I Fancy Myself a Cat

While this isn’t a photo-realistic rendering of what I look like, I feel like this picture is pretty representative of how I feel about myself.  Minus that dreary tired look in my eyes.  That only happens about 73.2% of the time.

Self-portraits are sort of a dreaded art project.  Looking at yourself can be really uncomfortable, especially when you don’t like looking at yourself.  I persevered through those projects, but recently I’ve made a few “portraits” that I felt rather happy to draw.

(I can’t figure out how to rotate the video, but it’s very short and just a time-lapse of how I made the kitty picture).

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When I was younger, I sometimes tried to comfort myself by pretending I wasn’t human.  Mostly, I pretended like I was a dog.  As I got older though… I felt more like a stereotypical cat.  Minus the jerk part.  The more hiding when people came over and being more interested in a handful of humans.  I think they call that introvert.

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Yesterday a friend came over because I wanted to enlighten her on how to cook the best tofu EVER.  It’s a super simple, super customizable recipe and it went over very well.  She also brought over her art supplies just in case we wanted to draw together.  Which I am still getting used to.

But she asked me, “When did you first get into drawing?”  She started out by tracing when she was in high school because her best friend was really into art.  And because of that, she took up art.

For me…  I have always loved drawing and coloring as a kid.  I was more serious about being an artist when I was in Middle School to beginning high school.  Coupled with the expectation to pick a “real job” and after meeting someone much better than me…  Well, I let that ruin my perception of my drawings.  I stopped drawing as much.

These days I’m actually trying really hard to reestablish that hobby.  Because that is what drawing was for me at first.  I want to enjoy making art again.  Even if it’s not the most technically impressive, I want to enjoy my drawings.

This is the page I made last night:

Overall I have actually improved quite a bit from my earlier drawings.  Oh goodness, some of those make my cheeks flush.

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In the top right corner, I have this small drawing.

It’s of my boyfriend Sam holding me, while I’m dressed as a cat.  As long as I don’t think super hard about it, it’s cute.  Then again, I am also turning 25 this year so… that might be a bit strange.

I was working on an idea for a logo.  In my head I always hear, “Home is where the heart is” and it’s inseparable from the idea of home I have.  Much of that comes from past history – I feel like a nomadic traveler.  Despite the fact that I’ve lived in this town for nearly four years straight now.

But right now, my home is here with Sam.

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I understand that this post was a little all over the place.  I think I needed it.  I’ve been feeling the influence of my depression creeping up.  And I just had some precious thoughts I wanted to save somewhere before they get deleted out of my brain.

If you have an feedback on the art, or questions, please leave a comment below.  Or about anything else.

Drawing Cute Things: Rocky Love

There’s something really grand about redrawing things from your childhood.  As a kid, I used to draw these sorts of images all the time.  Ridiculous amounts.  There were everywhere – my school notes, my sketchbooks, napkins, you name it.  I’ve always had a deep fondness for cute things in my life.  Especially round things.  Don’t you think they are so much cuter than sharper edged ones?

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I’ve started falling back in love with creating art.

Digital is still a new medium to me and it took a lot of getting used to.  At first I started sketching only on one layer.  I treated it like traditional tools and while that’s not wrong, it wasn’t very efficient.  I began watching more videos utilizing the different tools and abilities and practiced more!

I began drawing again because I’ve been feeling very down.  And this is very normal for me (both the feeling down and the drawing when down part).  I’m not sure when it started, but I remember it the most vividly over my Middle School and High School years.  Those “formative” years.  Many nights I stayed up late after my dad had gone to sleep to turn on the music channels (that’d play MVs back to back) and draw.  Simply, and (mostly) without worry to one and two in the morning.

I used to do so all the time and it faded out over the years.

Actually in high school I remember being into chibi styles but not being very good at them.  What was born out of them was this strange sort of rag doll style that I just kept practicing.  It creeped out my homeroom teacher.  But one of my AVID class tutors was really fond of my drawings.  Or at least fond of my obvious passion for them.  I can’t remember her name, but I do remember her saying that she always felt it was a shame that some people didn’t stay with art.

That was in response to my teacher asking what major I would pursue.  I chose science.  Just… because I had a little interest in it.

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This drawing was something that would pop up (as mentioned earlier) a lot.  It was probably one of my most soothing drawings, as well as a little “dinosaur” that evolved with me from elementary school.  But why two rocks?  Honestly I have no idea.  Why are they in love?  Well, I loved the idea of love.  It would not be wrong to say that I craved love.  And if two inanimate objects could be happy together, why not?  Why not anyone?

Plus, it is such a simple drawing.  I was thinking of my boyfriend when I started and I wanted to make something that would make him smile.  Success!

Here’s a time-lapse of my creation.  It’s pretty basic, and not terribly interesting.  It’s also silent because I’m a late night person and I don’t like sudden loud noises.  Hence why it is also not on auto-play (don’t you hate that Facebook does that)?

Anyways.  I started with some rough sketches.  Afterwards I started painting in the colors and then began playing around with creating shadows and highlights on different layers.  Both of those are done differently – the shadows were made by selecting the layer contents that I wanted to paint the shadow for and painting black on a different layer and then modifying the opacity.  I realize the rocks aren’t blended very well and I kind of liked that look.  And for those, I used darker and darker shades of gray.  The rocks are my favorite.

The highlights were made by just using whites and painting accumulating strokes.  And I really only did this on the hearts for whatever reason.

And maybe you’ll notice that I spend a lot of time fine-tuning the lines.  The real reason is because when I would try to colorfill, it would fill the whole page because there were gaps in my lines.  If I had tweaked the colorfill threshold, I might have actually had more success.  Ha.  You live and you learn!

So thanks for listening so far.  Do you have favorite drawings from when you were young?  Or even now?  The more I think about it, I have a few saved somewhere that I should dig out and keep drawing.