Looking at this I am reminded of all the things I used to love, the things I still love. I can recall the places where I drew these, who I was with and why they came to be. I can see the streaks of pen on my fingertips and feel the smears of paint on my desk. I can remember laughing as I drew Nemesis hiding behind a painting and sniggering as I immortalised Matt Bellamy's wonderful arse in digital paint. Art has been a pleasure, a joy. It has been evocative and amusing. It has been silly nonsense and sincere emotion. It has been my life.
very much my life.
And I am so very grateful for it.
1) I've called it a development meme
as opposed to the traditional improvement meme
because, as you can see, it's not all actually improvement. My paintings from 2001-2002 were a lot better than when I tried my hand at anime-styled works a little later. Switching styles meant I essentially had to re-learn how to draw all over again. For me, though, it's not all
about improving. Sometimes art is just about doing
, about trying new things, seeing how it goes, and taking it form there. Improvement comes with time and practice so don't worry about the ups and downs in your work. It's natural and you'll get to where you want to be in the end.
2) 1998 was the earliest I could find work from but I know my mom has some things from when I was at primary school. The few years previous to '98 would have been spent drawing Animals of Farthing Wood and Tiny Toon Adventures fanart as well as the odd original character.
3) You'll notice a few recurring themes right from the beginning of this. Medieval characters, jesters and original fashion to name a few. These are all things that still inspire me today.
4) I have spent all day putting this together. I've climbed inside wardrobes, crawled under my bed, put my sister to work, trawled old websites... And this is the result. 16 years of my arting history. The longest image I have ever created. Enjoy.Extra note:
I'm really happy that a number of you are being inspired by this. I wasn't expecting that reaction but it's lovely to know that just by looking at this some of you have a renewed sense of appreciation for your own art and your own improvement. It's only with time that we can really see how far we've come, and the paths we took to get there, so rest assured that even if you feel you're struggling now, one day you'll look back on your art from now with fondness. You'll see how those struggles shaped you and, with hindsight, that things weren't really as bad as you imagined. Until that day though try to keep a positive outlook. Try not to think of your less awesome work as no good, think of it as a stepping stone, an important part of the learning process. Try to accept that their will be ups and downs, that there never is a perfectly straight line of improvement. There will be wibbles and probably a little frustration and times where you may think you don't even like your work. But take heart. You will improve, you will get to where you want to be. So enjoy your scribbles, enjoy your silly pictures and enjoy those drawings that turn out a bit wonky. Don't worry about whether it's good or bad but whether you like it. Because art is a wonderful thing and, for me at least, it's not about being the best artist in the world but about enjoying your art at every level and being proud of even the smallest achievements. So enjoy what you're doing now and look forward to what you'll one day accomplish.
And, above all else, enjoy the journey there.
You can now catalog your own journey with the blank Development Meme template: