2011 has got to be the best year of my life. I was more productive, I made more friends, I got skinny again, I improved my appearance a bit, I made a lot of contacts, and I actually noticed some improvement. Usually my friends tell me “Wow, you’ve improved a lot” and I respond “Really? I don’t see it.” But now sometimes I look in my sketchbooks and I go “Holy shit! Did I actually draw this?”
Before between 2009-2010, I was going through an extremely difficult time. My mother lost her job, I went through an identity crisis, I hated my artwork, and I was frustrated with my university (I still am). My break-through was becoming a Cast Member at Disneyworld but even then I still felt depressed. It wasn’t until before 2011 when I finally decided to change my life a bit.
Let me summarize for every month since all of my friends did the same
January: I celebrated New Year at the happiest place on earth: Disneyworld. I made a resolution to be more active with my artwork from now on. When I returned to my home, I still felt funny. I was afraid of using the tablet so I decided to experiment with traditional tools such as acrylics and pens, as I was taking a class on that. It never worked. The date of that image may be from February, but this was technically finished on Jan.
February: I wanted a different pen so I bought a brush pen felt more comfortable with it. I was also experimenting with crazy 60s style font, which I haven’t done recently. I was still afraid of the tablet so I tried coloring with watercolors. It got too complicated so I abandoned that medium.
March: I was still inking traditionally but I finally started coloring digitally. I chose to put more effort in my pictures this time, making them pop out and “wow” the viewers, especially if they were gift pictures.
April: I finally got over my silly phobia and returned to inking on the tablet. I entered a contest (using the Pokemon pic) and won first place to my surprise. It was a pointless contest but I gave me a tad more confidence in my artwork. I was still experimenting with my style.
May: When I found out that Edd Gould was in the hospital for cancer, I felt really terrible. I remember being devastated when my uncle has the malicious leukemia. I spent some time on his gift picture, just a little something to cheer him up. Next thing I knew I was overwhelmed with the positive feedback of this picture (Edd also liked it as well). This was the start of me becoming productive. I also entered a contest and put all of my effort into 3 digital images. I didn’t win but I didn’t care. I made 3 original images that received good feedback as well, so I was still happy.
June: This was the month where I started making new friends, including one of my favorite artists. I felt extremely grateful for the new people that started taking interest in my artwork. This was also the month where I was in a “Gift” mood. I made over 9 gift images!
July: I made a guest comic for Dumm Comics, one of my favorite webcomic sites. Everyone seemed to like it and I was offered to make more guest comics (I’m only sorry I didn’t get to it). I also had my picture featured in an art show. 20 years old and I was posting up my art in a live gallery! I know some others accomplished that at a younger age but I was still honored. I was going out more, meeting more artists and talented people (Pen Ward), and having a grand summer even though I didn’t get a chance to go to Comic Con. I was also told by John Kricfalusi, my idol, that I was very talented. Greatest moment of my life.
August: I ran through a bit of an art block but still managed to finish some pictures. I had another artwork posted up in a gallery. I was also preparing for my upcoming semester in the university. I thought I could handle the classes while remaining productive. Boy was I a fucking idiot.
September: I was struggling with my class while trying to update. I had my first livestream and used my Tumblr account a little more. My Mario art piece received over 300 notes and was featured in the Tumblr “Gaming” section. I was very proud.
October: This was a difficult month for me. I turned 21 and felt into my “I wasted all of my years” depression for a while, while struggling with my classes. I still managed to make a couple images but I was still going through a rough time. I was also eating poorly so I lost weight dramatically. I managed to gain it all back but I think I could lose a couple more pounds. But then I realized my problem: I wasn’t drawing enough. So I forced myself to take my sketchbooks and fill a page everyday, which helped me a lot in the end.
November: I was still drawing a page per day in my sketchbook and experimenting with different mediums. I used colored pencils, pens, colored pens, brush pen, regular ink pens, and even my Eberhand Felt-Tip pens. I couldn’t believe how much I was drawing. I was losing sleep but it was worth it. I developed my characters and drew a lot of Portal fanart as well. Now I’m afraid to draw Portal ever since I discovered the porn side of it (I’m still finishing the cards though) but it was fun anyway. I also watched the Muppets Movie that inspired me once again.
December: I chose this picture because it represents all I have learned this year. The month has not even ended and I’m amazed by my progress this year! I have made over 50 posts on Deviantart this year and posted over 100 art posts on this account! I am almost done with my two sketchbooks, I was considered the best student in my Animation class (according to my friend Eric Bauza), I made even more contacts, and I’ve made friends with the most amazing people in the world. I can’t wait to talk to them next week once I officially start my break.
I didn’t end up with a job or internship, I didn’t go to Comic Con, I almost killed myself with 6 complicated classes, I still go to a state university, but I’m happy anyway. I’ve accomplished more than I wanted to and I couldn’t be more delighted.
Thank you so much for the support you have given me on Tumblr, Deviantart, Blogspot, Facebook, and in person. Even though I am just a 21 year-old art student who had a late start in being active, I’m surprised by the sudden feedback and audience I’m receiving.
I hope next year is just as great or even better. I will work hard for that. Thanks, again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to catch up on my sleep and return to the gym.