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  1. #1
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    What's your story?

    How'd you get into art? And when?

    I'd love to hear you guys' stories!


    I'll kick start the thread.

    Since I was very little, I've been drawing. At that point, I used to scribble unicorns and cats and dinosaurs. As the years progressed, I resorted to drawing on the backs and margins of my school papers despite my teachers yelling at me for it. I still drew creatures then.

    Then, while searching for a picture, I found /ic/. I decided to show off my 'art' (a poorly drawn alien with a derp face) I got torn apart and was left dumbfounded and stricken, but alas! I had a new goal!; to get better at art. It was then (15) that I decided to start taking it more seriously. For the first few months, improvement was very, very little to none. Mostly of my own fault. Then I finally managed to snag a second hand tablet from a friend. I started digitally drawing/painting.

    This got me interested into real life acrylics and I experimented with that of portraits of imaginary people. Then I found CA and /icrit/ and started taking advice as best as I can from them. Now, 17, I'm still learning, but, I plan on only improving in the future with both my studies and imaginative works and maybe get into the business of freelance concept art when I'm older. And, that is my story.

    Your turn!

    Last edited by Featheredface; August 1st, 2010 at 11:10 AM.
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  3. #2
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    I started off more or less the same as you and many others did, and my first recognizable drawings were of demon-things. I later branched off into Doraemon fan art, dragons, and robots.

    Then, I discovered the wonderful world of anime and manga, and wanted so much to make my own Japanese cartoon-styled art that I figured the easiest way to do it was by either copying or directly tracing. This was before I discovered art communities of any sort, and no one told me how detrimental it was to my skills. Instead, I was praised for my "awesome art", and it went on for 5 years until I realized that I couldn't draw anything decent without flipping open a book to trace off of.

    So I moved on, discovered dA, and tried desperately to wean myself off the tracing habit. It took 3 years.

    Later I moved on to /ic/ when I could draw something that doesn't look like absolute shit and, to my surprise, I got very sound advice. Since then, I decided I should work on improving, and now here I am, just beginning to take commissions, but I can finally enjoy what I do.

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  4. #3
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    What's your story?

    Failure.

    Failure again and then some more failure. Basicly I failed at almost everything I had to work for to succeed. Found out doing art might be the only thing known to me so far I am willing to work hard for. Got me through working 70 hour weeks at a crapjob just to safe up some money for art school. Still not at the point where I fully believe in myself as an artist but slowly getting there. Once I am successfull as an artist I guess I will spin that story into some " oh mah gosh that is so inpiring he fought so hard to achieve his dream" stuff. At the end of the day I have to succeed in art because I suck at everything else. I can't even keep my SB updated. LOL

    Amazing how your biggest obstacle and enemy can be yourself on this journey huh ?

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  5. #4
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    fun topic!

    I used to draw graffiti all the time as a kid but as I got into my early teens I quit that stuff and did other things.. hah!

    about three years ago I was having this discussion with a friend about how difficult drawing was and I thought "hey, it cant be that difficult.." a few weeks later I bought a wacom and yeah here I am.. still learning!

    http://www.fredrikrattzen.com

    looking for freelance work & commissions!
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  6. #5
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    I cannot remember a time when I did not want to learn how to draw. Always been something of an obsession with me. Which is a bit of a personal tragedy, because I have absolutely no natural talent or feel for it. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I was constantly drawing. I had a friend at school who was pretty good at it, and served as a constant source of both inspiration and envy. How on earth did he make it look so easy? I never seemed to make much progress at all, because I had no idea HOW to learn.

    It was only in early adulthood that I finally stumbled upon Betty Edwards' books, and they taught me quite a bit. But I soon hit a ceiling there as well. I have become convinced over the years that to get really good at it, one really, genuinely needs talent. If you don't have it, you can become fairly proficient, but no amount of work or study will ever turn you into Michelangelo, or Frank Frazetta for that matter. (Jeez, Frazetta at age twelve could paint better than I can after more than twenty years of quite dedicated study...!)

