My Art Journey 2 Years In and Critquing My Old Art

I was really proud of this one when I did it, but it’s not good. The nose something’s happening there… So around two years ago I started my art journey. Hey everyone welcome back to my channel! My name’s Cheyenne and I’m an Asian American adoptee and expat living in Brazil. I post new videos every Tuesday and Friday about race feminism and pop culture, so if you’re into that please subscribe and ring the bell. Today I’m going to be talking about my ever evolving feelings about my art and we’re also going to look back at some of my old art from 2018 and critique it. I know that thisn’t my usual content, but I really wanted to talk about my art journey and also share this part of my life with you all. So part one my art insecurities. There’s this really great video on youtube called Art is Hard and I suggest that you watch it because it really describes how hard art is. In the video they talk about how repetitive art can be and how futile it feels when you draw the same thing over and over and see no results until you finally end up drawing something that you like. You do slowly get better and better until suddenly you realize that you’ve been doing this one thing wrong this whole time and then you feel like an idiot because you actually thought you were improving. Drawing is really freaking hard and it’s something that I kind of beat myself up over like every day. Feeling not good enough and the futility of it all really does start to eat at you, especially of course with social media and constantly looking at everyone’s “perfect” art However all this frustration never makes me want to give up on my art because I know that art and drawing is a learned skill. I know that art isn’t about talent, but rather learning and knowing how to use your tools. If you’re an acrylic painter it’s learning how to use acrylics, if you’re a digital painter it’s about learning how to use your program. Art is something that you can only get better at with practice, patience, and time and that is why I will never give up on trying to make good art. But it does make me sad sometimes that I could spend hours on a piece and still not be satisfied with the final results. I personally make so much art, I try to draw every single day, and in the end I’m only ever really happy with one maybe out of 15 or 20 pieces. And sometimes I do wonder if i will ever be good at art and satisfied with all of my work and at this point I don’t think that I ever will be. I don’t think that there is any artist out there that is totally 100% satisfied with every single piece they do and that’s okay. At this point I know that I can draw well-ish. I can at least draw the human form, the head, and I’m even getting better at hands so that’s good. I know that I’ve improved a lot, but I know also that I’m not where I want to be I also know that I have a lot to improve on such as hair, making clothes look realistic and 3-D, and of course the roundness of the eye, and lastly of course noses, which are the bane of my existence One of my favorite parts of that youtube video that I mentioned in the beginning, Art is Hard is, the fact that the narrator focuses on the artist in the video drawing that one thing. I think that we as artists all have that one thing that we just cannot draw and we know how infuriating it is, but we just keep going out of like pure spite. And sometimes I do feel like I’m drawing out of pure spite just to prove myself wrong and say yes I can draw that thing. And if that’s what I need to keep myself going and motivated I’m okay with that I know that I’m making drawing sound not that fun or that I don’t get enjoyment out of doing art, but I really really do. I love creating things and I love seeing my finished work at the end even if I’m not 100% satisfied with it. But that also doesn’t mean that I don’t get frustrated and feel like I’m not good enough and sometimes that little voice in your head saying that you should give up or that you’re not good enough is the motivating force to keep going. So now back to the infuriating stuff. I think what’s the most infuriating for me is that I still can’t draw the things that are in my head. I’m really great at following tutorials and using references, but when it comes to drawing something that’s in my head it always comes out wrong. Very rarely do I draw something that I really am proud of or that I imagined in my head. I know that I’m in that gap where my skills haven’t caught up with my taste yet and it’s really frustrating and it’s definitely one of the worst places to be as an artist, but I also have to remember that not every artist no matter what skill level they’re at is proud of their work, not even the ones that I admire. Even the ones who seem to be perfect artists still aren’t happy with their own art and that is somewhat comforting. So part two, Instagram and finding an

