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A Wild Amateur Artist Appears! - Printable Version

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A Wild Amateur Artist Appears! - Alopex - 01-09-2017


I'm 33 and I currently reside in the southeastern US.  More specifically, I live in rural Georgia near the Alabama line, but I sometimes make it out to the metro Atlanta area on weekends. 

I was at first intimidated by all of the beautiful, professional work being submitted here, but I decided I wanted to join anyway, especially after noticing I wasn't the only one scared to join at first.  I know it's bad to compare yourself to others, but my own work is currently very much more amateur.

Basically, I've never had any kind of formal art education.  What little I do know was gleaned from practice on and off over the years, books, or watching the Youtube channels of some artists I follow that do tutorials and instructional videos.  I took one introductory level college art course in drawing, completely unrelated to my degree, but that was a very stressful time for me, that class often got pushed to the back-burner in favor of work related to my major, and I mostly ended up embarrassing myself.  My parents didn't know what to do with a child interested in art, my father often heavily pressured me towards STEM fields because they "made more money" even though those areas weren't really my strong points, and after attempting a degree in biology, I switched to English because people seemed to like some of my writing and I did enjoy literature, so that's what I graduated with.  I didn't adapt very well to cubicle life in an office, it quite literally drove me crazy, so I quit and I've had a bunch of odd jobs ever since including a bookstore position, a staff position at a living facility for DFCS and DJJ kids in government custody due to family problems or criminal records, and various warehouse positions.

I keep coming back to art though.  It's one of the few things I've pursued out of my own interest and one of the few things I can really lose myself in.  I'm getting a later start than most people, being in my 30s now, but I have no kids, I'm not married, and I don't have much of a social life due to being more introverted and having social anxiety problems.  I want to do something more meaningful with my life, and I hope to at least pursue art in earnest for myself, with the added bonus of at least getting supplemental income eventually, or even shifting careers if I'm ever able to achieve at least a semi-professional level of skill and the business know-how to promote my work.  I know the odds are stacked a little more against me than others at this point, but I have to try.  Worst case scenario, I figure I will at least improve in my ability to express myself artistically in my spare time, which is worth the effort in an of itself.

I did finally buy one of the Andrew Loomis books on figure drawing since all of his books seem to be highly recommended by most artists and I'll be working through that.  I've also debated trying out Noah Bradley's Art Camp when I have the cash.  I will be posting some of my stuff to the sketchbook section as soon as I'm able.  Attached for now is the full, uncropped version of my avatar pic that I did on scratchboard.  I'm open to suggestions as far as exercises to help in areas I'm lacking in (or even help in identifying what more specific areas I should work on first to see some improvement), links to videos or online courses that might be beneficial, or instructional books.  I'm currently focusing on traditional art first, though I'll likely dabble in digital later as well.  I do currently have access to a Wacom Intuos tablet and Corel Painter Essentials (got the bundle for Christmas).

To those of you who followed me this far, thanks for listening to me ramble.  Hopefully I'll be able to give a little something back to the community as well.  I'm more than happy to help or share in whatever ways I can, though as I said before, looks like a vast majority of people here are far more advanced than I am.

-Renee (a.k.a. Alopex)

RE: A Wild Amateur Artist Appears! - Artloader - 01-09-2017

Welcome to Crimson Daggers Alopex :).

Sounds like I've had a similar relationship with art as you have - I did art when I was at school but then dropped it to find work in other fields but I always keep coming back to art. I'm 43 now and have finally started taking my art more seriously but still making sure I enjoy the journey :).

Well done for taking the plunge and overcoming the fear or stepping in here - there are indeed some artists of phenomenal skill on here but I think what's important is that each individual makes their own journey and enjoys making their own art whatever level they are at. From my own experience, this forum is a great place to do just that.

You've picked up one of the best books you can get in my opinion with the Andrew Loomis one - if you work through that steadily and carefully it will get you a long way!

I also recommend Proko's YouTube channel for figure drawing since is has quality content and is free!

Good luck and I look forward to seeing more of your work!

RE: A Wild Amateur Artist Appears! - John - 01-09-2017

Hey Alopex.

Quote:especially after noticing I wasn't the only one scared to join at first.

This is a huge step for anyone, and here's to you keeping the momentum going. The proverbial art journey has a lot of those moments where you need to remove yourself from that place of comfort and wade through tasks that aren't so comfortable. Good thing about it is, if you survive the experience, if you come out of it alive, you'll become a better version of you.

Quote:I don't have much of a social life due to being more introverted and having social anxiety problems.

Dude I hear you. I may not look like it, but I have the worse social anxiety issues. I dislike crowds. I stumble on my words when I talk to strangers. My social filters are almost not existent. I am a disaster in public.

I know this isn't the best solution, but it's a start. A lot of members are over at Discord ( Or the shoutbox. A lot of nice friendly members in there. I don't think anyone there's gonna make you feel left out.

Quote:I'm more than happy to help or share in whatever ways I can

Oh yes you can! Check this out:

Well, you seem to know what to do, read and work on. And Loader gave brilliant tips! Hey man, hope to seeing you more often. Welcome to the Crimson Daggers.

RE: A Wild Amateur Artist Appears! - Alopex - 01-10-2017

Thank both of you for responding! Great to know I'm not the only one a little late to the game or with some anxiety issues. Also thanks to both of you for the recommendations.