    Still, I am quite hooked now. With or without talent, with or without hope of ever getting past very amateurish work, I find that I am literally not able to let go of it. I have actually tried at times in the past to just give up. Alas, within a week or two my fingers would be itching, and I would find myself almost compulsively scribbling sketches without even noticing it. E.g. sitting in a boring meeting at work, doodling on a pad, and before long the doodles would turn into little drawings, and I would think "hey, they actually don't look too bad," and that would set me off again, making yet another failed attempt to master the art. ;-)

    So I have now accepted this terrible addiction as one of the crosses I must bear... ;-)

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  7. #6
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    Well, like a fair amount of people in my age group I didn't consider art seriously until anime rolled into my life. I remember that the first thing I ever learned to draw was Sailor Moon style characters; I'd found a tutorial online that showed how to draw their faces, but because the tutorial only showed the heads in 3/4 view I've got a good three or four sketchbooks of these Egyptian-esque figures with 3/4 heads and weird, stunted bodies. The desire to draw better fanart is what guided me through most of my early drawing years.

    In seventh grade I took my first life drawing class pretty much by accident: they'd run out of room in the "age appropriate" clothed model class, so I got stuck in the nude model class with the older teens/adults. I learned so much from that class that I decided to put more time into becoming a better artist. Fast forward to high school when I was trying to decide between going to school for creative writing or for animation. My teachers all wanted me to get an english degree and write, but I decided to go for animation...only to begrudgingly concede in my senior year that I really, REALLY hated animating and should probably have majored/minored at a state school in illustration/creative writing, but the money was spent so there you go.

    And now I'm working towards being an illustrator/character designer for animation.

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  8. #7
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    My first recognizable drawings were of crocodiles. Apparently.

    I used to draw in class at school. There was a time when I'd be shitting out, for their time, amazing finished drawings every day this way. I kept them in a folder. My studies didn't suffer TOO badly and I passed with good-average grades. (Though It's strang thinking about what they COULD have been like? Though I doubt I have the concentration to have improved any...)

    The Internet stunted my ability and got me into ruts. Similar to what Senira said regarding anime characters in a way.

    Art classes at a-level, foundation and now at university level stunt me even more, I believe. Well, technically, anyway. Not in terms of content or consideration, which I guess is what matters. I find when summer starts that I've forgotten how to draw and by the end up I'm to scratch again, since there is NO pressure what so ever from uni to draw and I get praised for making images which require no ability on the technical side of things. It's as if I've learnt to be shit. :/

    I've always drawn, but I don't think my ability has grown with me. It seems the harder I try, the slower I progress. I'm now at a stage where I need to stop and go back to basics, implementing what I've learnt at school level with technical ability and practise, practise, practise.

    Sketchbook | Art Blog | Portfolio

    True progress means matching the world to the vision in our heads.
    But we always change the vision instead.
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  9. #8
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    Well not counting kindergarten (because almost every 5 year old draws)...the first time I can remember me really working hard on art was the second grade maybe.

    My mom could not really afford to buy us a lot of dolls and toys so my sister and I would draw people, cut them out, and play with them. We also used magazines, but we really liked drawing our own people. We would work really hard to draw pretty girls and cute boys and when we drew someone really awesome we would go through hell to preserve them so that we could keep playing with them.

    Yet still, art didn't play a huge role in my life. It was something I did for fun in between my studies. I had my Sailor Moon phase and my Soul Calibur phase. I mostly only drew during summer break and there were gaps where I didn't draw anything for years.

    When I went to college I got tired of my studies and started drawing again. I realized how much I really did like art and how unlike everything else I tried to study, with art there would be no ceiling and I would never tire of it. I would just keep learning and learning and I desperately wanted something like that. So I took the initiative to learn on my own for a year and if I saw progress I would switch majors.

    And that was how it started/

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  11. #9
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    Dragonball Z
    I drew Dragonball Z stick Figure comics with friends in middle school.
    I stopped drawing anime shortly after high school, and studied seriously.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianvds View Post
    I cannot remember a time when I did not want to learn how to draw. Always been something of an obsession with me. Which is a bit of a personal tragedy, because I have absolutely no natural talent or feel for it. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I was constantly drawing. I had a friend at school who was pretty good at it, and served as a constant source of both inspiration and envy. How on earth did he make it look so easy? I never seemed to make much progress at all, because I had no idea HOW to learn.