art style. So more recently in my art journey I’ve been trying to find an art style. I love scrolling through instagram and seeing all the really pretty art and noticing people’s different styles and a lot of artists on instagram do have a style, a set style, so they have kind of like a brand that they can later market. Painting the same style face for example will help you be more recognizable in the plethora of art on instagram and also help you connect with audiences. However I don’t really want to find an art style for this reason, for marketability, because I don’t think that I’ll ever make money from my art, but rather I think it’s just really cool to kind of master your own style and have your own way of drawing. I love experimenting with different eye shapes and sizes and you know just playing around with the face and there are some artists online who I really look up to because their style is so awesome. I love guweiz hyper realistic kind of video game painted style I also really love wyntonred’s more graphic anime style. I also really like its lopez and her art and how it perfectly blends kind of like anime style with more details. And of course tassia.m.s.’s style which is basically soft paintings that are really nice to look at. I’m currently trying to blend like all of these different inspirations together into my style and of course I’m not trying to copy any of them because their styles are their styles they’re unique and obviously you don’t want to plagiarize or trace over other people’s work. And lastly of course you want to have a unique style. You want to have your own style of art and why would you ever want to copy someone else’s? Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by them or use their drawings as references and give them credit online or even just practice by yourself, but when it comes to having your own art style you want it to be like a little personalized and have your own voice come through the piece. And even when you do try your best to mimic someone else’s style it will never really work anyway because firstly, you’re on two different skill levels, probably using two different programs, and also because your own voice just comes through naturally and that’s a good thing. You never want to be a carbon copy of someone else unless of course that’s your goal and you’re doing some sort of fan art of like a Studio Ghibli movie for example and you want it to look exactly like their style. So you know it just depends, but when it comes to your own unique art style it’s a little different. That’s why of course you have people doing Sailor Moon fan art but in their style to not exactly copy the original work because that’s a little boring and repetitive. As with my style I’m still playing around with the types of eyes that I like and also keeping in the line art versus not keeping in the line art. But I do definitely like line art so I think I’m definitely going to keep that in. It makes it look a little bit more sketchy and less digital, so yeah I’m still trying to figure it out and I’ll let you know if I ever get there. As for instagram as a whole I do think that it is unhealthy for artists and this isn’t some like hot take. It’s been well known for a while that instagram hurts creator’s mental health. For example inktober is known to stress creators out, so now you don’t need to draw for all 31 days of October but rather just draw when you feel inspired by a prompt The same of course goes for Mermay and other instagram monthly challenges. Instagram also hurts artists because you’re constantly comparing yourself to other artists. Instagram also has a very homogenizing effect on art because there is this certain type of instagram face that tends to go viral so everyone’s just trying to play into that, myself included honestly. Ergo Josh who is a youtuber on youtube obviously, he’s made a few videos about this kind of trend and how to change up your own art so it kind of stands out and apart from all the other kind of he says boring or you know all the kind of same faces we tend to see on instagram. His videos are definitely worth watching so go check them out. And he basically says to give your characters expressions because that will catch people’s attention and will stand apart again from all the other faces that kind of just have like this boring lifeless kind of expression, which of course I also do fall into a lot of the time. So yeah as someone who’s still in the very beginning of their art journey, I’m not really too concerned with followers on instagram or my instagram social media presence with my art, but having the instagram does make me feel like I need to post and I need to create, so it helps me to not

kind of be like a “lazy” artist, and also knowing that people are excited and expecting to see my work keeps me motivated. One day in the future like all artists I hope to one day make money from it, but I don’t think that I ever will. And if I do it’s in the very far future and I’m honestly very okay with that. I used to want to become a visual development artist and I was really excited about it, but after learning more about the job I don’t think visual development is for me. I’m definitely more comfortable and happier just having art as my hobby and not as like my career. And you know what I’m okay with that again. I’m fine with it. If I never make money from my art. I just find it to be really enjoyable and I think that we always put so much pressure on people who don’t make money off of things that they like to do. Like we kind of shame them for it because “what’s the point?” You’re not making money from it, but it does give me like personal fulfillment, so I’m going to keep doing it. Just like with my youtube channel, however I do make some money from my youtube channel which is awesome, but it is really just a labor of love and I just love to do it and I know that I don’t have like a ton of followers and I’m not that good with art, like talking about both youtube and art, but they’re just both personally fulfilling for me and I don’t think that we should necessarily shame people who aren’t making money off of their creative endeavors because that’s wrong. It’s definitely part of capitalism that we’re only supposed to enjoy things that make us money, but