“I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life”
― Sophocles, Antigone
I’ve always been intrigued by art and artists ever since a child. The ideas and creativity blooming from a single person onto a canvas was absolutely mind-blowing to me. I was amazed at how colors could create such beauty and portray it in a such unique way.
Periodically as a kid, I would try to draw but would always end up being discouraged. It was not until two years ago that I finally found inspiration from posting my artwork online. From then to now, I’ve been working on art trades and other illustrations. But let me state this: I never drew for myself. What? I never took the time to sit down and think about what I’m feeling and draw out that emotion. I am almost always drawing for someone else: their character, fanart, or just people. I never expressed myself through art. That part of the art world was entirely foreign and different to me, and to be honest, I was nervous to venture into that realm.
Olive (character does not belong to me): A digital piece created for an art trade. (Wacom tablet, SAI)
There was this blog post I found through my English class: “Reframed: Eyes of an Artist.” It spoke about how “art is much more than what you see there,” that there should be more meaning to art than just an image. This gave me entirely new and different view of the art world I’ve been living in for so long. Giving my art emotion was something I never really thought about or even bothered with. There is more to art than just drawing a person. There should be meaning behind it. Intertwined with the visuals should be some sort of deep saying that could possibly be powerful and moving.
The goal of an artist is to improve: improve your style, create more details, and make it look presentable… That’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past two years. And yet, it amazes me still. I’m missing something truly important, something that goes beyond my style or how pretty it looks. My illustrations lack meaning. They lack importance. Almost none of my drawings make me want to stop and think about the depth and meaning behind it. Because they had none.
There was this time though, just a couple weeks ago when I was hit with a wave of emotions after something upsetting that happened to me. It was the only time I felt like drawing and letting everything out into a canvas. Although it was only a five minute sketch of what I was feeling at that time and I never would’ve thought would be released for others to see, this was a step into the new art world I was talking about. I was using my emotions to create artwork and ranting- using a hand and a canvas instead of words. Although I’m pretty self-conscious about it, here was the outcome:
Not my best work- only five minutes of emotional distress poured out into a canvas. There still needs to be a lot of tinkering to be done still…but it shows my feelings in the rawest form at that time. I stepped into a world I’ve never really touched before, and now, I see how necessary it is to pour my emotions into a piece of artwork. A drawing is so much more than a pretty girl with her hands in a peace sign and a blank smile. I really hope I can create art that has depth to it and make people stare at it and wonder about all the hidden meanings it could portray.