May 5th, 2020 – the day I received my first iPad and Apple Pencil. What would arise from this duo?
The transition from traditional art to digital art felt akin to diving into a pool of water without knowing how to swim, or learning a completely new language. Clipping mask? Alpha lock? Blending modes? These were all foreign words to me. The majority of this time was spent watching countless Youtube tutorials whilst having a blank canvas. In all likelihood, I clicked that undo button on my iPad screen more times than the number of digits in Pi.
After many days filled with frustration, I was able to finish my first official drawing. I was only able to accomplish this because of a tight deadline (the next day was Mother’s Day).
This was a drawing of Gon from the well-known anime Hunter x Hunter. All of the lines were of the same thickness, the airbrushing was done poorly, and the eyes were nowhere close to a perfect oval. It truly was a humbling experience to see how abhorrent and atrocious my digital drawings were in comparison to every single art post in my Instagram feed. Maybe this just wasn’t for me?
Regardless, I soldiered on. One thing that gave me motivation was watching Youtube videos of individual artists’ drawings over the years. It was surprisingly reassuring. In fact, their first digital drawings were similar in quality as mine. But what really flipped the switch was this Youtube channel I came across called Art with Flo, who used Procreate just as I did. She was the Bob Ross of digital art.
The tutorials this wonderful woman made were pivotal to my digital art journey. She went through everything step-by-step, explaining all the functions of the tools she used and revealing some shortcuts that were lifesavers. With her help, I was able to finish three different drawings in two days! For once, I felt satisfied with my drawings!
Certainly, these were not anime-styled drawings that I was accustomed to drawing, but nevertheless they effectively taught me the fundamentals of digital art. If it weren’t for Art with Flo, I would have quit this art medium a while ago. I encourage any amateur artist to check out her channel, which can be accessed by clicking here (the series I used was called “You Can Draw This”).
As the title of this blog post suggests, it is important to understand that we all start somewhere. Don’t compare yourself to others who have trained in a discipline much longer than you have. It is an undeniable fact that at some point or another, they were at your level too. Sit down, stay humble, and you will reach their level of skill through patience and perseverance. Certainly, this is very cliche, but aren’t cliches overused for a reason?