    It was only in early adulthood that I finally stumbled upon Betty Edwards' books, and they taught me quite a bit. But I soon hit a ceiling there as well. I have become convinced over the years that to get really good at it, one really, genuinely needs talent. If you don't have it, you can become fairly proficient, but no amount of work or study will ever turn you into Michelangelo, or Frank Frazetta for that matter. (Jeez, Frazetta at age twelve could paint better than I can after more than twenty years of quite dedicated study...!)

    Still, I am quite hooked now. With or without talent, with or without hope of ever getting past very amateurish work, I find that I am literally not able to let go of it. I have actually tried at times in the past to just give up. Alas, within a week or two my fingers would be itching, and I would find myself almost compulsively scribbling sketches without even noticing it. E.g. sitting in a boring meeting at work, doodling on a pad, and before long the doodles would turn into little drawings, and I would think "hey, they actually don't look too bad," and that would set me off again, making yet another failed attempt to master the art. ;-)

    So I have now accepted this terrible addiction as one of the crosses I must bear... ;-)

    Makes me want to give you a hug

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  14. #11
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    I don't remember how I got started. I've always had a knack for it, I guess. A lot of things were like that. I've also enjoyed video games quite a bit. At some point I decided I wanted to make them. Initially I experimented with 3D art, but I was young and didn't have the resources for practicing 3D modeling. I stumbled upon concept art, and I've sort of had it in the back of my mind ever since, providing me with a very...vague direction of where I might want to go. I also saw a lot of people "better" than me online, and I think that bothered me to a certain extent. I haven't actually pursued art very seriously for a long time, even now, I'm somewhat lacking and draw or paint maybe...once, twice a week? If I'm lucky. Things are always changing, and for the most part I can only remember where I am. Not how I got here.

    I just know I need to support my wife, and I need to do it in a manner that lets me be with her if possible.

    This lets me do that. And it feels...right. So what choice do I have?

    Last edited by Two Listen; August 2nd, 2010 at 03:41 PM.
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  15. #12
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    People pointed a gun to my head and ordered me to draw.

    Well, that's not exactly what happened...I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was in elementary school, but then I quit until the 6th grade. In the 6th grade I picked up a "How to draw Manga" book and started drawing manga. Then in 8th grade I saw Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and realized that I have to know how to draw what I see not what I think. The rest is history.

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  16. #13
    Vinicam is offline Five percent inspiration and ninety five percent transpiration.
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    Well not counting kindergarten (because almost every 5 year old draws)...the first time I can remember me really working hard on art was the second grade maybe.

    My mom could not really afford to buy us a lot of dolls and toys so my sister and I would draw people, cut them out, and play with them. We also used magazines, but we really liked drawing our own people. We would work really hard to draw pretty girls and cute boys and when we drew someone really awesome we would go through hell to preserve them so that we could keep playing with them.

    Yet still, art didn't play a huge role in my life. It was something I did for fun in between my studies. I had my Sailor Moon phase and my Soul Calibur phase. I mostly only drew during summer break and there were gaps where I didn't draw anything for years.

    When I went to college I got tired of my studies and started drawing again. I realized how much I really did like art and how unlike everything else I tried to study, with art there would be no ceiling and I would never tire of it. I would just keep learning and learning and I desperately wanted something like that. So I took the initiative to learn on my own for a year and if I saw progress I would switch majors.

    And that was how it started/

    WTF... lol

    That's actually my story, or the story I want to me.

    Last year I left architecture school, cuz I realized that art is what I really like, despite the big periods of time between one drawing and other. Then I failed at going to a art school this year and then I started working with a job non relate to art. Yesterday I quit my job, as said in my last topic, and today I started working with the schedule I did, and I'll see if I progress over a year.

    But maybe I need some painting class, cuz I found myself having a lot of problems to paint since I got my first tablet...

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  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    My mom could not really afford to buy us a lot of dolls and toys so my sister and I would draw people, cut them out, and play with them. We also used magazines, but we really liked drawing our own people. We would work really hard to draw pretty girls and cute boys and when we drew someone really awesome we would go through hell to preserve them so that we could keep playing with them.
    That's almost exactly what me and my sister did!

