My Art journey (2006-Now)
Pre - 2009 — Baby days
Hey everyone! This month I think I have drawn more than I have since high school. It’s refreshing and I LOVE what I’m doing. I have had a lot of time to think about my journey thus far with art and thought I would share what that’s been like for me.
I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil at 3 years old… when I started painting is a bit of a blurrier moment. When I was little, after my parents had noticed my affinity for art, they had given me beginner art supplies suitable for a kid my age. I remember the washable crayola sets, the hard watercolor cakes from that fabulous furniture store called Ikea, and cheap acrylic tubes from the arts store Ben Franklin in Hawaii. I used to paint a lot and stain my carpet in the room I grew up in and my older sister would call that my working Picasso.
When I was in elementary school, I played Neopets, Runescape, drew a lot of anime, and read a lot of manga. A lot of my early style inspiration came from Kaori Yuki (Cain Saga), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Matsuri Hino (Vampire Knight), Judal (Vampire Game), and many other artists on Deviantart who I admired. I also played World of Warcraft in Middle school and I remember when the Burning Crusade expansion came out, I was in love with all of the art they had done for the Blood Elves. But, of course, I rolled a Night Elf. ;) I did a lot of pencil drawing, inking with my microns, and Photoshop coloring before high school. I wanted to become a videogame designer. A concept artist. I wanted to be Wei Wang, a hugely famous artist for WoW.
So all of the art that I have in the first slide show is from when I was 11. These are the oldest things I have managed to dig up. It’s very embarrassing haha but I suppose we all have to start from somewhere. You can see my first attempt at realism (I copied a magazine), some fanart, and a rainbow tiger. I thought it was the shit when I was in middle school. I think I got my hands on Adobe Photoshop 5 when I was seven and then I started doing digital art from there.
2009 - 2013 — High School
I think my painting career started off when I started to paint my own shoes to make myself stand out. I know exactly where my watercolor career started. I was 17 and I had gone on a European Tour with about a group of fifteen people from my school. We went to Paris France, several cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Zaragosa, ), and Tetouan, Morocco. My older sister, one of my classmates and I had gone to visit this rustic art store off the Arc de Triumph shopping district and I had been given a small amount of spending money from my parents. In that store I bought my first 14-pan Winsor and Newton travel palette from that store. My classmate also bought me a set of handmade watercolor paper (bless her). I was ecstatic. They were so beautiful, all the edges were ruffles from where the pulp had laid down and they were so rough and wonderfully textured. I was in love.
The only art class I had ever taken was the class I took in High School. I wanted to skip Art 1 and Art 2 since I believed I was good enough to skip the basic classes. So, I put together a portfolio and submitted it to the art teacher, who, with his discerning eye, wrote me my approval letter to jump up to Art 3. I loved that class because I was able to just spend the hour letting my mind wander, filling up my art journal, and exploring mediums I had never had experience with before (markers, acrylics on canvas, colored pencils).
During my junior year I had the privilege of participating in the Vans Custom Culture contest. That year we got beat out by a team in California when we made it into the voting stage… I don’t know why Vans thought it would be fair to pit a school from Hawaii against a school in California but, the past is in the past. I would later be a captain during my senior year for our submission to the contest again. I don’t remember why we didn’t make it to the finals, but I was glad to have been able to participate. Sadly, come senior year, I was not in art class anymore as I had adamantly decided that, despite my passion for art, I had to pursue a career in a technical field. I took AP Physics, AP literature, Advanced Algebra and forwent an art class to ensure my enrollment in college.
2013 - 2017 — College
I will, with confidence, call my college years my lost years in art. With the stress of schoolwork and my grades, I barely drew. I barely progressed. Art was something I had left for the margins of my notebooks and the occasional project for my class or for a friend here and there. I had a notebook for drawings but really it was something I would put into whenever I tried to keep myself awake through those years of tedious class after class. But the act of creating and painting is in itself a muscle. And for the four years I was in school, I barely exercised it. I wish I had given myself the time to find time at school. Making art is meditative for me and it probably would have helped me relax.
2018 - Future
Since I have graduated and transitioned to non collegiate life, I have expanded my original 14 pan set with 13 more colors, and I am going to have to transition to a bigger palette to accommodate my paints. Looking back, I’m glad I went the route I did. I have a good nest egg to pursue my true passions.
Please come join me to see where this paintbrush goes. Thank you for reading!