The Wild Hair Striketh
I’ve had a Deviant Art account for over a year now, so I can see the full range of art over there rather than being limited to general content only. I use it mainly to seek out cool Aztec and Mayan art to use as wallpapers on my computer (I am so in love with this particular one. I’m not big on cute, but this…just warms my heart:-D). For the longest time I just lurked, going over there once a week to download new pictures that I liked.
But then I decided to start favoriting things, to make them easier to find again should I need to. And of course that resulted in people actually visiting my profile (a lot more than I would have thought) and people were leaving messages on my wall. I got to thinking yesterday about all the art I used to do when I was younger, and in steps the wild hair.
When I was in middle school, I used to love drawing cartoons, particularly Disney cartoons; I dreamed of one day being an animator for Disney (I still think that Disney does some of the best cartoons around today. There’s some really nice stuff coming out of indie studios, particularly outside the US, but watching cartoon network these days is an exercise in annoyance. Anime is really the only stuff now that gives proper attention to character creation and lush backdrops. I guess I’m an old-schooler and don’t really like the minimalist and “doodle” feel of a lot of modern American cartoons, but I digress.). In high school, I branched out into more realistic forms and really took a liking to pastel painting, and of course being into Star Trek at the time, I did a lot of fan art. I have a trunk in the basement filled with all the old drawings I did when I was kid, and my daughter loves to drag it out and look through it.
Looking back now almost 20 years later, I’m surprised by how good I was back then, and sometimes wonder how good I could have gotten had I stuck with it after high school. By the time college came around, I’d been writing for a couple years and was just starting to break free from fan fiction and moving into creating my own stuff, and I think the excitement of discovering writing again really dampened my enthusiasm for art. And while I knew there was little money to be made in writing, everyone told me there was even less money to be made in art, and my chances of landing my dream art job was slim to none. How much of that is true, I have no idea, but needless to say I followed my new muse and pretty much stopped drawing and painting when I started college and focused all my energies on writing. If I had it all to do over again, I would have continued doing both through college; I regret having abandoned one for the other.
So I was looking through the trunk again yesterday, feeling regretful, and the wild hair struck: I decided to post some of my middle school and high school art work on my Deviant Art account. And amazingly, a few people have added some of them to their favorites. You can see it here. I do sometimes feel the sketching bug, but I’ve been too afraid to actually sit down and doodle because it’s been so many years since I’ve done any substantial drawing and I’m sure I’m absolutely no good at it anymore.
Yesterday though, I took a sketch pad to my son’s baseball practice with me and decided I’d just sit and draw some stuff. And low and behold, I’m rusty, but I haven’t completely lost it.
When we got home, I cracked open the trusty-old Art of Disney Animation book (the one I wore the covers off of when I was kid) and did some sketching out of there. My Fantasia mushrooms turned out horrible (who would have thought mushrooms could be so difficult), but the snake turned out all right. I need to practice my lighter hand.
And some kittens doing cute kitten things.
It was fun just sitting around drawing again. I’d love to be able to get back to doing the pastel painting, because I used to enjoy it alot, though digital art interests me now too. I know a lot of artist use Photoshop now, and though I can’t justify spending that kind of money, I can get Gimp for free and might mess around with it. I wonder if there are mouse pens out there, since holding a pencil is so much more intuitive for me than drawing with a regular mouse. I shall be doing some googling and investigation into how to get stuff drawn in Photoshop/Gimp. Doing this kind of stuff instead of video games when I’m struggling with writing projects or between projects (or even at times when it’s impractical to write, like at the kids’ practices and games) would be a better investment of my time.
Now I wish I hadn’t given away my drafting table when I moved out of my mom’s house….