I sent off my manuscript to some agents so I’m taking the liberty of taking time to work on hobbies I’ve neglected. It just so happens that drawing is one of those things. I had been into art since I was a little Jo and it’s nice to get back into it a bit. That’s not to say writing isn’t art, but you can’t hang writing on a fridge to admire later. And the improvement curve isn’t necessarily as obvious.
I discovered Copic markers through binging on art videos and staring longingly at the work of people like Stanley “Artgerm” Lau. I figured instead of being wistful about it, I was going to take my own pen in my hands and get to drawing.
Something I’ve learned throughout the years is that I’m a rather visual person. Since graduating college, some weird appreciation of anime has awoken (let me know your favorites!). Anyone who knew me knows that I had a rather distaste of it back in college. But honestly, it’s pretty to look at and some of it is quite good. In terms of my personal hierarchy of fantasy works, Berserk ranks pretty close with The Lord of the Rings. I just think it’s awesome to bring landscapes to life with a pen and I look at some of it and go, “Hey, I want to do that.”
So I bought several notebooks and got to practicing. I used to doodle in my college classes back in 2013 to stay awake. And then I just didn’t stop. It’s interesting looking back at your own work and realizing how much you’ve improved. I suffered from a bit of “same face” syndrome. Now, I think I’ve been able to diversify the appearance of my characters a bit, outside of outfit, hair length, and the sharpness of the chin. Here’s a collage of some of my recent work:
For my writing, I need to draw out my own characters before I can properly describe them. I need to see them made by my own hand and it helps me in capturing the feel of a character without having to put it words first. The number of drafts I’ve done of Mindy to really get her was a bit absurd and I can do a whole blog post on just her once the book gets done. (Side comment: Ever read notes and first first drafts and you want to cower a bit from how bad reads? No? Just me? Ok)
My next purchase will be to get more Copic markers to get better at doing skin tones, especially some of the more unique ones in the series. My personal favorite has slate grey skin, but obviously, you want that to look different from armor. In terms of improving my craft, I want to get to do backgrounds for some of these. There’s a bit of one hidden in the “Assassin” queen with the pink hair, so be on the look-out for that.
Any craft takes practice and half the battle is sitting down and doing it. So, get to it!
I love this. I used to draw my characters out too, but then I neglected my hobby. I think a variety of activities helps your brain be more creative, less tired-out, and just all around bouncier. Time to get back into it!