    We didn't have a TV or computer or anything, and were mostly broke, so we made up our own games and toys. Mom would bring home random junk for us from the hospital she worked at, and dad would let us mess around with his woodworking tools and scraps. One Christmas one of our presents was a big bunch of dixie-cup spoons from Mom's workplace (you know, those little wooden spoon-things for ice cream or yogurt?) I thought they looked kind of like people, so I drew some people on them. Me and my sister started playing games with these people, which grew out of control and went on for years... Of course pretty soon we were drawing more elaborate characters on paper and the sticks were just used as a support. Grew to a cast of hundreds. As time went on and I got obsessed with the art section of the library, I started trying to imitate old masters in cut-out-paper-person format with markers, Prismacolors, cheap tempera paint, colored inks, etc.

    We called these things "People-Packets" because the dixie-cup spoons originally came in little paper packets.

    Of course I drew other things - I was always interested in drawing, as far as I can remember. Mostly I was inspired by stuff I found in library books, and often stayed up late into the night making my own illustrated books. Eventually I started trying to draw from observation - Grandma gave me a copy of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", that probably got me interested - and eventually took some local figure drawing and design classes and things, (we were home-schooled, so we organized our own education.) And went off to Art School, and graduated, and have been doing various art-related work since then... (while being continually dissatisfied and in search of improvement, but that's normal.)

    But the whole People-Packet saga is maybe my favorite chunk of childhood. Good times. I still have all of them (though I think most of them must be buried in my parents' house somewhere - I'll have to raid their closets someday.)

    In fact, here's a couple of them. ("expressionistic" middle period, and late period - my parents have the really early ones, darn it.)

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; August 2nd, 2010 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Attachments not working? ARGH!
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  18. #15
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    I hadn't drawn seriously for over 20 years and then London won the chance to host the Olympics in 2012. My husband had co-written a song with his old band (one hit wonder) back in 1979 and I thought it would be nice to release it time for 2012. The lead singer was dead, so I thought I'd learn a bit of animation and make a video. Boy, were my drawing skills rusty (still are), but once I got into drawing again, I couldn't stop. I'm still busy doing my animation (I've since come to the conclusion I'm not really an animator, but I won't quit), and am looking forward to finishing it so I can just draw.

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  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    We called these things "People-Packets" because the dixie-cup spoons originally came in little paper packets.
    Those are great. We called our people "Paper Mates."

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  20. #17
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    okay, let me try this again (i hate when my posts don't go through)
    i can't remember when i began drawing... i would think forever, and according to my mom thats not too far from the truth; she used to make a sketch than have me as an infant copy it, to keep me quiet. when i turned around five i began making my own crappy renditions of comics (simply one page of a bad drawing, with a caption that told a story, i called these comics). as i grew older i found out what comics really were and spent all of my time trying to learn to tell stories with pictures. i knew from five that i wanted to be an artist; i knew i wanted to tell stories with art. i never thought of what that truly entailed.
    so as most people do, i got a bit older. i began to play video games, and i continued drawing a doodling. i was never the best artist, but i was always creating. i never let a lack of ability stop me... i couldn't art was and is like an addiction. i began to create board games/ card games, and i began to write stories and create characters.
    in 6th grade i got a program that allowed me to create video games, and, sadly although i found i could understand the inner workings of programming, i could not seem to understand it and write in it. still i found a love for the interactive world of art.

    now a few years later, a friend looked at one of my intended humor style captioned drawings (it's caption was "a jew taking a poo" and it was a stereotypical jewish man pooing... not meant to be racist, i just liked the rhyme) the friend asked if i wanted to go into cartoons for a living. i had never thought of this as an option for my future.

    I managed to get my hands on a copy of flash professional, and all throughout high school i spent my time drawing and teaching myself animation. i found that before long i could create life and movement, but i could not finish anything i began (i have to have around 20 unfinished animations, on my computer from the last year alone).

    so now i am on the path of going to art school. i need to learn how to do what drives my passion; i need to learn how to breathe life into my mental creations.

    my issue now is that, i have never learned to create accurately. i cannot make a drawing as realistic as i would like... i am no draftsman... so i need to get better before i make my art school portfolio. this is the reason i have joined CA.

    creation is a passion, one that can keep me up at night, and art is one of the only ways i know how to express that passion before i go crazy.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

    My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!

