Recommended tools

I wanted to collect into one place the software, hardware, tools, and materials that I can wholeheartedly recommend to you. I use these or have used these services, tools, and software for years and have seen them as crucial for my art creations. I hope these tools help you and that you can also start creating your own anime and manga drawings.

The following list has some pretty expensive equipment, but the way I see things is that these are investments. Investment does not go to waste, and when you get one that is considered one of the best in the market, you are buying for years, not for months. I spend money, but also make sure that it’s money well spent and that the product is a long-lasting one.

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Read the disclosure.

Sale
Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5'...
117 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5"...
  • Most powerful Surface laptop yet, with...
  • Fastest graphics on Surface, powered by...
  • Power when you need it. Up to 15.5 hours...
  • Robust laptop, powerful tablet, and...
  • The connections you need, including...

Hardware

Performance Laptop

This is my current workhorse and one that I’m super happy with. I have in it 32Gb of RAM and the 1Tb SSD. I mean, I need a reliable, fast, efficient laptop. I also want to use it as a tablet and as a drawing tablet, and so there is pretty much only one option, and that is Surface Book 3. I love this beast…and yeah, the tablet detaching thingy is sooooo awesome!

Wacom DTK2420K0 Cintiq Pro 24 Creative...
337 Reviews
Wacom DTK2420K0 Cintiq Pro 24 Creative...
  • Wacom's most natural and advanced pen...
  • 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) is...
  • The Express Key Remote puts 17...
  • The etched glass screen reduces glare...
  • Connect Cintiq Pro 24 to your Mac (OS...
Wacom Ergo Stand, Cintiq Pro 24
145 Reviews
Wacom Ergo Stand, Cintiq Pro 24
  • Only compatible with Cintiq Pro 24...
  • Raise, tilt and rotate your Cintiq Pro...
  • Creates a comfortable, stable surface on...
  • Rotate your Cintiq Pro to draw at a...
  • Easy to adjust throughout the day

Drawing tablet

Wacom Cintiq 24 Pro + Wacom Ergo Stand

I previously had Wacom Cintiq 12WX, but I felt it was somewhat limiting me when it came to creativity. So when it was time to upgrade, I decided to get the best of the best, and that is Wacom Cintiq Pro 24. I have now worked with it a bit more than a year or so and haven’t been happier with the purchase. I mean, this “tablet” is a beast. It has a superb screen to look at, but it also has the drawing feel to it—that paper-like feel and friction. When I got the Cintiq, I also got the Ergo stand, and I have to say it is a must-have tool. You get the exact ergonomic drawing position you can dream of. The screen is big, so you want to maneuver it as easily as possible, and the Ergo stand enables you to do that. And no, I do not have the touch version of this Cintiq.

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Drawing / Art Software

Clip Studio Paint Pro

Clip Studio Paint Pro. I mean, seriously. If you are one who would like to draw anime and manga art, you can’t really get yourself anything other than Clip Studio Paint Pro. The software is designed for anime and manga artists, and you can’t say that from Photoshop. It has a 3D modeling tool, the best of the industry brush engine and brushes. It took my artwork to the next level, and I can’t recommend this art software enough. It’s the one I use daily, and it’s the only one I recommend when it comes to drawing anime and manga.

adobe_photoshop_homepage

Graphic / Art Software

I use Clip Studio Paint to draw anime and manga, but pretty much everything else is done with Adobe Photoshop. If you are a YouTuber, for example, Photoshop is priceless when it comes to modifying drawings, images and creating those thumbnails. Or if you want to do other graphic related work, like your own logo modifications, avatars to social media profiles, or trim your images, then Photoshop is the only one I recommend. I use it daily for graphic related work and have used it for years already.

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera:...
1,232 Reviews
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera:...
  • Next Gen speed: experience the world’s...
  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425...
  • Fast & accurate: up to 11Fps continuous...
  • Multiple movie functions: make time...
  • Tiltable LCD screen: customizable for...

Camera For Youtube

Sony a6400

I think I like high-tech equipment and always tend to get the best in the market. Well, I guess this camera is no different. I searched for quite a while for the best camera for YouTubing and found out that the Sony a6400 is one of the best 4K cameras out there. It has a brilliant autofocus feature, and you can stream the video footage straight to your computer (via Elgato Camlink). I have been extremely happy with my purchase, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this camera to aspiring YouTubers. While it might cost a bit, the way I think is that I don’t have to buy another in 5-10 years. Pretty much the same with Cintiq 24 Pro.

backblaze_screenshot

Cloud Storage

I have been with Backblaze for a few years already and have seen their service as invaluable. I mean, think about it, if your HDD’s (hard disk drives) fail or your computer is stolen or some other tragic event that deletes your access to your files and drawings. I mean, it would be pretty devastating to me, at least. So even though I have external storage, I still want my files to be secured remotely to somewhere, and what a better place than cloud service and one that doesn’t cost you a lot. So for that reason, I recommend Backblaze as a cloud storage solution.

Sale
Western Digital 4TB WD Red Pro NAS...
2,139 Reviews
Western Digital 4TB WD Red Pro NAS...
  • 7200RPM performance class
  • Available in capacities ranging from...
  • Supports up to 300 TB/yr workload rate...
  • Enhanced reliability with 3D Active...
  • Extended drive testing to ensure each...

External Storage

Western Digital or Seagate

As mentioned above, you want your files and drawings to be safe, and for that reason, I have Western Digital HDD’s as a way to locally save my work. I suggest picking up either WD or Seagate branded disks. I’ve experienced them to be reliable. At least none of the drives have failed me before, and I’ve been using WD for years now.