Developing an imagination and drawing techniques to tell a story in a single picture

Cartoon art has the power of communicating narrative and humor in a single image.With enough artistic ability and an abundant imagination, you can express your unique view of the world in just one frame.The foundation for the course is the first-year “500 croquis drawing” zoo activity done over the summer holidays.This intensive drawing experience helps students dramatically elevate their observational skills and ability to portray subjects with precision.In addition, through classes such as caricature, students develop a critical perspective and the ability to capture the zeitgeist through drawing.Students also develop a sense of humor in their work.From their third year onward, students are divided into three classes—cartoon art, picture books, and art—to study their chosen fields in more depth.Our graduates go on to flourish in a range of pursuits, including satirical cartoons, picture books, games, advertising, animation, and more, building on the creativity and expressive techniques they hone at Kyoto Seika. 

Subject Highlights

  • A traditional art class to hone basic drawing and painting skills where students conduct 500 croquis drawings.

    [Techniques in Painting 1 / Year 1]
    The flagship class of the Cartoon Art Course.During their summer vacation, students are expected to complete at least 500 croquis drawings.By drawing numerous sketches of animals at the zoo and of people coming and going at a train station, students hone their observational skills and ability to draw with precision.The more students work, the more their drawing skills improve. Many students notice marked improvements to their drawing abilities from before and after the summer holidays.

  • Learning the techniques of satirical cartoons and creating a short picture book.

    [Caricature 2M / Year 2]
    Students learn about caricatures (satirical cartoons)—which are different than simple portraiture—with an emphasis on expressive techniques.In class, students harness their unique sensibilities to create satirical images that capture the features and traits of real people and newsworthy events.The class culminates with students creating a picture book of about four pages.

What You Will Study

  1. 1STYEAR

    Learning the fundamental production process and strengthening their drawing skills

    Students develop their artistic skills through completing a series of sketches and croquis drawings, focusing on hand-drawing with pen and paper.They hone their drawing skills and observation abilities, which serve as the foundation of their creative process.

  2. 2NDYEAR

    Becoming familiar with different materials and techniques

    Students are exposed to a wide variety of materials and techniques to expand their artistic abilities while learning basic cartoon drawing concepts and developing their sense of humor.

  3. 3RDYEAR

    Pursuing expressive techniques in three different classes

    Students are divided into three classes—cartoon art, picture books, and art—where they work on different projects.Students can also study animation and games through elective courses cross-listed with the Faculty of Manga.

  4. 4THYEAR

    Establishing a unique style

    Students work on their graduation projects to establish their individual styles of expression.They also take steps towards working as professional picture book artists and illustrators by submitting their work to competitions and public exhibitions.

What You Will Learn

  • Drawing skills as the foundation for pictorial expression
  • A keen insight into society and the times
  • The ability to construct and express a unique worldview

Student Works


A studio in the Taiho-kan.Each year has its own classroom where students have dedicated desks to do work.


  • The Cartoon Gallery displays student works as well as manga created by professional artists.


Armed with formidable drawing skills that enable them to quickly and accurately capture a subject, many of our graduates go on to work as successful manga and picture book artists.In addition, some graduates leverage their powers of artistic expression and sense of humor to work as designers.The skills acquired here can be put to use in any number of fields.

  • Illustrator or artist for picture books and comics
  • Designer whose expressive ability can tell a story
  • Artist with proven drawing skills and expressive ability
  • Animator with seasoned drawing skills


  • YOSHIDA Yukimi Current Student

    My goal is to be a picture book author.{j}I want my work to bring smiles to peoples’ faces.

    Being a picture book author has been a dream of mine since I was very little.When I was in high school, I went to a picture book exhibition and saw books full of charming characters drawn with a variety of materials. It was like love at first sight.When I found out that one of the artists had studied in the Cartoon Art Course, I decided to enroll because I wanted to learn in the same environment.I remember not being able to draw well at all at the croquis drawing activity at the zoo during my first year.It was so frustrating that I went to campus over and over to practice, making use of all the available resources to learn and improve.Gradually, the characters I drew became more animated and real.I realized that in my case, hard work really does produce results.Another helpful class was Dynamic Drawing.In this class, you are given a theme like "running," and you have to express that action with your character while receiving instruction on depicting skeletal and muscle movement.I also keenly remember the Caricature class during my second year, where we drew satirical cartoons based on a theme.In each class session, the professor shared hilarious ideas, and I learned a great deal from my classmates through critiquing and discussing each other’s work.The three years I have spent here so far have been a series of discoveries and surprises in which I encountered ways of thinking that I never could have imagined.In the future, I want to use the expressive skills I have learned here to become a picture book author whose work brings laughter and smiles to the faces of many people.
  • KANG Jun Academic Faculty

    Gaining experience and finding new questions to ask.

    The Cartoon Art Course is unique in that it allows students to do a large amount of drawing and croquis, and during their first year, they are given the traditional assignment of completing 500 croquis drawings at the zoo during summer vacation. Even if you are not confident in your drawing abilities when you first arrive, you shouldn’t worry. If you keep moving your hands, you will gradually learn to draw, little by little. Through repeated practice, you will improve your observational skills and ability to portray subjects, and will acquire the ability to freely depict the world of your imagination. Another thing that sets this course apart is an environment where students learn about all aspects of manga culture, old and new, from around the world, including traditional caricatures and single-panel cartoons. Let your curiosity lead you to a wide variety of works and provide you with nourishment for exploring your own unique creative expression.
    My areas of expertise are culture and representation, ethnography, and cultural anthropology. My work includes fieldwork on hostile architecture, which is often used to deter homeless people, and anthropological examinations of hospitality in today’s society, where people often have few connections with others. The ability to study in an environment that brings together the humanities and the arts is one of the things that makes the Kyoto Seika experience so unique. After coming here, you will be exposed to a variety of subjects that will broaden your horizons. By gaining a broad base of knowledge and experiences, you will find a theme—the question you want to ask through your work—which is the first step in establishing your own unique style.