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    Sanity is wasted on the boring.
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  21. #18
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    Failure and lost opportunities for pretty much my whole life.

    Here's hoping there's a better story for my future!

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  22. #19
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    Hmm, I've been drawing for as long as I can remember-- mom always brags to people that I won my first "award" in the first grade. I was highly influenced by women and fashion early on; mom used to take me to fabric stores and I'd flip through the pattern magazines with the beautiful, water color/marker illustrations. So that's what I always tried to draw; women posing and wearing interesting clothing. As I got older I started drawing objects or "still life" and then got hit by the Sailor Moon bug that I'm sure many of us fell victim too. After that, it was a couple years of pseudo anime until I discovered american comics. I would sit up in my room and try to copy the covers as closely as I could. Eventually anime was far behind me and my focus was making Image/Vertigo style heroines. I got my first hard crit at the age of, I think, 13-14, from a comic book retailer who said my anatomy was shit. After that, and probably to this day, I've been obsessed with proportions and accuracy.

    These days I'm a freelance illustrator out of Montreal with aspirations to make it as a comic illustrator.

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  23. #20
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    My grandmother was an artist, I grew up around paintings in the house of hers, her friends, of other peoples. In my family it is pretty well accepted that someone will go to art school or at least be an artist, it was evidently my turn
    My grandmother focused mainly on painting, I have her old sketchbooks from when she went to Pratt (consequently didnt graduate) so there are a lot of fashion designs and female forms.
    Me, I tend to focus on sculpture and ceramics as well as design and communication design. I figured when I was a kid that since I couldn't be a big bald black man (true story about what I wanted to be when I grew up) I figured I would be a poor artist.
    Lo and behold I am indeed poor and an artist. So I guess it all worked out

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  24. #21
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    great thread! I guess I started out drawing DBZ. I had to be home to watch that every Saturday. That's what got me into art. Later I was obsessed with dragons and drew tons and tons of them. The other thing I did was draw Pokemon from a book and make paper cut-outs of them to play a game with my little sister. Eventually I had my first little idea for a comic book character, some kind of snake lizard dragon kid. For maybe 5 years that was the main thing I drew, and the world expanded and I loved working on the story. It had people in it though. so I wound up drawing people in a ridiculous anime style. Eventually about 3 years ago I looked at my drawings and then at real people then back at my drawing and I realized people's shoulders were actually wider than their heads! I was a member of an oekaki board at the time, I made a DA account, used that so much I left the oekaki board, got photoshop for Christmas, next Christmas I got a George bridgeman book, then I got super srs and enrolled in online pre-college courses from AAu. This summer I decided I'd make an account and a sketchbook here, and I've been updating that thing almost every day. I'm also about a week away from finishing my last 2 courses from the academy, and someday I want to work for Disney.

    sketchbook blog tumblr

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    Wink

    Well since i was a kid i always loved drawings and see people do these awesome things. after along time of wanting to do it. I didn't, until i told someone very close to me who could draw her ass off and she gave me her sketch book. at the time i was just screwing around and then i randomly drew a rain forest and it was fun. and the next day a space chick it was harder and definitely not perfect. then i remembered what a teacher once told me "Your one of the few people in this world who can do whatever they want." I didn't know what he meant at the time but it hit me what he meant was i could learn anything i wanted and i looked back at my life and he was right. whenever i wanted to do something i learned how to do it quickly and thats when i told myself i will draw.

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  26. #23
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    Lawd-a-mercy!
    Been drawing with pencil for as long as I could hold one. Had art teachers in high school that didn't like me because I had more talent than they did (she tried to fail me. in ART). Joined the Army, served 8 years, wasted 2 more years in the intel world, and now I work as a cartoonist for a humongous company.

    I delved into digital painting about 3 years ago and that's when I discovered my passion. I aspire to have work published in Expose or Exotique, and I would love to be a fantasy book cover artist.

    Because of the military service, and the lengthy journey it took to make me realize what I wanted to be when I grew up, I got a later start than most of the young whippersnappers out there. But I'm here now, bishes!! lol

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