22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Inga Steinmetz

Portrait Inga Steinmetz
© Hartwig Klappert

Inga Steinmetz was born in 1983 in East Berlin, where she also grew up. Inspired by her father’s vast collection of comics, she began drawing as a child. The decisive impulse for her becoming a manga artist emanated from a television broadcast of the Japanese cartoon series, »Sailor Moon«. Inga Steinmetz studied at the University of art & design btk and also attended a private school for design in Cape Town.

Inga Steinmetz draws by hand with traditional methods while using pen and ink; after scanning, the screen tones are added using a computer. With color illustrations she uses mostly watercolors and colored markers. Her mangas have an overt pictorial language that is rooted in the tradition of Japanese mangas for girls and young women; the faces of her figures are particularly expressive. In 2006 Steinmetz published the educational manga »First Love – Safety First«. She subsequently was commissioned to draw »Freche Mädchen« (tr. Cheeky girls) – Bianka Minte-König’s series of books for young people – as manga. The three successful volumes, titled »Freche Mädchen – Freche Manga« (2008 ff.), intended for girls ten years of age and up, are about first love, friendship, school, parties and typical teenage problems. They were translated into several languages. Manga also has fantastical elements, such as in »Hexerei und süße Träume« (2008; tr. Sorcery and sweet dreams). In 2010 Inga Steinmetz published her version of »Brüderchen und Schwesterchen« (tr. Brother and sister) in »Grimms Manga Sonderband« (2010), a volume of Grimm interpretations by various artists. Her two-volume »Alpha Girl« (2012 f.) is her first extensive project conceived exclusively by her and recounts a swashbuckler adventure in 18th-century France. As a result of her two-month stay in South Korea in 2013, made possible by a grant from the South Korean comics institute Komakon, Steinmetz published an autobiographical graphic novel titled »Schneeballens Fall« (2015; tr. Snowball’s fall), about an industrious comic artist from Berlin. Her latest publication, »Schneeballen – Verliebt in Japan« (2017; tr. Snowball – in love with Japan) is a continuation of this story: Snowball receives a marriage proposal and the offer to take a trip to Japan.

Inga Steinmetz has taken part in several competitions. Her story »Blau« (tr. Blue) was chosen as one of the top six in the Dōjinshi competition at Connichi 2004 and was then published as a comic in »Shinkan Special«; in 2013 she was a finalist in the international competition for Mangaka, hosted by the Japanese publishing house North Star Pictures, in which the theme was »Ein Manga-Liebesbrief« (tr. A manga love letter). She also works as an illustrator of children’s books, teaches the art of comics to children and adolescents in Berlin, and gives workshops and speeches on manga for the Goethe Institut in Sweden, Indonesia and Malaysia. She lives in Berlin.