually, I’d like to transition to digital.
How long did it take you to get as good as you are and do you feel you still have room to grow?
I’ve been drawing for almost 20 years now and I still get awestruck by other artists’ work who have probably been at it for half as long. It doesn’t discourage me, though. In fact, it drives me to push myself further. I know I have plenty of room for improvement, but I also feel that if your work can connect with others, then you’re already halfway there. Just go for it at a pace you’re comfortable with and the results will show before you know it.
What are you future goals/plans for you and your talents?
Aside, from my own manga, [Rage], that I’m coming up with, I’ve got a joint project in the works with musical producer DeMarco Byrd combining the storytelling elements of a graphic novel with the ambience and immersion of music. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Lastly, for everyone who wants to get in contact with you what is the best way to reach out to you?
For anyone trying to get into contact with me, you can find me on Facebook under Montarious Benjamin. I’m also setting up a FB page and IG account under MystykArt so stay tuned!
Thanks again for featuring me in Otaku Highlights!
For now if you interested in reaching out to Montarious to inquire about possibly creating your own manga, he can be reached here!: https://www.facebook.com/montarious.benjamin