The other day I posted on my Instagram an ask me anything post, mainly to help boost engagement back on my Instagram page but also to answer any questions people may have about how I work, what I do and how I do it. It wasn’t long before the floods of comments came in and my fingers couldn't tap fast enough to keep up with the comments coming in.
I wanted to use this blog post to expand on a few of the comments I feel need more explaining and to also point out the ones which are so important mainly for anyone pushing themselves to go in a new direction in their career or wanting to step out into art… or anything who just likes keeping up to date with what I do, I don’t judge, maybe a little… I’m not that interesting.
But anyway, yes, here we go…
I have been drawing since I was a child. I went through typical obsessions with cartoons as any kid does but unlike others, I would sit for hours and draw and draw every scene, every character and stick them all over my wall. The first fan I ever remember drawing was Hamtaro. I used to be a part of this online Hamtaro fan community and we all loved the idea of the human versions of the characters so I would sit and draw all of them how I imagined them looking if they were human. This love for Hamtaro grew into me making up SO MUCH fan fiction about how Spat and Harmony were creations by one of the other Hamtaros and honestly… it goes deep... Real deep. But back to the point. After this I fell in love with Danny Phantom and drew so much fanart I think every inch of my wall was covered.
I thank my family a lot for it, they encouraged me greatly. My eldest sister did a lot of art and still does, she would draw comic strips and huge incredible posters, my mom also drew beautifully and my dad was perfect at drawing silly little cartoons. They all encouraged me and bought me as many art pads as I could physically carry.
When I got into high school I carried on drawing but often got picked on for it, like everything else I did and was. Often my drawings would get ripped up or scribbled over by bullies. As I did my art GCSE I often got criticised by my art teacher and told off for following my own imagination in class and not doing what she had set out for us. I remember having a class where we were all to draw a vase of flowers. I drew it alright, I drew them all dead and with skeletons and zombie faces. My teacher wasn’t impressed and neither was I with her attitude towards me.
After that I stopped drawing, I never wanted to draw again. My childhood dream of drawing cartoons for children and marrying Danny Phantom gone. Poof. It wasn’t until much later on, my late teens when I attended my first comic convention did I decide to pick up a pencil again after meeting Sarah Graley and Marc Ellerby. These two were at the time drawing for Rick and Morty a show I was and still am obsessed with. It was an eye-opener meeting artists quite local to me drawing for a huge show like Rick and Morty… people in the UK could do great things too? What? I got home after that and decided I couldn't stop drawing until I could say I had drawn a cover for Rick and Morty.
So that’s a long answer but all my life… kinda. I took a huge gap and that’s ok too. It’s ok to take a break so when you go back you really appreciate it and you know that it is really what you want to do. I really believe that if I never went to comic conventions I wouldn’t be drawing today.
This question hit me hard man.
This used to haunt me so much and caused me many nights of crying. I spent all my life trying to find my style, drawing every day, and I never felt anything I drew was me. I would look at other artists every day, and just be in awe at how perfect they were and how they drew.
There was no trick to finding my style I just think I found it when I was ready to accept that it was my style. Even now I sometimes question it and go, hmm I don’t like this style though, I want it to be like this and I've had to realise that is ok! It is ok to sometimes not like your style, it is ok to not accept it is your style yet. As an artist, if you sat down one day and went that is my style now and I am happy with it and I will never change from this now I would be very worried. Your style will come, you might have one now and not even realise it, but it will keep developing over time anyway.
The day I realised this was my style was honestly one of the best days, but that hasn’t stopped me changing it and mixing it up and wanting it to not be my style.
It can be frustrating at first when you aren't sure but just keep drawing. One day it will click. Every line you make will make sense.
So yes! My Kickstarter goes live in like… 35….33 days? I don’t know, I probably should, maybe I am actively avoiding it because I am terrified and excited… Mostly terrified.
The book is going well, I have around 19 pages left to do and then it will go into edit while the Kickstarter is live giving me time to fix anything that needs fixing before it goes into print. I really feel if I wasn’t a freak for organisation I would be freaking out a lot more than I am… or maybe I already am. I don’t know. Help.
But seriously haha making a Kickstarter takes a lot of work and I'm happy it hasn’t started yet as there are things that still need doing like, making the promo video, setting up the pricing, finishing the pages, the editing etc etc.
I bet the week before it goes live I will be a mess... It is honestly terrifying putting years worth of work into the public for approval. The Kickstarter relies 100% on the public's support and trust in me. If I don’t get enough people to trust me and want the book then my book doesn’t go into print and I’ve spent the past 2 years all for nothing. Well, not ALL for nothing, I have enjoyed doing it, it has helped build my illustration skills, my storytelling skills etc. But yeah it would be a bit heartbreaking.
I will expand on 3 more of these questions in another blog post next week! I hope you have found these interesting and really helped you better understand myself and the answers I gave in my ask me anything on Instagram.
As mentioned my Kickstarter goes live August 1st 2019, so please follow my social media for updates!