Monday, September 29, 2014

My Style Evolution

I thought that you guys might like to see some of my old drawings, like old stuff from art school and REALLY old stuff from childhood.


My favorite things to draw were fairies, ballerinas, princesses, brides, dolphins, angels and swans. I enjoyed the vintage illustration in classic fairy tale books, so I tried to make my heroines slender and elegant. I wrote my own books with illustrations on each page - including my own "choose your own adventure" books, because I didn't feel like the library had enough of those.


My Mom gave me a book about drawing pencil portraits, and from then on that was all I did.  I mostly drew Lord of the Rings fanart and portraits of my friends. I improved a lot in drawing realism and faces, but my work lost all its imagination and narrative. I also got into anime during this time, but I believe all my early attempts at drawing anime have been destroyed, thankfully.

After college, before art school (2010)

Because I majored in Japanese, I didn't do much drawing during college and my work hadn't really evolved since high school. I stayed in my pencil portrait comfort zone. While I could draw realistically, I had no idea how to develop a scene from my imagination, relying entirely on photographs. When I applied to the Academy of Art University, they asked me to submit a portfolio. Here are some of the things I submitted.

Beginning art school (2011)

Here I began to attempt digital painting, working in color, and drawing simple backgrounds. I still used photo references but also tried to introduce some imaginary elements. Oil painting classes taught me a lot about light and color.

Middle of art school (2012)

As I took classes about perspective and environment, I was able to start drawing complete scenes. My illustrations and color schemes became more complex, and I began to be able to express some imagination.

Last year of art school (2013) to present

In my last year of art school I really felt like I hit my stride. I developed my own method of digital painting that worked for me and produced consistent results. Interestingly, my specialty is now illustrations that tell stories, and I almost never draw characters floating in space - the opposite of what I used to do. I would like to improve at drawing buildings and city scenes.

In childhood I focused on telling stories, in adolescence I focused on drawing people realistically, and as an adult I've found a way to combine those two interests.


  1. My mom gave me that exact same book to learn from when I was a kid! Great style evolution.

  2. This was really interesting. Thanks. I wish more artists would share this kind of history.

  3. You left out the part about how you were blessed with your dad's good looks.


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