Firstly, I've reserved August for commissions and requests so you probably won't be seeing much this next couple weeks. However, I have a really big project I hope to finish in September that will hopefully celebrate and showcase my development as an artist -- I'm painting a friend I made this past year who somehow came to represent a whole host of things I want to paint about, haha
This is my sixth year on DeviantArt; I came as a "digital" artist, interestingly enough, using a program called Picture It! to make banners (in fact, I did a set for FusedElegance in exchange for one of their glass pendants -- I still wear it nearly every day!!).
I didn't have much success here otherwise, so I wasn't active again until about two years ago. I've actually had the most exciting time this past two years becoming an artist ... it was the encouragement I got to to draw portraits that inspired me to pick up a pencil again and start drawing, which ... in turn, led to me developing the skills to properly illustrate my life and ideas.
Briefly, I was also toying with glass etching. I got my first DD only about two months into being active on DeviantArt again!
Before coming to DeviantArt, I'd never really done anything in color before. I'd also put my "surrealism" on the back burner for the sake of becoming a better technical artist. Then I came across JamesRickard and his surreal work, and it inspired me to return to my roots ....
The latter piece was my first time deliberately adding color to a psychedelic piece. Since I didn't really own my own markers or paint to work with, I dug up some ancient markers that my grandmother (an artist) used back in 80's or 90's. They were very dry and virtually all the colors has turned to yellow.
Around this time, I'd decided to finally enroll at a college in the Spring of 2013. I also had stumbled across the magical musings of WilliamDallwitz. We had a lottttt of different conversations about just about any and everything in the universe and alongside what was happening in my new environment at school, I became inspired to try painting (I'd done murals and assignments before, but I never actually tried to paint on my own before). I purchased some dollar store acrylics and cheap canvas boards to create some of these images:
Incidentally, I went through a relatively turbulent phase at the end of that semester. It was an important time because I started to realize how much really went into some of the pieces I was making -- how unintentional and subconscious the process could be. In the midst of a difficult time, I gave up technicality to explore the opposite extreme: emotion...
I also started to become more comfortable with colors.
I think I personally fumbled a whole lot through my first semester, so when the summer came I was positively exhausted. And a little fed up. But because I'd made so much artwork during my time at home in the Winter of 2012 and painted so much throughout the Spring, I had enough to be put in my first gallery exhibition. I met this fellow by the name of Rocky Makes Room For Them in my science class; he ended up being a coworker and then the person who helped me get my foot in the door in the local arts scene. He's the one who invited me to show my work alongside his at a fledgling art space. At the opening and closing receptions, I was fatefully reunited with not only my culture, but a portion of my family as well. I also made new friends and connections who have been nothing but supportive to me ever since!
The pieces above were a symbolic transformation for me, the first being how I felt physically and mentally at the beginning of the summer; at the height of all my stress, I'd developed this hideous and painful sore in my throat (hence the mouth painting).
.... the last three were moments of diffusion. Hallelujah!
During my third semester (which was in the Fall of 2013 ... I'd taken full-time summer classes for my second), I started to take what I'd learned about technicality, color, faces, feeling both stifled and free ... what I'd learned all year long, essentially ... and put it into a new, more concise body of work. I'd also acquired a fair-sized audience here on DA that encouraged me every step of the way.
Fall 2013 was a restorative period. I made some fantastic friends.
I enrolled in a painting class for the semester.... didn't actually get too many paintings done, haha But I helped orchestrate my second show.
Suddenly, I'm a portrait artist again .... fast forward to Valentine's Day 2014 and I'm featured in a show called Quaintrelle. I've gone through more changes and met even more incredible people. Suddenly early 2013 holds no significance. And look, my second Daily Deviation award! (Tupac was done this summer, of course...)
I didn't have to go to school anymore in Spring 2014 since I'd already earned my degree. But graduation wasn't for awhile and I didn't want to be anywhere else, so I stayed and I am 2000% glad I did. I treated it as a "do-over" of 2013. I end the semester with these pieces:
And still, there's ups and downs to life and to what I do .. I just know better how to cope and how to express my ideas! Now I'm a live-painter and do public demonstrations!
Without DeviantArt, I don't think I would have found the inspiration to start on my art again. Without an audience ... without supporters .... kind people who donated supplies, paid for scans and framing, people who came to my shows, who took the time to watch me as I worked, told me their stories, played me their songs, answered my questions and asked me their own, left their comments, shared my work, ... without all the interactions that took place, I wouldn't have come this far.
So that's my DeviantARt journey (for the most part, haha). Muchas gracias y feliz cumpleaños, DeviantArt!
And thanks, as always, to the hundreds of you who have acted as an important part!