how are people ever supposed to make money off their art if they never just spend years doing it for free or without making money from it? I don’t know it doesn’t really make any sense. It’s like this weird paradox, but anyway that’s it for this part. So part three critiquing my old art. So this part of the video is going to be totally unscripted. I’m just going to be looking back at my old art here and I’m going to be putting up like the scanned copy on the monitor so you can see it. And for my digital art I’ll just put up like the digital file here so you can see it. And I’m going to talk about things that I could have done differently with each drawing and what I could improve on and of course what I learned from each one. So let’s start. So this is one of the first drawings I did. It’s of Ariana Grande’s Sweetener cover. I did this in 2018 in November. The month is in the middle so yeah And this one this one is not good. The head is too wide. The eyes, I don’t know what’s happening with it. The neck is really thick. I was too afraid to shade like, I was afraid of like using dark colors obviously. And I wouldn’t say that it’s terrible, but it’s not like the best. I don’t even think it’s recognizable as her. I think it looks more like Kylie Jenner So I did a lot of Ariana Grande. I did like so many of her. I’m not gonna show all of them. This one was probably like the best one that I did. I did this like the same day as the other one. I drew her like five times a day. This one is not good, but I colored it in with colored pencils. Anyway I was really proud of this one when I did it, but it’s not good. The nose something’s happening there. The eyes are like way too far apart. I think that the shape of the eyes are okay, um but that’s really all I like about it. Okay now we have some art from the next month, which was December of 2018 when I was watching Game of Thrones for the first time. So I did a lot of game of thrones fan art. This is of Daenerys. Again her head is very wide, but it doesn’t look too bad. There’s no shading though because again I was afraid of using dark colors. Her hair doesn’t look too bad Her eyes look good. Again noses are the bane of my existence. And then we have some Disney fan art I did in January of 2019. I was watching a lot of Disney Renaissance movies so I did a lot of Disney fan art. And this time I actually got a sketchbook so I wasn’t drawing like on lined paper. This is of Ariel, it’s weird. I went through this phase of like trying to use pencils and it did not turn out well Drawing Disney style is extremely difficult It looks easy but it’s really not. You need to know where to exaggerate the features and where to like tone it down, and this one is like all over the place. She looks really surprised, but I think that’s okay. Like she has an expression at least, but her mouth is closed and her hair is doing something weird. So this is Belle. She looks like she’s like working at a coal mine her face is so dirty. Her eyes oh god, they are not symmetrical at all. They’re not even like close to being symmetrical. Her mouth is like

way to the side. It was so hard to like- It was really hard to draw like with pencils and not being able to flip the canvas to check for symmetry issues. Obviously there are so many symmetry issues with this. More Game of Thrones fan art. This one I think is from March of 2019. I was confused because sometimes I wrote the date in the American style and sometimes I wrote the date like with the with the day first and then the month in the middle. I don’t know if it’s a European thing or if it’s just like the rest of the world, so I don’t know if this is from June or March, but I want to say March. This one was one of my better portraits, which is saying a lot considering her eyes are still extremely unsymmetrical.But I do like her nose. I think I was getting better at noses at this point and also lips and shading in general. I stopped being afraid of using darker tones which is a good thing, so I could have more tone variation. This was um supposed to be Judy Garland from um The Wizard of Oz It’s again very unsymmetrical because i didn’t use a ruler obviously. I mean I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s recognizable as her and I was definitely getting better I mean the hair looks okay, the clothes look fine, I think it was just her neck. It is not long enough Her head is too wide again, and her eyes are not good. The nose also looks too cartoonish, especially because I was trying to do like realistic portraits during this time It’s fine. All right so now I’m going to kind of fast forward through my art journey. I did like, through 2018 and 2019 I just drew realistic portraits with a pencil in my sketchbook and they all kind of just looked the same. There was some growth, but it wasn’t anything like noticeable. I would say um pencils just are not my forte. So now I’m going to be looking back at some of my digital art that I started actually this year in 2020. I got a wacom intuit- I got a wacom intuos tablet in like January. It’s like the small size and it’s used, I bought it from like the internet It’s fine though. It works great, and I’m using Medibang as my paint program because it’s free And this is just some of the art that I drew on it this year so let’s go through some of it. And I definitely can see more improvement in my digital art, so that’s what we’re gonna be looking at. So my first art and I’m gonna put it like here so you guys can see it. It’s Daisy from The Great Gatsby I don’t know what made me want to draw her, but I was drawing