So wow I guess I've been here for ten years now. Which is pretty incredible since this website acts as a basic timeline of my improvement and interests.
I figure I should talk a bit about my time here! I actually started over at an oekaki called Neoartists, which was originally a board for Neopets. I wasn't really into Neopets but my cousin had been a long time member of the website and had shown it to me during one of her stays here at my house. I was absolutely intrigued because YOU CAN DRAW DIGITALLY??!? and the artists on there were absolutely incredible.
I, however, was pretty mediocre hahaha. But that's where we all start I guess!
Here's some of my really old oekaki artwork dating back to 2004!
This was of course before I got a tablet, so these were drawn by mouse! I believe it was in 2005 where I got my first tablet and improved by quite a bit!
I spent a bit of time emulating other artists' styles trying to find something to call my own.
Eventually, I started doing work like this!
Around this time, the oekaki board started dying down, and I ventured into working mostly in pencil and occasionally dabbling in Photoshop Elements, as it was the only version of Photoshop I was able to get my hands on! I also drew a few things on Avatar Spirit Oekaki, just trying to find a new oekaki board to call home.
Here's a few pieces from high school
I was graduating high school in 2009. And I had known from the start that I wanted to be an illustrator. So I applied to the American Academy of Art, showed them these pieces, and they accepted me. I was absolutely ecstatic! I knew that I wanted my focus to be in digital art, so between graduation and the start of my first semester of college, I wanted to get a better handle on using an actual art program instead of an oekaki website. Since I was still lacking in a decent art program, my only tool was still Photoshop Elements, which if you've used before you would know is very limited in terms of digital painting. I worked very hard on these pieces during this time, and even though they're very outdated I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I see them.
My first year of college was focused mainly on learning the fundamentals of art, in both theory and medium. I got to experiment a lot with acrylic and ink, and was able to improve my figures a lot with the help of the life drawing courses. This reminds that I really really miss life drawing!
It was during my time at the Academy when I rediscovered my love of fandom. In this particular case, the Thor and Marvel fandom [my previous fandoms included Inuyasha and Kingdom Hearts, which can tell you how long it was since I participated in any sort of fandom lmao]. You can thank tumblr for this newfound obsession of mine. It sparked a new form of creativity that has definitely helped me develop a style I think I can finally call my own.
I was also so stressed about making everything perfect and neat that this new style helped me simplify my figures a lot while also taking time to do more dynamic poses and facial expressions. It was also this time where I discovered that realistic art probably wasn't for me as I struggled a lot with this piece
For the rest of my stay at the Academy, I was completely engrossed in working digitally using Paint Tool Sai and a slightly outdated version of Photoshop. I was able to focus on composition and the subject manner of my illustrations. It was also at this point where I started becoming comfortable actually calling my work "illustration" and myself an "artist".
So where am I now?
It's times like this where I feel proud of how far I've come in the past ten years. Of course that isn't to say that I don't feel self conscious about my work, because let's be real, even the best of artists here on dA have days where they think their artwork is shit. But I think the best part about being here on this website for ten years and constantly uploading artwork is that, whenever you're having a bad day, you can look back through your gallery and see just how much you've improved.
My self portraits, eight years apart.
I still have a very long way to go with my artwork, but today? Today I'm feeling alright.
And that's my deviantArt story.