I swear I get inspired to write by the strangest things: my own brother, for one. He has his stories, his writings. I dabble a bit in the art of literature, but my forte is drawing. Talent for art runs in my family on both sides, for both drawing and writing. A wooden pencil feels as natural to me as having a fifth finger; I feel like I was born to hold it and make squiggly strokes that in the end somehow all make sense and create a beautiful ending. I also like to paint, mainly in acrylic because oils take too long to dry and are harder to clean up after. I've done very basic things on canvas, which is why I turned to digital art for the ease of fooling with the traditional tools.
Even so, I feel more fulfilled when working with something more tangible. I love working with graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil for dry media. I prefer markers as my main wet media with the occasional novice acrylic painting. I enjoy every second of it as I give my rendering a life and my love. I always love my art, even when I say I hate it. I never throw away anything. Even if I scribble over it so much that the original sketch is unrecognizable I never tear out the page and crumble it up or rip it to pieces. To kill a drawing like that kills a little bit of me inside.
I always wanted to be recognized for my talent, mainly from my mother. I would always proudly show her my then-crowning achievements but never got a satisfactory answer. "Oh, that's nice, honey!" I could always rely on my grandmother for better responses because she always mentioned something that stuck out. "I like how you did those eyes!" or "Her face looks so emotive", something like that. It helped to know that my Grandpa's sister was/is also a painter. She worked in watercolors and oils.
Still, what mattered most was what Mommy said about my drawings. Even when I heavily got into anime and mimicing the style in a quest to improve myself, I wanted her to only say what she liked about it. I yearned for honest-to-goodness critique. I wanted to improve so badly so I could create beautiful things like the other artists I admired. My favorite "classic" painter is Van Gogh. Many don't like his works, but I like being able to see the brush bristles in his strokes and the dream-like quality. It honestly touches my heart. I blame the fact I'm an optimist and romantic.
At 12 years old I finally got some animal and figure drawing books. I've kept them all this time because they're chock FULL of useful reference and repeating trends in the basic forms of both animals and humans. There's comparisons galore, making it seem like there's a full semester or two's worth of art classes in there. They're thin books, too. When I actually took drawing classes for college I found an even better method, which I was afraid to try for the longest time: drawing from life. going out and sitting down in a comfy spot and just draw what you see in front of you. Map out the proportions and positions, whether it's a person or a landscape. Silly me, for years I convinced myself that one had to be actually good in order to do that.
Speaking of ability, people always tell me how good I am. I always think to myself, "Are they blind or are they just stupid? Look at this arm, I know something is off with the muscle and the crease! My style still looks too animu to be considered for publishing in the States, and have these idiots SEEN others' works?! I pale in comparison."
Yup, that's pretty much it. I always say thank you and at times honestly appreciate the compliment, especially when I'm moody. I tried surrounding myself with other artists that understand what I go through, and they do to a tee. Tai and Wingus do, and they're still miles ahead of me. Wingus' style is rather blocky, but his poses are so free-flowing. He can create movement so easily, which I have a tough time with. Tai takes her time and has a much better grasp of anatomy than I do by far. Even Shiro. She always discourages herself, but that kinda reverse-psychology seems to work best for her.
So why am I not being motivated to move forward faster? Why am I content to just sit back and watch them grow while I stay put? Makes me wonder if a maternal instinct gets in the way. That's the only other explanation I can give for now. I'm proud of my loved ones. I'm especially proud of Lesti, who worked hard and practiced enough times to get to her current skill-level. I may not have known her for that long, but I know through her effortless doodling she made countless mistakes to be able to go off a perfect silhouette and work her way in with no undersketch. Occasionally she makes a few mistakes still, but better to overestimate than underestimate. She also says she has no talent, but I disagree. She has a good eye, as do Shiro, Wingus, and Tai.
I always downsize my abilities, even though I'm perfectly capable of recreating the perfect texture. Speaking of which, my Drawing 1 second project in which we had to recreate at least 3 different textures in charcoal is the only charcoal drawing that I consider to be one of my very best thus far. I was able to render fuzzy yet wonderful soft plush, velvet, tight embroidery, fluffy stringe cotton, and rougher felt all in layering and erasing at charcoal. It really is a versatile medium, and I love getting messy with it. I've posted it on dA and it got no love. No love from anyone else but me. Not even a fav.
It's a closeup of my Kirara plushie that I used, on an area where the head, body, and tails all meet because that's where all the textures are in view. I wondered if anyone could see how soft she felt in all her fuzzy and fluffy glory. I admit the values are a little awkward, but the lighting each day I worked on it was never the same.
Moving on, my art style. It's something between western comics, ElfQuest, and anime. I can't stand to do the super-small pointed noses anymore unless I was drawing a child. 80s style was slightly more realistic, and ElfQuest is heavily influenced by anime as well. I guess you could call it "simple realistic", because I can't do actual realism from memory; I have to be in front of someone or something to do realism. I have basic face, eye, and nose shapes I vary from person to person, because that is the head's focus, that triangle of parts. Varying lips are a little harder, but lately I've found it easier thanks to doodling and commenting so much on Tegaki-E.
I know I've improved a great deal thanks to that, and right now I'm a point where I'm mostly very satisfied with myself. I know in a year or two I'll look back on all those and stick out my tongue at the horridness, so yes I am very content to sit back and go at my own pace while I proudly watch my friends surpass my skills sooner than I could ever imagine.
One last thought. I was always disappointed that Mommy stopped drawing. She's used her innate creativity for other things, but she used to draw and even do small jewelry crafts when I was younger. And even though she hadn't drawn for years I always watched amazed as she called up her skill out of nowhere and drew as if she never stopped in the first place. I love she can always use her skill whenever she wishes, and it pains me to know she doesn't anymore. She has the ability to create wonderful and beautiful things, but like me she denies it a lot.
Aaaaaand I just brain-farted. Goin' to bed, y'all, see you later XD