Here's my tragic backstory: when I was young, I used to draw a lot. Before manga I liked drawing animals, especially horses. I was a horse girl, after all. I loved reading magazines and sending my drawings to them in hope they would share them. This happened... Once, I think.

2004-2006 | Becoming a weeb and discovering boys love.

When I was 14 years old, I got into manga & anime, and then I drew even more. Back then it was just pen and paper, and I was jealous of people whose parents got them a drawing tablet. All manga fans were brainwashed to believe that Copic markers magically make your art better, so I also spent a lot of money on them. I still have them and they do work, though. I enjoyed drawing in "manga style", which was seen as a bad thing by self-proclaimed real artists. Apparently copying the Disney style was better and more unique. In general, feedback back then wasn't very constructive and people focused more on smelling their own farts than giving genuine, practical advice. But as someone who otherwise didn't very well in school (except in prose and literature), it was nice to have something I was good at.

2005-2006 | People online shamed "manga art style", so apparently to impress someone I started giving my characters tiny eyes, prominent noses and boxy chins.

In mid-2000's sharing my drawings online wasn't easy, as my family didn't have a scanner or a digital camera. I tried my best to draw with a mouse to share some kind of art on my website back then, but it didn't go very well. Later I got my first digital camera, and thanks to the existence of public library, I could also use a scanner.

2007 | I really preferred drawing girls.

I really wanted to get in to visual arts high school, but I failed. Twice. My fragile teen ego was deeply hurt by this as drawing had been a sort of identity of mine and my mom had always told me that my art is "excellent". I wasn't excellent after all...?! But I still kept drawing. My high school was very focused on prose and literature, and I also got obsessed with history, philosophy and progressive rock (the worst combination of an edgy elitist high school student). Finding that I had strengths and interests in other areas than drawing made me feel a bit better about everything.

2008-2009 | I was REALLY impressed by CLANNAD.

When I turned 18, instead a driving licence I wanted a drawing tablet, so my father finally got me a Wacom Bamboo. It came with Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, which definitely wasn't a software meant for drawing and I got frustrated with it. In the end I still preferred pen and paper, and for a while I got a new spark for drawing when I got into "moe" anime thanks to shows like Saki or Lucky Star. I also got into more erotic material, but it was difficult sharing art like that as I kept getting banned from websites like Deviantart.

2009 | I hated my digital art so most of it is gone, except for this one.

Eventually I got fed up with drawing altogether when I turned 20, and started identifying and someone who's bad at art. Pixiv was getting more popular, and I kept admiring extremely talented artists and animators online. The older I got the more I believed that it's "too late" for me to start learning again.

After turning 30, I got into drawing again in summer 2022. At this point I had matured and got a career in field that's not related to visual arts at all, so it was mostly just a fun hobby and not serious business. I had started admiring artists with more simplistic art style, and I enjoyed seeing art made by creators whose work wasn't that polished. I thought that I could aim for something like too. I also liked the simple and cute South Park style, so it was easy to start with that. I had still kept my old Wacom tablet (which still works!) and downloaded the free software FireAlpaca.

When AI art became a controversial topic, I got annoyed with people who said that AI art is "accessible" for those who can't draw. You can't...? But you haven't even tried. I guess I saw my old self in people like that: someone who instantly gives up when things don't instantly go their way. So to prove them wrong I started drawing again. When I did this, I noticed that it's far easier to get help these days: Youtube is full of free, good tutorials and Japanese softwares are better for an illustrator like me. So if anything, learning how to draw is now more accessible than ever.

I now draw just for the fun of it and to share my ideas. I also enjoy the learning process, so I also do my best to improve and try different things. I've noticed that I'm still stuck with my "old school anime art style", but I'm not sure if that's entirely a bad thing. I personally like that kind of style, after all. Sometimes I draw a lot, but there might be times I don't draw at all as other life responsibilities take my time. I guess I just wanted to share this story of mine in case there's someone else like me.




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