How I learned and progressed as an artist

I remember when I really began wanting to learn how to draw at the end of 6th grade. Me and my best friend would draw characters from series and games we loved. It was loads of fun, but I always thought my drawings looked off. I had no prior experience in anatomy, so my art looked really wonky and cartoonish, when I wanted to convey more of an "anime/manga" style.

I was actually self-taught until 12 years old, when my best friend and I enrolled in a digital drawing course focused on character design. That course has helped me a lot in finding and improving my style, because I got the chance to learn the basics, starting from a bit of realism and continuing with more stylized character designs. Over time, drawing in class and at home, I slowly got better, even though I thought I could never do that.  

At first, I was not confident at all in my drawings, often hiding them from others, but now I can show them to people and not get flustered. It's amazing to browse through my old sketchbooks and see how far I've come. Looking back, it's been really fun to go through this journey together with my best friend, and I will always remember where we began.

In the future, I intend to get better and maybe start a social media account with my works.

A few of my drawings (in chronological order):

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My first drawings! (5th grade)

You can see the prominent cartoonish style here, in an attempt to replicate the anime/manga. It wasn’t what I wanted to achieve with my drawings. I feel like any character I drew looked childish, even though I wanted them to look mature. 

My drawings from 6th-7th grade

My style got better a bit, though I still did not have a good grasp on anatomy in my first drawings. The characters were in very basic, stiff poses, which made them a bit bland. I also practiced digital art a bit. It’s very different from traditional pen-on-paper, therefore there are a different set of skills you need to learn and master.

The last drawings were made when I was enrolled in the art school. The courses helped me boost my improvement in a really short time.

My drawings from the art school

We started with anatomy studies focused on realism, but then we focused on character design. We even practiced shading and lighting in the digital medium! It was a challenge for me to finish building a character in the 2 hours that we had, but the more I drew, the quicker I properly finished something. Some drawings here are unfinished because of the time constraint (It took a lot of time for me to sketch a character). 

My most recent drawings

I draw a bit more often than before, mainly in class, because it helps me concentrate better on the lesson. I have kind of developed a new style here, but it’s a bit inconsistent. I am so glad to have come this far. I am finally satisfied with what I draw, and I’m not afraid to display my artworks anymore. I still have a long ways to go, both in traditional and digital art, but I am having tons of fun!