Ten years ago, I was an art-loving high school student with a passion for anime, manga, and browsing my local comic book store, A1 Comics. They held an annual Halloween art competition, which I entered two times before the store went out of business. The image on the left is an old photo of my first entry for this competition. At that time, I was proud to walk away with first place for the age category I was in! I felt accomplished!
It is now ten years later, the shop is out of business, and I have had time to improve my skill and move into digital mediums. I wanted to see what difference 10 years of hard work and dedication could make to this picture, and I'm glad I did! This fan art has been elevated from a colored pencil sketchbook drawing to a highly detailed digital painting.
I am glad that I decided to move into digital painting. Last year, I devoted my time to teaching myself how to be a better digital painter through hours upon hours of daily practice. I look to other great digital artists, such as Artgerm, Loish, and countless others, for inspiration. Perhaps after another 10 years of hard work I may grow to inspire others through my art in the way that these artists have done for me.
If you have been following me over the past year, you may have noticed that my pace has slowed down a bit. I am also no longer doing the daily spitpaints. This is due to a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I have been trying to address my insomnia issue. Last year, I would work constantly and continuously on my art and website that I would sometimes go days without sleeping. On a fairly regular basis, I would skip nights of sleep to try and put in more hours of work or fit in an overnight cleaning session. Since I don't get paid for what I do, this could be seen as utterly insane, but I had a desire to become great as fast as possible and I was not going to let sleep get in my way. My anxiety would keep me up an nights and force me to keep working to become better. Of course, this behavior is extremely unhealthy, so this year I am making an effort to find a healthier routine.
Secondly, I want to put more effort into beautiful finished artworks that I can be proud to call my own. A bulk of my works from last year were spitpaints, which were great practice and helped me grow my skill, but it still takes me more than 30 minutes to have something feel complete. Sometimes quite a bit longer. Therefore, I want to devote the time I used to use for spitpaintings to instead work on building a better body of work with higher detail. I really want to grow as an artist in substance, rather than quantity alone.
Finally, I have been putting a lot of time, and a bit of fear, into trying to branch out and sell my work. It is a scary leap to open commissions, but one that I am actively working towards. I have prepared a form for those who wish to commission me, which I will soon make public. This is really a big step for me, and I suppose that my fear comes from two places: 1) the fear that nobody will think I'm worth paying for; therefore, leaving me with a sense of failure, and 2) the fear that I will be in over my head -- like that feeling you get on your first day at a new school. But I've always done well in school and I'm sure all I need to do is get my foot in the water to start feeling comfortable in this new territory. Which brings me back to fear number 1... oh boy.
Well, I will do it and prove to myself that it can be done (I hope), but only with the support of my loved ones and admirers. I pray that this step goes as smoothly as possible.
I know that I wrote a lot more than I usually do. Sorry about that. And if you are still reading, thank you very much.
I wish I had a process video for this piece, but I didn't make one. Sorry, but I am currently working on the process video for my Predator fan art, which will be up shortly.