her at the time and I actually really do like this one because I kept in some really thick line art with the nose and the ear I also really like the hair. I think this one looks really good and painted whereas my other digital art after this will start looking more like digital and not as good. My next portrait that I did was of Hattie McDaniel from the Oscars. This is when I started using the airbrush and the blur brush, which I don’t recommend, but she doesn’t look too bad. I mean she still looks recognizable. I really like her eyebrows and her expression and the lips But of course like her jawline is totally like uneven. Like I don’t know really how to describe it, but it’s because when I used to do digital portraits I would start out with painting the base. I did not do any line art which was really bad. Like for all these portraits, the early ones that I did, I did not do line art and therefore like the edges of her face don’t look good. So now just looking at some of my older art, or my other art from this era, this is like the beginning of 2020. I did some like weird lineless art like this Harry Potter fan art drawing where I just use the blur brush for everything. It just looks dirty. I also did an SNSD art of their Lion Heart cover and it also just looks dirty because I used the blur brush too much. I did a lot of visual development projects which I’m not going to show, but they definitely did help me with drawing so there’s that. I want to say I got better during the six fan art challenge, which happened I think in April of 2020. Yeah it did and I started doing going back to portraits again because I didn’t do portraits for the longest time because I was doing like this anime style for my projects for visual development, some of which I never finished, but anyway, during the

six fan art challenge I went back to portraits and I could definitely see my improvement. I drew Lupita N’yongo. I drew the woman from Split. I don’t remember her name- Anya Taylor Joy. And I did a few other people. I again drew Emilia Clarke and you know it looks better. It doesn’t look great, but it looks better. Then of course I did more portraits, but then I started to kind of play around with this anime style. For example I did this cinderella fan art with like Tim Burton eyes It doesn’t look great but I don’t hate it. So I’m definitely starting to get better with my digital art around May of this year, which was like really recently I did some anime fan art. I did like anime fan art of The Handmaid’s Tale so I drew- Not The Handmaid’s Tale, The Handmaiden, which is like a movie from South Korea, but anyway, I drew the characters in an anime style. So this is when I started to like really try to like have a style and draw like realistic people but with anime eyes essentially. That doesn’t look terrible Then I went back to portraits again I did Kiko Mizuhara fan art I guess, or like a portrait of her. It doesn’t look terrible, but it’s definitely not like perfect. But I don’t hate it. I also did a Judy Garland portrait, but she just looks dirty. Like I had no idea what colors to shade in white skin with so I just used like grays and it just looks really bad I was really proud of it at the time, but her face just looks dirty. I started doing more anime portraits and then more realistic portraits and now I’m kind of like in the phase of I don’t know, just drawing portraits but like with kind of like a sketchier style For example in July I redrew one of my one of like the portraits that I did when i first started drawing which was Ariana Grande Sweetener cover. So I redrew that one in July and it turned out not to be not too bad. I mean it still doesn’t really look like her but you can definitely see some improvement Her ear is like huge for some reason This one’s fine. It’s fine it’s not perfect I could definitely do better now, but for July me I mean it was pretty good. And then I did some WAP fan art. This is probably the best realistic portrait that I’ve ever done to be honest because it actually looks like the people and it looks like finished and good. So I was really proud of that one and of course after you draw something really good you’re kind of afraid to draw again because you’re like well what if I draw like again it turns out badly and then it shows that I haven’t made any progress. So I was kind of afraid to draw after drawing that one, but then I had to get over it and of course continue drawing. I did Azula fan art in September and i freaking love this painting. If there’s one painting that I really love that I did I love this Azula fan art like this is my favorite drawing that I think I’ve ever done. I don’t think I could ever replicate it I mean I’m gonna try eventually. And then I started using heavy paint um and then I stopped using heavy paint because it was just too too much for me, but um I did do this My Neighbor Totoro fan art on heavy paint. Heavy paint is a program I’m not going to get into it you can look it up for yourself, but with heavy pain there’s no layers, there’s no layer modes, you can’t like erase things. I can’t use it because I’m not skilled enough, but I tried and I did this My nNighbor Totoro fan art and I really like it. This is another one I’m really proud of actually. It just looks so freaking good I don’t know, I just love that one. Then I did my magnum opus of a background which is from Five Centimeters Per Second. This one took me like two days. It was so hard. There’s so many things I can see wrong with it, but I still do really love it. I again did it with heavy paint where there’s no erase feature, but then I had to take it out of heavy paint because there was a perspective issue and I put it in Medibang and I fixed it and I did the snow there and the lights and the characters in Medibang so it’s kind of a mix between heavy paint and Medibang And I got this one and I think it looks really good. I do like heavy paint but I mean it’s just so time consuming that I just don’t have patience for it right now. But I really liked that one. And then of course I tried finding my style. Now we’re getting into more of my current art. This art was from September 24th. This is when I tried doing guweiz’s style. I credited him of course in the post. It turned out to be okay thank god. I got better at shading white people skin and stopped using like black to shade in their features. So I was using better colors and her

