One of the things my old site was most known for was my artwork. The bulk of the content was art in various mediums and styles. I mostly did hand-rendered art and really only dabbled in computer coloring here and there. I prefer working without a computer, although I admit the lack of tons of art supplies everywhere and no worries about accidental spilling or messes sure sounds nice!
I didn’t have much training with art. At least in terms of an art school, I mean. My mother taught me most of what I know, and I picked up the rest by just practicing or getting tips and advice from a few artists I looked up to. I’m much younger than my siblings, and when the rest of my family went to work or school, my mom would sometimes show me how to draw figures and faces. I remember art books and supplies were always available to me and I loved to pull the books off the shelf and look through them. I was also encouraged to draw from the moment I could hold a pencil, so it came as no surprise that I was constantly sketching and drawing. I kept at it, and although the only other “training” I had was in various public school art classes, I really didn’t learn much else until after high school.
I actually met my husband Christopher at an independent comic book company the year after I graduated high school. My art back then was a bit terrible in my opinion, but everyone was supportive and helpful. We all bounced around to a few companies or did small spots in various publications, and I learned a lot from some of the artists I met during that time. My art started getting much better. Christopher and I decided to start our own comic book company, but shortly before the third issue of our main book came out, I started feeling a bit frustrated and unhappy with that form of art. I knew my art was better, but I felt rushed and stopped enjoying it. I would end up being a bit lazy in order to keep up and finish what I needed to do, and I found that I was doing less art for myself or for fun. I wanted to do something else, so we stopped publishing. I tried some freelancing here and there, but I definitely didn’t enjoy that at all.
At some point after this, I had gotten hooked on hockey and drew some of my favorite players, especially one goalie, Ed Belfour. I decided to have a fan art website and designed an eagle “mascot” to help add extra decoration and personality to my page (Belfour is known as “the Eagle”), and it seemed to get a lot of attention. Eventually, I ended up having the right people see my art and managed to get a contract to sell a print. Unfortunately, some things came up that distracted my focus and ability to really do a lot with this wonderful chance, and I was never able to do all of the prints and things I’d hoped to try. Belfour eventually went to another team, and we all decided to end the contract so we could all focus on other things. It was a blast while it lasted, and it was an amazing opportunity that I am still incredibly thankful for the chance and trust I was given to see what I could do with my art. Around that time, I had also been drawing some Star Wars fan art for fun and fellow fans I’d been meeting. I started feeling like the quality of my art was starting to go downhill again though. I felt like I was cranking out art for the sake of having something to post, and it started getting a bit sloppy and lazy again. Various other things caused me to stop drawing for several years. Burn out, stress, depression… even not being sure what — if anything — I wanted to do next with my art. For the first time in my life, I rarely even so much as scrawled a quick picture. That definitely was not like me.
I knew with this new site that I wanted to do something different. Something that would inspire me to have fun with my new website — keeping it updated, without feeling burned out — as well as feeling re-inspired to get back to my various hobbies and interests. Will I do art again? I’m hoping so. I have some ideas of what I’d like to do, but I know I will never freelance again, and I never want to do anything that would cause me to lose the fun of doing art for myself. I’m sure it will be a frustrating time, shaking the rust off after all this time of not drawing and trying to do something new. I look forward to producing art again someday. For me, and for the fun of it, but definitely not the main focus or the only thing I’m known for being able to do either.