Not all artists are forced to work under such conditions, but I hear about such cases often.
My thoughts (思うこと) is a 2008 Alpha Blogger Awards winning blog by manga artist Mayu Shinjo (新條まゆ): the author reflects on her experience in the manga industry and the difficult relationship between the artist and their editor. Explaining to her readers why she took the decision to quit her job at Shogakukan (小学館), she also tells us about the hardships of the profession and the compromises she had to make:
There is no doubt in my mind that editors and artists should be considered equal. The manga author should think of his or her editor as “the one from whom I receive work” and, conversely, the editor should think of the manga artist as “the one who draws [manga] for us”. This is the feeling that has thus far pushed me to continue with my work.
However, that relationship collapsed when it started being interpreted as “the artist [is someone] who draws if someone tells them to draw” or “the artist draws manga on demand”. A situation in which [a manga artist], over a period of six months, produces 120 pages every month, without even being able to go out [to buy food] at the convenience store, sleeping an average of 3 hours per night — this is not normal.
I’m not saying that they should thank me. Because they should feel thankful on their own, without being told to feel that way. And it is when you start feeling that the relationship has been spoiled that it starts getting stressful.
Is it really necessary to tolerate all this and not do what you would like to do? Do I have to release a new work even when I don’t have any new ideas, or when it puts me in a state of anguish?
Source: Global Voices