Meet the Comic Genius - Nicola Yau

An expert in comic book art and all things Manga, Nicola Yau has been creating and honing her style since childhood. 

Nicola partnered with Spectrum Noir to create original artwork and expert instruction for the Manga and Comic Discovery Kit and Comic Book Heroes Advanced Discovery Kit. 

Artist Profile:

Name: Nicola Yau

Based in: UK

Instagram: @NicolaYauArt

What are your origins in art?

I’ve been interested in art for quite a long time. I used to draw pictures as a child and I think this is something that stuck with me through to adulthood! Though I’ve taken time away from art I always tend go back to it, especially when I get inspiration from something like a video game or comic book and I feel the need to draw once again.

What inspired you to start creating?

I think it stemmed from the things I enjoyed watching or playing as a kid that made me feel like drawing pictures. However, when I got a little older, when I was around 13 maybe, I read a lot of Manga and comics. I would draw comics myself and make them into a little magazine by stapling the pages together for my brothers and sisters to read!

What do you enjoy about the process?

For me art has always been a way of telling a story, whether it’s through making a comic or just designing a character or environment. A picture can say a thousand words as the saying goes! I’ve always been very fond of storytelling and I used to do a LOT of reading and creative writing myself. Sometimes it just feels like there’s something that brews inside of your brain that you want to convey, and art is a really good way to form it.

How long have you worked in this particular style? 

That’s a difficult question. When I was younger, I used to like drawing more of a Manga or cartoon style but as I got older I developed other styles as well, especially when I started getting more serious about art instead of the bits of drawings I would do here or there. Now I think I dabble in quite a lot of different styles and actually really enjoy learning a new style. At times, things I pick up from one style can be merged into another. Experimenting with art is a lot of fun!

What’s your top tip for creating art in your style?

I guess my top tip for using the marker pens to colour would be to work diligently on each section, rather than attempting to colour multiple areas at one time. The inks are best used while still wet for a blended look! As for using the fineliner, don’t push too hard on it, let it glide as much as possible.

What was your aim with your Spectrum Noir Discovery Kits?

The kits were created as a way to help people with learning how to colour with the marker pens and the fineliner, both of which integral to traditional comic book and Manga art. 

It’s a way of learning how to complete your own drawings. I think this is really important as everyone draws differently, and it makes for a great exercise. 

Also, I try to encourage those that use the kits to build on what’s there and draw their own backgrounds or writings in the speech bubbles. 

My goal is to help people who use the kits to become more comfortable with making their own. The Discovery Kit is a little more of an introduction, with a smaller area to work with and the Advanced Discovery Kit is hopefully a little bit more of a push.