The Rise of the Cartoonist: Blast From the Past, Part 2

What up, peeps! How’s your April going so far?

Today I shall continue my series “Blast From the Past”, in which I look back on some of my old creative masterpieces. Last week I took a look at my storyboards, or “picture stories”, which I started writing in first or second grade. For many years it was my primary mode of art. Nothing was stopping me.

But one night, in my early tweenage years, I turned off the television after having watched Studio Ghibli, stood up, and declared with determination: “I want to draw anime.” I sprinted into the dining room, found an unused notebook, jotted down “anime practice” on the front, grabbed some pencils, opened the notebook to the first page and scribbled away.

Some time later, I came up with this masterpiece:

I loved her. And — despite the fact that her hair resembles a bunch of worms, her nose is a shapeless blob, her shirt is ugly and her mouth looks like that of Dora the Explorer –I still love her to this day.

After Maki, my interest in manga settled down a little bit and I went back to drawing stick figures. But it didn’t settle down so much that I didn’t want to draw it anymore.

At first, I only drew eye closeups.

. . . Because eye closeups are nice and dramatic, am I right?

Sometimes I was brave enough to draw a whole head, but the results were seldom satisfactory.

(I mean, at least she looks better than Maki. . . O.O Ish. . .)

(Her hair though. . . O.o )

But it’s clear that I’d been practicing at least a little bit!

Then, when teenagedom rolled in, I started to build momentum. . .

Young Dekreel, you needed help.

Eventually I discovered how to draw eyes better. After that, my ambition really took off.

At least the eyes match the emotion for once.

Occasionally I was brave enough to try my hand at drawing guys. They were never as great as the girls. This was one of my favorites:

Since middle school I’ve always wanted a husband with this exact hair. . . except not sideways. X’D

As I learned more and more eye variations, my love for drawing suddenly had a growth spurt. I began creating notebooks full of manga people (a few years later, and I haven’t stopped). Most of them were mediocre, some of them were disasters. . .

*wants to cry and laugh at the same time*

. . . But a few times, when my inspiration was particularly stirred, they came out relatively exceptional.

^ I sort of connect to this particular one. I’ve daydreamed similar scenes. XD

But there was one problem.

I was stubbornly independent. I took advice from nobody but me, which means the process of getting better was pretty slow. But one Christmas, everything changed.

That was the day I received a Mark Crilley tutorial book. And so, I swallowed my pride, and followed the directions.

Eh, not bad. . .

But I kept practicing! I realized very quickly that Crilley’s book was a great way to improve my artistic abilities. I flung my old style out the window, and developed an entirely new one.

Why are her eyes so weird, and why is his head so swollen?

After months of practice, I started to discover the balance between Crilley’s style and my own style.

Does this look familiar? If you’ve hung around me on The Aetherlight enough, you might observe that the above drawing looks very similar to the cartoons I draw today. My proportions back then were iffy, but I suppose that’s to be expected as I drew it a few years ago. This drawing was the beginning of my current style.

From here, I never stopped.

Again, many were mediocre. It’s not like I was happy with every single drawing after I found my new style. But I kept going. Sometimes I failed, sometimes I passed. . .

Sometimes I succeeded.

A few years ago, I used skyscrapers and towers as a metaphor in something I was struggling with. One day I picked up my sketchbook and poured my heart onto it. Despite the fact the the lady is too skinny, and her hips are way too low on her body, I think this is among the best drawings I’ve ever done.

*sighs deeply*

At this point I feel like I’m bragging; I feel puffed up. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you or bore you too much with so many old drawings. It’s just really interesting to see how I’ve grown. . . both as an artist, and as a person.

I’m going to conclude with a drawing I did a couple months ago. It’s a redrawing of Maki (remember her?).

I hope you enjoyed part two of Blast From the Past! You can find some of my current artwork on the art gallery page if you’d like to do some comparison. In the next part, I will be reviewing my old writing. This should be fun. X’D

Do Tell! Which drawing did you like the best? Are there any artists, authors, musicians, etc. that you can thank for helping improve your creative work? Also, if you artists (or non-artists) have any advice for how I can get even better in the now, please let me know!! I DESPERATELY want to get better at drawing, and I’d like to train myself as best as possible to listen to people’s advice (as I’m still stubbornly independent. . . πŸ˜› ).

See you guys next year!!

— Dekreel

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April Fool. Next week. πŸ˜‰ Did I fool you? (probably not hahah)

9 thoughts on “The Rise of the Cartoonist: Blast From the Past, Part 2”

  1. *Squeak*

    I love the redrawn Maki! Amazing job!

    Can’t wait for your old writing!

    (I once had an anime phase but…. I didn’t really like the mouths and nose much. So I chucked it. That was probably because my own skill was in the dumps. XD)

  2. Thanks!! Her head is too big but yeah. XD

    I say keep practicing! Even if you think your drawings don’t look great, cast your fear and doubt on God and keep it up. I really like your artwork, by the way. I miss seeing it! πŸ˜‰

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