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  • Writer's picturesayuuiart

My art journey - who I am and how I got here

Hello! I just realised I haven't written a proper bio for myself so far, and think it'd be important to do so. My homepage's summary is very brief. In fact, it's too brief to tell the whole story that happened throughout all these years. It's a story of many ups and downs, and a 5 year hiatus that was decisive in hirings, that put me in the position I am in today.

As a kid, I've always liked drawing. I was privileged enough to watch cartoon network and nickelodeon, so I would draw a lot of the cartoons from memory. At this time, I was only a child and not yet taken any courses. I would feel at absolute joy when watching anime on tv, but I found it too complex and practically impossible to draw.

I was constantly motivated by my mom and my grandma. Since the art supplies back in that time were very limited, my mom would constantly bring me sheets of paper only printed on one side so I could draw on the other side, as well as children's books, manga, notebooks and coloring materials. My mom says that back in the time I already had a notion of perspective, to which I say "mom??" I also liked crafts and other types of creativity, so I would sometimes make maquettes with normal office paper too. Nowadays, I'm an architect, but there's nothing I hate more than making maquettes.

As a kid, I would already participate in contests with my mom's incentive. I never won anything at that time, but that was a decisive factor in building up my resilience and determination.

In the age of 10, I started taking anime-style focused classes. I was heavily influenced by anime like Cardcaptor sakura, Tokyo mew mew, Super doll Licca-chan, Corrector Yui, Kaleido Star, Medabots, Beyblade, Digimon, Ashita no Nadja, and others.

My work improved a little, but it improved more outside of it. At the age of 12, I had already mastered the technique of colored pencils, and started posting on DeviantArt and some internet forums. I also started winning some online art contests, which I don't count today because they weren't official.

Some of the drawings from that time that won contests.

When looking for personality in my style, I downgraded a bit. By posting my art, I started getting critiques at a very young age, which well... Can be pretty demotivating. Some people would criticize my art without my permission, and I didn't know how to handle it. Ultimately, I started thinking that it was my fault not being able to take critiques. But I also got determined to keep posting and not let anybody criticize me anymore, by putting up a better work.

Later on, it got to a point where classes didn't make sense anymore. It felt like the teacher didn't have anything more to teach, and couldn't push me any further. That's why I say, whenever you take a course, make sure that the teacher has a relevant resumé. But I was just a kid, and information on the subject was still pretty scarce.

At the age of 15-16, I started drawing like never before. school was tedious, and would make me upset for not making time to draw more. At that time, I was already trying out watercolors, but my main medium would still be colored pencils. I also reached 2k followers on DeviantArt with my account at the time.

 All of the traditional work I exposed here is still somewhere in my drawers - I never threw any of my artworks away, except for very unfinished drawings.

2013 hit, and I had no social media accounts. DeviantArt, which was the only online art hub at the time, got crushed by the fact it was sold for some other company. Suddenly, no one was using it anymore, and I lost all my followers. That was a very shocking thing for me, that acted pretty much like a trauma to my art career. I had to start over. No backup plan and nowhere to go.

That also coincided with the fact I got my first tablet, but since I wasn't allowed to use the computer --I had a very strict upbringing -- I couldn't use it and develop my digital art skills. So, every time I posted digital art, it would do considerably worse than my traditional art. I was also forced to go into hiatus by school. I got close to entering university, and had to take an exam that would determine what I would do for the rest of my life.

For context, entering university where I live is considerably different from the US. There is no college, and you must make a decision and enter the course you want to take in the act of signing up for the exam. Of course, it's a decision students spend their whole high school years thinking about, but it's a lot of pressure. You are not allowed to enter university and decide later on what type of professional you want to be. If you make the wrong choice, you have to quit and take the entrance exam again. Also, since students don't pay anything for their tuition, competition was very high at the time.

So, for a long time, I thought the best decision was to go for graphic design, but I didn't pass the entrance exam -- I was overwhelmed with physical and mental stress--. So I tried out for architecture, and that's when my 5 years hiatus started.

And that's where you're probably asking yourself... How did you allow for it to end up that way? So many art mentors say you should try to draw at least one hour a day, or make time for it. Maybe I should've drawn during class; but I wanted to take my course seriously. Maquettes were extremely time consuming, and I can't draw for just one hour a day. I am TOO PASSIONATE to sit down and draw for only one hour, stressing about not being able to draw more.

In 2019, university was almost coming to an end. I took less subjects and started building ground for my full-time artist career. So, I started building my social media and posting finished drawings again, from the ground up.

As you can tell, I've always had a clear direction with my work, and what I wanted it to be, but I never knew about fundamentals. I just kept drawing, following tutorials and uninformed about anything that could boost my improvement. As a teen, I was actually ignorant of them, especially ala prima. What do you mean I have to draw naked people to improve? And what do you mean I have to hold the pencil a certain way?

Then I turned back to the time when I used to post on DeviantArt. An artist I used to know there was successful in a way and making a pretty decent living. I reached out to them, and found out they had a very accessible course with recorded classes and ongoing live classes. So I decided to join them. This led to a very iconic phase of my life, where I met a couple of artists with the most toxic work mindset I've ever seen, who planted a lot of wrong ideas in my head about work, rest and commissions. However, they helped me out a lot. Thanks to them, I was able to make a living with only 300 social media followers.

At the same time, I met wonderful friends through that course who saved me countless times, and my boyfriend who is also an illustrator. I was able to improve my work based on studies of the fundamentals, and right now we keep supporting each other and improving together.

Right now, I'm in the process of gaining social media followers, improving my work and getting as many good commissions as possible, hoping they will take me somewhere.

Thank you for reading so far. I hope you like it! Don't forget to check out my portfolio , twitter and pixiv!

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