Svetlana Chmakova

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you run workshops?
A: Yes, depending on my work schedule. I usually do workshops as courtesy to the conventions that bring me in as a guest, so you can contact your favourite con and request that they invite me. Outside of conventions, I can be booked for workshops by your local library or school — just contact them to say you are interested in attending and point them to my About page!

Q: Will you be at ______Con so I can get my books signed?
A: My con presence depends on two things — my work schedule (7 days a week!) and whether the con in question invited me. I am a working artist which means I don't have a lot of time or money that I can spend on trips. :( If you would like me to appear at your favourite con, please write to them and request that they invite me! If they do so and I am able to take the time off work (a con trip is usually 5 days with the travel… yikes!), I will happily attend. :3

Q: Will there be more Awkward?
A: YES! It's not called "Awkward volume 2". It's called Brave and it's about other students at Berrybrook Middle School. (Go Wiener Dogs!) Don't worry, you'll see more of our fiends from Awkward too...even Mr. Raccoon! It's due out in December 2016, so I'm very busy working on that right now. I barely have time to leave the house...unless it's for sushi.

Q: Will there be more Nightschool?
A: Hopefully. There are more stories to tell in that world. Maybe someday you'll be able to read a "Nightschool volume 5".

Q: Will there be more Dramacon?
A: Sorry, but there is no Dramacon volume 4. It is extremely unlikely it will ever happen because Tokyopop has a tight grip on the rights and is not currently publishing new titles.

Q: What's it like to be a professional comics/manga author?
A: It's kind of like high school and college art/creative writing projects without the teacher but with a billion times the deadlines and the amount of work. And you even get paid for it sometimes!

Q: How does one become a professional comics/manga author?
A: This is a long and involved topic and I am hoping to write a few in-depth essays on this in the future. The short answer for now — become good at drawing and writing, get your work out there (established webcomics communities, submissions to contests, etc.), be ready to face a lot of rejection, and be ready to work even harder when you land your first job.
Also, please read Dave Roman's absolutely excellent Guide to Being a Freelancer. (It's mostly for artists, but is very applicable to aspiring manga authors too.) It's a treasure mine of Very Good Advice.

Q: I wrote to you like, months ago, and still haven't heard back.
A: Sorry! ;___; Please understand that I get a lot of mail, so I can't always reply right away. Here are some common reasons for lack of a reply:
• I'm swamped with work and trying to meet a deadline
• you just sent it and I haven't seen it yet
• you sent physical mail to Yen Press and they haven't forwarded it to me yet
• your e-mail didn't get to me
• my e-mail didn't get to you
• your e-mail got buried and/or accidentally deleted with spam
• I left your e-mail to reply to later and then forgot to do so >.>
I do always try to write back, especially if you are asking a question. I always read every letter I get (even spam XD) as it often adds a much-needed ray of sunshine to my day. <:) If you wrote to me and really need to hear back but still haven't after a week or so, please try writing again. XD

Q: Can I ask you some questions or interview you for a school project?
A: It's an honor that you'd consider me as a subject for your school project, but I often don't have a lot of free time to answer questions, especially when I'm trying to finish the next book by a deadline. You can ask, but please don't be disappointed if I don't get back to you right away (see the above question) or don't have the time to answer questions.

Q: Do you do requests?
A: Not anymore, sorry ^___^; I barely have time to complete paying work on time, so haven't been able to do favours like that in a looooooong time....

Q: Do you do commissions?
A: I'm not taking any at the moment — the last people had to wait a year before I managed to get around to their requests! Some are still waiting. >.> No one deserves that...

Q: I really like your "_____" picture, may I put it on my website/use it as my RP avatar/stick it on my wall?
A: I don't mind people using my pictures for role-playing or displaying them on their site, etc, under following conditions:
• No hotlinking/linking to the image on my server for your own uses. That's bandwidth theft!
• No making profit off my images in any way — they're not yours! ^___^;;
• Please remember to credit me as the picture's creator and provide a link back to my site.
• Once you decide which images you'd like to use, please e-mail me their names, to which purpose they will be used and on what site. You don't have to wait for a reply from me. I will only be contacting you if I see a problem with the way you are using my stuff.

Q: Where is Mr. Raccoon hidden?
A: You'll have to find him yourself. He can be found in Dramacon volumes 1-3, Nightschool volume 1, Awkward, and Brave. My niece confirmed that he has 24 appearances in Awkward, mostly in the Art Club room. His story throughout these books can be found in his coloring book, The Art Adventures of Mr. Raccoon.

Q: How can I ask a question not listed here?
A: I work so much that it is notoriously difficult to get a hold of me both online and in real life. I'm like that rare Pokémon that they didn't even make a movie about yet. However, if you have questions that you'd like included in this section, contact me.

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