I will continue talking about how I got my visual and digital art skills to be where they are today, starting from where My Art Journey Part 1 left off.
In Part 1, I talked about how Anime has been a huge influence on me as an artist. As I continued watching anime through middle school, I discovered more opportunities to practice my craft. The next major turning point for me was when I got a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet for my birthday. This simple digital tablet, pen, and mouse allowed me to start familiarizing myself with digital art and photo-editing. Once I got the hang of drawing with it, my tablet allowed me to create fully composed pieces in the fraction of the time it would take me to create them traditionally.
Some early experimentation in Photoshop
A Photoshop license was included with the tablet when I bought it, so I naturally began to experiment with the different capabilities and functions of Photoshop. Using my Bamboo got almost easier than drawing on paper! I learned the importance of using layers to compose digital pieces and got to do very detailed and precise photo edits thanks to the pen. I also learned how to upload sketches in order to use as a framework for a digital portrait or composition. I practiced doing portraits of different avatars on the website Gaiaonline, which really helped me gain experience with using my tablet. I drew in a cutesy chibi anime style back then.
I posted most of the art I did for Gaia on my DeviantArt page under the name LilPocky
When I got to high school, I started taking art classes starting in my Sophomore year (because I was in band, scheduling didnt allow me to take art my first year). There I learned some very important components of art, such as the rule of thirds, color theory, and the elements of art and design. I also learned various drawing and painting techniques. I got to explore all kinds of different media from charcoal and colored pencil drawings to watercolor to melted crayon. We did a lot of still life drawings and were encouraged to try not to draw from pictures. When I got to Art 3 in my senior year, we were assigned Artist specific studies in order to help us properly develop a sketchbook and find inspiration. Some of my inspirations were Keith Haring, Minjae Lee (Greno), Georgia O’Keeffe. I took a liking to oil paints and pastels because of how easy it was to blend colors and keep the image vibrant at the same time. I also decided to take an AP Art History class in order to get educated on the artists of old and new.
Outside of school, band, and dance class, my favorite thing to do would be exploring acrylic painting and doing collages. I would use my mom’s old acrylic paints that I had scrounged up from the basement and old magazines from the garage for the collages. I would say color is the driving factor in the majority of my pieces. I had a lot of fun exploring where my creativity would take make!
I would like to encourage anyone who has an interest in art to try it out! The more you practice something, the better it gets, so don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t turn out “how you liked”. Go with the flow, learn from your experiences, and build on them to improve your skills.
In Part 3 I will talk about my art journey through college and to the present. Stay tuned for more art and culture related content!
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