My name is Tony and this is actually my very first post on this forum. I am a artist struggling to excel, and I am in desperate need of guidance. For the past five years I've been trying to break into the tattoo industry. Unfortunately for me (but fortunate for the rest of the population) there are just too many insanely talented artist out there that don't think the work I produce is good enough, so in turn an apprenticeship is out of the question. I need a tutor badly, and I also would love some reference to a good art program at any school out there. I live in the Chicago area, so if anyone is available to teach please let me know. Also, if anyone knows of a program that would help a fellow artist sharpen his skills I would be eternally grateful.

My goals are

1. I want to be able to transfer my drawing subjects to paper and simulate them in a very life like manner. I love realism, surrealisim, sci-fi, and fantasy art and I just cannot make any of my work look convincing enough. I want to be able to understand how light effects an object and how to use texture, color, and composition

2. I'm very stiff and still afraid of whatever medium I'm using. I work very slowly and in very short spurts of time because I'm so paranoid of making a mistake. I want to learn to work swiftly and confidently. Right now my confidence is below zero. I'm not always sure of what I'm doing or what the result will be if I apply my medium to the pallette so I walk away from my work alot and think for like a million years before I make a move.

3. I'm very easly overwhelmed by small detailed objects. for example, I might try to draw a reptile with alot of scales and crusty features. When I begin to draw I will draw the larger shapes first. When I start adding in the details, nothing flows together or corresponds with the larger shapes. It all just becomes a big mess. I want to be able to add small details to a drawing with out getting overwhelmed by the mass of it all.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE MY WORK LOOK REAL!!! I want people to be able to grab whatever I draw off the page. I want to be able to play with lighting, color, texture, and form freely, and most of all, I want to be CONFIDENT in my work.

If anyone can help me in any of these area please contact me. It is both a dream and an obsession of my to become a skilled artist so I hope most of you love questions because I will have a ton more in the near future.

Thank you

Tony d.