skin looks great. One thing I really do like about this painting is the skin. I love the texture of the kimono I love her hand I got really good at drawing hands thank god. I really do love her hair. I mean i had a really great reference and I’m really good at copying references um or at least drawing from references, but of course when it comes to drawing things in my head it gets harder which is why I really love the Azula painting that I did because it all came from my head and it turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Anyway so yeah, um after that I did another realistic portrait recently of Marilyn Monroe This one I was trying to use the pastel brushes on Medibang. I think that they’re good, but I don’t know, they’re kind of messy to use too so I don’t know if i’m going to continue to use them, but for this painting they turned out well My nose looks kind of weird, but it looks at least somewhat decent. I don’t know how to get like this narrow part of their nose here without making the nostrils too big and vice versa The hair leaves something to be desired, but it at least has volume. The sweater looks good and also I love her expression. But again looks I think too digital for my taste. And also even with the canvas textured background which I just started using, um it looks okay. I mean it’s not my best portrait, but it’s not my worst. I still rather would draw like cartoony style rather than like these realistic portraits, but I do them every once in a while to remind myself of a facial anatomy so there’s that. And then of course I did um something in tasia.m.s.’s style. I drew Bubbles and with her puffy shirt that tasia.m.s. loves drawing I’m trying to draw puffy shirts. It’s really freaking hard, but she’s great at it so I did my interpretation, which obviously isn’t as good but it is in my own kind of style or at least I gave a twist to it because it of course doesn’t look exactly the same. I actually do prefer mine over hers um which I guess is a good thing. I love how I shaded the nose. I think I’m definitely getting better at noses. And I love the eyes. I started using the blur brush to do the eyes and I think it actually looks really good. And then I did some vintage witches recently that I also was inspired by tasia.m.s. because she uses like vintage dress patterns to draw witches and I think that’s a really creative idea, so I’m also doing that or I also did like a few of those so this is one of them. There are two witches in blue and I wanted to kind of do a twist on them so I did the second one with like kind of robotic arms and I think it just looks really cool. It’s like a Tim Burton movie. I do really like this one even though there are some problems. For example the witch that’s standing up, her leg is like not anatomically right. I mean her leg should be way more in- I don’t know where she’s resting her weight for example I know she’s supposed to be resting it on the leg that’s straight, but it does not look like that. I think I cut off her face too much too severely for a three-quarter view, but I am still getting familiar with like anime anatomy, which is totally different from like real human anatomy, so it’s, it’s a learning curve. Then my latest drawing is just Jasmine um again with the puffy shirt I’m trying i’m trying to take inspiration from tasia.m.s. Her art is impeccable, but of course with my own spin on it. And I actually really do like this one even though her neck- I don’t think her neck is in the right place. It’s questionable anatomy. I definitely can see improvement which is awesome, but I also know there’s a lot that I need to work. I hope you enjoyed this video of looking back at my old art with me and looking at my current art and seeing that kind of improvement because sometimes it is hard to see when you’re just kind of stuck. You feel like you’re stuck in this rut because you’re not getting better, but then when you look at your art from two years ago or more than two years ago you know you can actually see the progression better, so it’s always a helpful reminder. So if you’re an artist leave a comment down below let me know um how your art journey is going because it’s cool to meet other artists. So that’s it for this video. I know it was a little bit different than my usual content, but you know this is my channel and this is what I wanted to post so here we are. I hope this was like at least someone entertaining for you and if you liked it please of course give it a like, leave a comment, subscribe share with someone, and my next video is going to be a review of Carmen Sandiego season three, so if you want to see that one again please subscribe and ring the bell, and yeah I’ll see you all in the next one, thank you so much for watching bye 🙂