Learn Manga With Misako

Learn Manga With Misako

I recently caught up with Misako Rocks! to chat about her newest release, How to Draw Kawaii Manga Characters, which came out from Quarto Kids in April 2024.

Misako has been teaching kids to draw manga and anime for at least ten years. During the pandemic, she started Learn Manga with Misako, her online school to teach manga drawing to elementary school students.

learn manga with misako online classes for kids

I was curious to find out why she's just as passionate about teaching kids as she is about writing and drawing her own stories. As it turns out, she had a lot of interesting things to say about that!

From the perspective of your students, why do you think they're interested in learning how to draw manga with you?

[MISAKO] They already had an interest in drawing manga, but also, the thing is, they like drawing manga with me. I have realized that it’s like we are creating “Misako time” together. It's kind of like art therapy.

That's a really interesting point.

The kids need some kind of place where they can feel safe, they can laugh at stupid stuff, they can release frustration and of course create fun art. I think it really helps them to feel positive and even make mistakes. I just make them draw, I don't let them think so much, and that kind of helps them break away from their perfectionist habits. So yeah, I think that's why.

child learning manga drawing with misako rocks

Wow, that's really cool to hear. But is it possible for you to capture that experience that the kids have with you in real time in your books? How do you do that?

So yeah, the books are just paper, not a direct interactive experience with me. But if they want to listen to my story, they can just scan the QR codes in the books and go to YouTube. When I'm teaching, I'm talking a lot. So in a way, yeah, they feel like they can take my lesson live with me.

I love that.

I feel like I can be their “aunt from another family.” So they can feel relaxed and just talk to me about everything. Sometimes when I ask just one question, like, “What did you do after you finished lunch at school today?” twenty of them start talking right away.

You must be doing something right, because so many parents complain that when they say to their kids, “How was your day at school?,” the kids say, “Fine.” And nothing else. [laughing]

Maybe part of what makes you a popular teacher is that you just listen to them without judgment.

Yes. Yes, without judgment. Sometimes I have extra sessions, besides lessons, and I ask them more questions to help me with writing the Bounce Back books. For instance, I might say to them, “Hey, if you have a fight with your friend, how do you make up with each other afterwards?” That kind of stuff.

And they tell me really detailed stories. Maybe ten kids are there, trying to help me understand their lives. But the good thing is that I feel like they end up helping each other as much as me.

They help each other feel better about themselves by sharing their experiences. It’s so great to see this happening because they all live in completely different states, some of them live in different countries like Canada. But they are trying to give advice to each other. It’s such a good feeling. So that’s why I want to keep doing this.

Yay! I hope you keep teaching kids, too. 

Check Out Misako's New Book!

How to Draw Kawaii Manga Characters by Misako Rocks is available now! The next book, How to Draw Manga Fashion, releases in June 2024.

Learn Manga With Misako

Learn Manga With Misako

Learn Manga With Misako

You can find Misako at www.misakorocks.com and learnmangawithmisako.com. Connect with her on social media at www.instagram.com/misakorocks and
www.twitter.com/misakorocks.