How does one become an artist? The more I think about it, the more I can't seem to believe that there is ever a point where someone decides that they will become an artist. But maybe that isn't entirely true either. Perhaps, it is just me. I suppose the reason I think this is because I can't pinpoint a time when I thought "I love art." And the more I think, the more I realize that I was always an artist. It's strange, to go back and see glimpses of my interest in art. I suppose, I will share my story. I mean, every artist has a story, just maybe never has a true beginning and ending.
If I go back and think the first drawing I can remember that I did and thought "Hey! This isn't that bad!" it was a picture of a dragon. Ok, so I cheated. On the back of my Crayola Colored Pencil Box, I saw this drawing of a drawing someone else did. I thought it looked so cool! I don't know how old I was, but I decided to recreate it on my own piece of paper. When I had finished, I was amazed. how could I have recreated something so good? (haha) I compared it endlessly to the one on the box, and though I saw some errors (not that I would have ever admitted it) I was quite impressed. If I go into my room and pull out my desk chair/box and grab out all my old sketchbooks, I'll find a framed picture. Yeah, you guessed right, it's that drawing of that dragon so many years ago. Perhaps I'll hang it up someday. XD I still look at it and remember that feeling. I believe that I'll always keep it, even when I'm an old lady.
Ok, admit it. When you were first 'drawing' you were tracing. I know I did! It was in 4th grade. My brother, who is 2 years older than me, found this amazing cartooning book of fantasy beasts and ladys and lords. I think that's where my basis of understanding the difficulty of drawing came in. So I traced! I would never do that now, but I think a beginning drawer should trace to start understanding what needs looked at. I remember looking at all the details of the dress on one girl and it helped me to understand, drawing isn't just about lines, it's about design and patience. Tracing was a basic step into seeing drawing as something more than just a past time. But I don't think I was really serious about being an artist until much later. I mean, at that time 'art class' was not drawing, but crafts. So how was I supposed to know that I was able to improve?
5th grade, ah the twists and turns my art went through. There are a million, no, a billion styles out there in the world. Heck, a trillion! I think that year helped me see how art isn't subjective to one kind of appearance. I started out with cartoon-y looking characters (WINX club style actually XD) but then saw my friend drawing differently, so I did it her way. I found out that was not the kind of style I liked. That year was just experimenting, but every artist needs to experiment to find their style, right? I found out that style was not mine.
The next year, I had a friend who was, in my eyes, far superior to my drawings. It was a real downer. At the time, it felt like it was really discouraging me, but looking back, I realize that it helped me in way that I never ever expected. It pushed me. It made me want to do better, and so I pushed. I'm pretty sure I sketched 3 drawings a day, even just on lined paper. I have a couple drawings from that year, and I definitely see myself in them. It's amazing how much I improved that year. I'm shocked really that I improved so much. I went from super stiff to just kinda stiff (haha!) I experimented with some color too that year.
When I entered my Junior High, I was put into an art class. I think that's the year that I understood that drawing and art was just a part of me. I learned so much my teacher and have my sketchbooks from that year and on. I was put into the towns art show, and it did wonders for my confidence. A lot of people I knew liked my drawings, and so did I! (At the time at least.)
Ah, 8th grade. This is the year that I had an art high. I was in the yearbook committee. Not only that, but since I was entered into the art class, I had to put in a drawing for the cover of the yearbook contest. Remember that friend who I thought was soooo much better? Well, I think I finally got over my jealousy that year. My mascot was an eagle, so naturally I entered one. It was just a bust of an eagle, with shading. My friend did a colored one with and eagle and a rainbow. The only problem was that the cover was not printed in color, unless the yearbook business colored it. And so, since mine was basic and without color, my eagle won the front cover of the yearbook. It's was an amazing feeling, knowing that all those people voted for me. It got me through some rough times that year too.
Since then, I feel like my art has only improved more and more with each class I take. And I hope it continues to improve. There are so many things wrong with my drawings, but I've come so far. To anyone who believes their art sucks, yeah, it probably does right now, but everyone sucks when they start. Don't let it get you down, not even DaVinci started out as the insane artist.
Sorry for the long entry! XD