Gosh it's just a bit hard to believe I've been here for 8 years, since it just feels like it wasn't that long ago that I signed up, bright eyed after-school hobbyist looking to watch and learn from the masters of digital of digital art and hopefully one day become even a quarter as good as them.
Art wasn't even my long term plan at the time, I was just fiddling with Photoshop to pass time after school and through a dare. A friend of mine got a copy of Photoshop, the, at the time, newly released CS2, and he was making the most god-awful image alterations, the kind that rival the edits one could pull off with MsPaint, and I somehow wanted to prove I could do better, even if I was, for all intents and purposes, a total nooblet when it came to Photoshop. So I scoured the internet, pulled tutorials from left and right, practicing every day, making small edits via adjustments and filters to personal or friend's photos, desktop backgrounds, forum icons and signatures tags.
At that time I was also using the (now-defunct) social platform, Myspace, and was commonly getting these profile tags with beautiful artwork (albeit sometimes ruined by this dreadful flashing glitter) and some had a deviantart watermark on them, which eventually led me to discover dA and all of the vast variety of art that was displayed here. I lurked for about 3 months before I finally signed up and started following artists. Of the few that really made an impression I could name MySweetDarkness
who went by Wishmistress at the time, whose artwork
sparked my drive to photomanipulation back then. So I'd like to give my thanks and eternal gratitude to Alexandra for unknowingly kind of getting me to where I am today, by inspiring me to become an artist, a photomanipulator, like she is.
I even remember my first real manip, though unfortunately I no longer have it to show, that featured Elandria
for a model, as a fairie, hiding under a mushroom from a (horrendous filter created) rain. I recall she was very sweet and encouraging to me as a starting artist, though it wasn't til years later that I could do her stock justice by creating a nice manip of her! Models like Elandria
have been and continue to be a huge inspiration for me.
The time I joined coincided with the popular gloomy and blue era of dA, where manipulations were mostly in dark monochromes black & blue with girls in pretty black dresses (mainly that one from Falln-Stock
) and it reflected on my work too. I make no apologies, but I was a baby back then just making my first steps in the art work.
My first work that garnered some attention was
and it set the tone for the art that followed, which was a mix of dark and fantasy. I was taken under the wing of flordelys
who taught me so much in terms of blending, adding painterly bits, working with brushes and textures. Sadly she's no longer on dA, but I still keep the artwork we collaborated on in my gallery
The following year, 2007, brought my first DD
and triggered this idea that I might just be decent enough an artist to be able to make it as an artist some time in the future. I was just starting University, I wanted a degree to fall back on if all else failed, so I spent my days in lecture halls, afternoons studying and nights in Photoshop to try and make it all work. This DD was deemed a worthy enough accomplishment that my parents gifted me my first tablet at that time, a 6x8 Genius Mousepen tablet that I learned to paint on.
2008 is when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, creating more colorful, bit brighter manips and learning a lot by trade, collaborating with other talented artists like SylwiaS
, who went on to become my partners in a series of news articles we created called 'Best of... weekly photomanip features', that went on for nearly 3 years and over 170 articles published! With the help of my friends dianora
I started a collective stock account ro-stock
where they shared stock photography and I created backgrounds, tubes and brushes from my stocks and theirs. At the time of closing we had over 1000 stocks in the gallery, 2 contests and 2 DDs under that account, but we could no longer keep active on personal accounts and stock.
2009-2010 Was what I consider my peak as an artist, tried every genre there was, played with colors, concepts and styles and I feel that carried through with me today, since I feel like my art can surprise people. One day it's fantasy, the next could be sci-fi, followed by surreal, since I just like to play with different themes and genres than stick to one, but all my respect and admiration go to artists who can create their signature style like in one genre like nina-Y
has with dark art or MarcelaBolivar
in surreal dark art. It's around this time that I decided to start sharing resources again, this time as a personal effort, which can still be found over at frozenstocks
In 2011, I got my first real tablet, a Wacom Intuos 4 I am still using, as a prize from Renderosity, on their Christmas themed contest, with this manip
that ended up getting an extra accolade here as a Daily Deviation. It was and still is one of the manips I'm most proud of. I've also received a copy of Poser as part of my prize, which through a lot of trial and error to learn, is currently providing a lot of the resources offered on the afore-mentioned stock account and has helped with elements used in my artwork.
In 2012 I started collaborating with photographers and models on a more exclusive basis, offering me the opportunity to create more unique manips. 2013 is a blur. It was only last year, I see I only have one manip posted, but it's a year I like to keep blocked from my memory, after my pet rabbit's spinal injury and ultimately demise early this year
2014 is the year I tried to get back to an active dA status, however time restraints and real life keeps getting in the way. My return was cut short by the death of another loved one which led me to bury myself with work to keep me distracted while I dealt with the loss.
I don't know, will continue to make efforts to hopefully be more active. On a new pc now, which has greatly improved my workflow and processing, so I may find minutes here and there to check in with everyone. I miss this place, I can't even tell you how much. I've had times I've doubted myself as an artist over the years, but coming back here, posting a new work and seeing all of the encouraging comments you leave on them has always reinforced my trust in my art.
In closing: Thank you all, it always means the world to me to have your continued support. And apologies for wasting a big chunk of your time reading this, I realise I'm a few phrases short of a novel with this long journal entry, but it was really soothing to reminisce all these years, marked by both highs and lows, that I spent here on dA!