(If for whatever reason you don't feel like reading much, if at all, skip to the 'TL:DR' section for your convenience and spare yourself from potential information overload, you're here for art and criticism, not life stories, I understand).
I've thought about starting my own thread for a while, I should have just started long before I even bothered peeking around the site.
The intimidation factor ramped up quite a few notches when I realized the majority of the artists here are practically light years ahead of me. Then again, it's been the same at every art site, so it's more or less been one of my more pathetic excuses.
However, I spotted a handful of those in the same boat as I am, and realized I'm not the only one where drawing doesn't come naturally (nowhere near as natural as writing I assure you), and I feel re-inspired after taking a few unnecessary 'breaks'.
I am a lefty, but don't jump to any conclusions just yet. Ironically, contrary to supposed evidence that lefties are more 'artistically inclined', most artists I either look up to, or have been influenced by, are right-handed, go figure. If you're curious enough I might be tempted to make an influence map in the near-future.
About my alias, I've stuck with it for a while and felt I put real thought into it. Enigma, is defined as a mystery or mystical entity, a fire/flame can be defined as a 'glow or burst of strong emotion and blazing combustion'. So altogether, the name represents "The source of a mystical entity with a burning passion".
Now if only I can put forth as much thought and effort into my art. Honestly, if I could sacrifice all of my writing/poetic abilities that I possess, for the artistic abilities that I desire, I'd do it in a heartbeat without a second thought. But I don't want your pity, I want your criticism, and I truly want to learn.
If you're choosing to read my entire intro, I'm being thorough because I want to become more acquainted with the community, and I want to be better understood as an artist as well.
In that sense, you'll potentially be able to guide me more effectively and efficiently. Then you'll know I'm capable of and/or know about 'this and that', but you'll note I might need to practice or learn more of 'those and these', you know what I mean?
I understand that I'm not going to make phenomenal progress, and I won't be capable of rendering anything photo-realistically within just a year, since I either don't have the insatiable passion that others have, or since I won't choose to pursue this professionally, and to be honest, I wouldn't even be here if I could afford college, but let's not stray off-topic.
I have Atychiphobia, the fear of failure/severe performance anxiety. It's not just a fear of failure, it's a completely irrational fear beyond any normal sense, it's not only debilitating, but paralyzing. I'm working on it since it completely lays waste to any of my abilities. If there's any positive light to my artistic weaknesses, it's that most of them are completely mental, and not relevant to my actual potential.
So then WHAT am I here for? I want to achieve an ability of self-expression I've never had, I want to create those masterpieces that only I ever see in my mind's eye , and not be frustrated or limited with the inability to do so, and I'm certain others feel the same way, and I feel it will support my future career.
I have some random tuts, pdf's, already stocked away, might need to nab some anatomy references though. Given I've lurked for a bit, I am aware it's inevitable that suggestions such as Loomis' and Bridgman's books will show up. I plan on training my off-hand (right hand), and uploading my traditional stuff soon enough.
With all of that said, I'm probably going to have the worst art-to-text ratio on this site for a while, let's hope that changes eventually.
By all means, critique me without mercy, I need it.
TL:DR (Too Long,Didn't Read)
Traits to consider/status:
-Aspiring Draftsman/Automotive Designer, also has a passing interest in Graphic Arts
-Seeking honest critique, advice, guidelines,etc....
-Already covered the true basics, basic shapes, basic lighting/shadows, 2-point/3-point perspectives, hatching/cross-hatching, value charts, basic facial anatomy, color theory, basic anatomical proportions
-Familiar with concepts in drafting, but prefers to stay true to more traditional themes
-Works in both traditional (cheap copy paper, makeshift blenders, mostly soft pencils, pens) and digital (Corel Painter X - airbrushes, soft brushes, blenders, modified low-opacity pencils) mediums
-Wide range of inspirations/influences
Glaring known issues:
-Undesired shading abilities
-Lacks knowledge in anatomy
-Lack of understanding in advanced concepts of light/shadows
-Lacks focus (big one)
-Writes waaay too much, would make a better novelist than an artist (for now)
-I think far too much (huge issue)
-Suffers from Atychiphobia