I was never good in art at all, even from childhood until college. I remember when I had trouble with art homework that I have to contact my two older cousins ate Anne and kuya Jon, who had incredible skills in creating works, to do most of my art yikes ! Currently ate Anne designs cakes for a living, and Kuya Jon is working in a graphic design company.
They had inspired me so much to create any artwork back then when I was younger, but my hands don't want to cooperate with my mind. Every line and shading that I make look wonky and won't improve. I tried a lot, but nope, I just felt that art wasn't cut out for me.
Art Lessons and Activities in High School
I remember way back in high school when numerous activities revolve around the art subject, as even in the likes of Science and English subjects require us to work with drawings and caricatures as homework and seatwork. I managed to get them finished, but the results were never satisfactory. I would constantly compare my work being similar to grade-schoolers and beat myself up because of it.
Around 3rd-year high school, I had an art teacher who was so laid-back and didn't bother teaching us the proper techniques and fundamentals. He will only discuss around 10 mins of a particular topic and terminologies, but almost no demonstration at all. And then, he would ask us to create something based on what he discussed, which would often leave us feeling confused and lost, aside from those few classmates who can draw and paint.
Those few people were easily recognized by our teacher with their abilities and always commended them while working on their creations. In a 3 hour long class, our teacher often walks around the room to see what his students are creating and leaving some good comments. He is generous when it comes to grading, but our concern is that we do not learn anything properly in art.
No More Time in College
As I went to college, things got way more difficult and complicated, considering I am studying engineering. The only drawing that I learned was the technical drawings that are often associated with engineering. Our engineering drawing professor was so strict and bad-mouthing us when we create terrible works.
That class is so depressing and too difficult for me as he required us to create multiple submissions of several tasks. He also instantly gives a failing grade in a glance over your work if it doesn't fit his standards. I almost failed that subject too.
As years passed by in college, I never encountered any tasks requiring complicated drawings. It was just simple diagrams that would describe a particular process.
Then the pandemic came in
Last year, the pandemic shook everyone around the globe. Most work and schools shut down, and it prompted people to do their tasks at home. By that time, I was already about to finish my academic subjects.
Here comes August, where I finally finished everything in school aside from my research paper which was moved until 2021 to be completed due to the circumstances at that time. Having no more schoolwork to work with made me feel so bored that even playing games and watching online didn't help that much.
With so much time now in my hands, I finally decided to revisit my intention of improving my drawings that I couldn't do after several years.
I tried drawing my favorite characters from anime and even some random stuff. I was pleased with the results because I can see that I am improving with the time and effort I am investing into it.
Some of my earlier works at the time
The first medium that I worked with consists of pen, graphite pencils, and charcoal.
The work above is the one that I did first, which was Irene Belserion from Fairy Tail. I drew her because the anime just ended, and she was a great character. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to give her any justice. I was about to throw the paper, but I decided to keep it for future reference for improvement haha.
Next was Jigglypuff as a Pokémon character that I drew. I decided to give her a try because I thought it was easy, but I was wrong. Those edges were nasty and irregular.
Another subject that I have at home is our cat Chubs. He was posing nicely and decided to take a photo of him. I was able to get some of his likenesses, but there were not many details in here.
I started using the old charcoal pencil that was in my pencil holder and tried to use it. I was satisfied with how bold the lines are, as well as the shading. I fell in love with charcoal because it makes it easy to finish some pieces and the bold, dark lines and shading it creates.
Finally, this leaf was simple, yet I had real fun creating this. I enjoyed making the minor details while shading some parts of the leaf.
After all of these mini-artworks, I said to myself that it was never too late for me to learn art and a new set of skills. I was never a prodigy or talented with it, but my perseverance and determination to continuously try and improve after every bad work allows me to hone my skills. I researched about the Old Masters that some of them only did art at around 30s-40s during their middle ages. If you ever feel down that you're too late with something, never get discouraged! Everything comes with time and practice.
Thank you very much for reading my art journey this time! I plan to create a series called Bryan's Art journey or something along the lines which will contain all of my experiences and growth as I venture the world of art!
Awesome article! This is an interesting topic and can motivate to start learning new skills. Drawing was also my passion when I was young but during and after college, I only draw once in a while even unti now, I almost not done it anymore. On the other hand, I really want to develop my skills too on the digital art or graphic design using graphic design apps like photoshop, corel draw, etc. but my my oldie laptop (with white space damage on the screen) can't install those said apps. Hopefully soon if I can buy a new laptop, I can start learning this graphic design. Keep writing and learning!