Today I’m going to talk about how my art has changed and grown over the years. I get some lovely fan arts and DMs on Instagram saying how my art is really nice and how they wish they could draw at the same level, but I want to remind them that I’ve been drawing since I was very little. Drawing has been one of my favourite past times for as long as I can remember and I was not always very good at it – mainly when I went through a phase of not drawing noses on my characters aha~
The above images are my main sketchbooks from 2012-2017 (all drawings older than 2012 were done in miscellaneous notebooks and scrap paper). The ones on the right are the ones I am currently using or have been using since late 2016 (I will do a future post on the qualities of my latest sketchbooks for you all, especially the MosseryCo ones which are really popular.)
2012 was the year I became interested in manga art. As you can see, I wasn’t very confident as my lines were all scruffy and darker and lighter in random areas. I couldn’t shade very well and avoided colour so everything was done in HB pencil. I have to say my proportions have since improved too!
This was a time with very limited original art – I started practising proportion, details and shading by imitating my favourite manga artists (notably the mangaka of Detective Conan and Kaito Kid: Gosho Aoyama). Though I wasn’t skilled at drawing my own ideas and characters, I found that I was pretty good at replicating other art. However, while it made me happy that I could somewhat draw, I wanted to be able to create my own original art to a standard I was proud of.
While I continued drawing, no one beyond my family and close friends had seen my manga art but mid 2015, I finally started sharing my art on Instagram. I posted some of the fan art I made in 2014 but I also started to branch out and illustrate my own characters. I still hadn’t found a style of my own but I think this was the year I started to experiment with my own little flairs. There were still remnants of Aoyama’s style (like the eyes) but my confidence for my own little details started to grow. I was also heavily inspired by new relationships as I started A Levels at a Sixth Form College and a movie or two in the year. My work was all black and white and colouring was a rare thing for me.
Early 2016 was rather quiet for my art. While I posted on Insta, it wasn’t very often and I felt unsure with how to proceed with my art. But when personal problems started worsening in mid spring, I took comfort in my art and also immersing myself into coloured markers and pencils. I developed my own cutesy style, which mostly suited female characters and worked on adding cute little details like washi tapes and simple backgrounds which I’d never focused on before. It was so relaxing just to experiment and not focus on worrying. As soon as summer holidays started, I drew and drew and started taking my Instagram and dreams of being a mangaka seriously. By the end of 2016, my confidence in drawing (and alcohol markers aha) has grown so much.
Now, I’m confident in my art but I still continue my journey of improving my art and discovering new techniques that suit my style. For example, I’ve started using soft brown pens to line my art instead of black and challenging myself to draw small and large arts, so that I can scale my drawings correctly.
Through all this, I am so grateful for the support of my family and friends who have encouraged me this far and still continue to do so. Additionally, I am blessed to have the support of over 3700 people on my Instagram Art page and I want to thank you all, whether you have been with me from the start or if you’ve just stumbled across my page~