Edited for 2012, scroll to bottom of description for comments
Once again, my massive progress meme now on year #12. 2001
- This was when I first started to draw. I was 17. My parents bought me this tablet
for about $40 (so yes, I was fortunate enough to have a tablet right from the beginning- hopefully, if you didn't already believe that a tablet doesn't make you a good artist, this will convince you lol). I went chiefly by what I could glean from anime tutorials I found online (Julie Dillon's How to Draw Manga tutorials, anyone?
), and did much of my shading and highlights with dodge and burn. I also abused Photoshop filters quite a lot.2002
- More anime. Still learning from anime tutorials, still abusing filters. My main subjects for art for these first three years were from a story I was writing, so you'll see some characters recurring in there. I had discovered OpenCanvas at this point, and was using that pretty evenly alongside Photoshop.2003
- This wasn't a very lucrative year artwise. More sporadic art of my story (which never did have a title) and rampant filter usage. EVERY figure had to have a glowy, fuzzy border around it, too. 2004
- This was where things started to change a bit. I created a new character named Nessa and occupied myself with her for a while (she's the one with the black hair). I started trying to imitate things I saw other artists do, and started moving away from trying to imitate the "typical anime" style- although I was still working within the anime spectrum.2005
- If 2003 was a bad year for art, 2005 was even worse. I was going to cosmetology school and working part time and had very little inspiration or desire to draw. Looking through my folders, there was barely enough art to fill all five slots for this year. I was still coming up with new characters, though, even though their stories never went anywhere.2006
- THIS. This was the "boom" year. All sorts of horrid things happened in my life throughout this year, but it ended up being one of my most lucrative years- and I think it was actually because
of those horrid things. This was the year that Amethyst Eyes was born, and it proved to be exactly what I needed to escape certain realities of my life at the time- and I really needed it, desperately. I was moving even further away from traditional anime and into my own stylized way of drawing as my characters developed. Another important change that happened this year: BOYS. I hadn't had much confidence in drawing males before, but the rise of some prominent male characters necessitated some improvement in that area, and they started showing up more often. 2007
- At the time, 2007 seemed really insignificant in my artistic development, but looking back, I made some really big leaps this year. This was when I first started experimenting with a more realistic style, and lineless paintings. I was still cranking out some anime every now and then, but realism (or at least, semi-realism) was starting to take my attention away from that style.2008
- Another slow year. This was the year I moved overseas, and that robbed me of a lot of motivation to draw. Homesickness and resulting depression left me a bit out of commission for this and the following year. I did manage to put out a couple of decent pictures, but I was mostly distracted.2009
- This was a terrible year, too. This was the year I got married, and that distracted me from art for much of the year. Like 2005, there was very little to choose from for this year.2010
- This year sort of made up for the previous two years. I started to pick myself up out of the dark place I'd been in for a while and forced myself to focus extra hard on my art. It really helped improve my mood, and the quality of my art increased exponentially. I'd say this is the year that I finally moved away from anime completely (bar a couple of "just for fun" pieces here and there). I started learning more about technical things such as color theory, perspective and light that I hadn't previously been exposed to- my knowledge on those things was pretty superficial up until that point. I also started playing loads of Hidden object/adventure games, and the amazing art in many of them inspired me to try painting more environments, a change from my mainly character-focused art. Portraits are still my favorite type of painting to do, but I found that as I learned to paint environments, I started to really enjoy doing them, too (not to mention it improved the quality of my portraits as well, since I was attempting more substantial backgrounds).2011
- I tried to really push myself this year, and I think it shows. This year, I worked on two main things- making sure to use references more, and cultivating patience with my work. When I'm working on a painting, I get very impatient to call it complete so I can move on to the next thing, and it often results in the work not reaching its full potential. I haven't always been able to manage it, but I consider pieces like this fav.me/d4i1h0k
this to be milestones in that area. 2012
- This year has been all over the damn place
. I started out the year finishing and publishing my first novel
and promptly sank into the most heinous art block I've ever had in my life soon after. I've been struggling with it all year and have just recently started to find my way out of the woods. Despite this, I think this has actually been one of my most fruitful years- probably because of the extra work (not to mention soul searching) I've been putting in to overcome the block. I don't think I've gotten better
this year so much as my style has changed. I do think my faces have gotten prettier, though. I now also do about 90% of my work in Paint Tool SAI, something I never
would have imagined a year ago! (I used to hate SAI for some reason that I can't exactly remember.) Rather than improving in any specific area, my focus for this year has simply been producing art, any
art- so I guess you could say that this year was a success. But considering that the alternative was giving up on art completely, I'd say that's a pretty big success.
the saga continues...