It is time to show off some artwork! (Others' first, myself last, that is.)
As you can probably tell if you look through my gallery or through my favourites, my most adored subjects--both in the art I create and in the art others create--are fantasy creatures (or at least, highly stylized animal art). My imagination is especially captivated when an artist comes up with their own totally original fictional species, or a unique and well-executed twist on a known (real or imaginary) animal. I love the inspiration that so many artists here on DeviantArt have fostered. For now, though, I'll point out a few who I admire, none of whom need the extra exposure (especially from a small fish like me) because you're probably already watching them. If, however, you're not, I must insist that you ought to be. I doubt you'll be disappointed. There are probably a dozen or so more artists I could list here, but I'll limit myself to four of perhaps some of the most deserving.
Artists I Look Up To
The first artist I ever remember discovering here on DeviantArt (back with my old account I started about a decade a go) was WildSpiritWolf
. While her illustrations look simple and cutesy at first glance, a closer examination will reveal that she has an extremely strong grasp of animal anatomy and movement. Her style is clean, polished and truly outstanding. The lines of her characters look so effortless, yet flow so smoothly, lending the perfect pose and sense of fluid movement to her characters. I've been watching and loving her art longer than I remember finding, watching, or enjoying anyone else's work here on DeviantArt.
But long before I got into DeviantArt, there were the amazing "Windstone Editions" by Melody Peñ
a. I remember going into artsy knickknack shops as a kid, and being thoroughly entertained for the longest time just staring at these perfect sculptures in the curio cabinets. These were the very first introduction I ever got into what a "Ki-rin" was, and although I didn't understand them, I loved them. The dragons were also exactly what I thought "real" dragons must have to look like--they are nothing short of the ideal dragon. Sculpted dragons just don't get any better than this. The most special gift I received for my graduation was one of her sculptures--a peacock dragon, which was one of my favourite colour schemes. So when I found out that Reptangle
had a profile here on DeviantArt, I was elated to watch her (having already been a fan of hers since childhood).
Since I've been here on DeviantArt, I've found and fallen in love with the sculptures of Becca Golins. Even in the short time I've been watching her, I've seen her art get better and better, always further-refining her style and adding more details. Watching her style, her cute critters, her fun ideas, her career, and her success are all truly inspiring to me in my own art career. I love what DragonsAndBeasties
does, and it's true when she says that her work is "often imitated, never duplicated
" because a lot of artists here on DA also do cutesy little dragon sculptures, very clearly trying to imitate her style (but I won't name names here, 'cause it's not technically art theft). Still, nobody does them like she does them--unlike a lot of artists, her sculptures are so clean and crisp that they almost don't look handmade. And that is truly impressive.
More recently, I discovered the art of AnyaBoz
. Her poseable art dolls are incredible. The clay used for the hands and faces transitions so smoothly into the fur used for the bodies, that I almost never notice a line between the two. To be able to combine such different mediums into one piece of art (and not have it look tacky) is an accomplishment in and of itself. But then, moreover, these sculptures move, which is beyond what I've yet been able to wrap my brain around. The faces and hands (or feet or paws) always have such beautiful detailing on them that it's no wonder her "room guardians" are so popular. And with all the fur/feather/etc accents on them, they look almost alive. Someday, I sincerely hope to graduate from my simple sculptures to doing my own poseable animal sculptures, and she is one of the artists who most inspires me toward that dream.
There are also just a few people I'd like to encourage in their art--not that they need it, but because they have been my friends in real life and I knew them in person long before we ever connected via DeviantArt.
Artists I Hope Will Create More Art
The first is Brandy
. She was the teaching assistant in the animation class offered every Saturday to high school students at my local art college, and even at a young age, she was easily the best artist in the room. It was such a privilege to just watch her draw a mere few yards away from me, to get to see her art as it was being created. I loved her characters, and I always got the impression there were epic stories behind them, intertwining them. She might not know this, but I used to sneak as many peeks at her drawings as I could, try to memorize them and get them imprinted into my mind's eye, then go home and immediately attempt to re-draw them in a private separate sketchbook that I never brought to class. I did this multiple times, trying to get her awesome style down, and I honestly believe that that practice helped me improve in my own talent in a general sense. Though she doesn't have much of her work up at the time of this writing, I really hope she puts more of her work on DA--even her illustrations from 15 years ago were better than the stuff I can draw now.
And last, but certainly not least, is Anna
. I am so grateful that I was blessed enough to meet her a few years ago. Attempting to make a new friend, I had asked her out to coffee, and we hit it off better than I expected. After I discovered that she, too, was an artist, and we showed each other some of our works, I strongly encouraged her to get a DeviantArt account. So yes, I'll totally take credit for getting her on here. Her paintings are very emotive, often expressing things like hope, cleansing, redemption, freedom, and love. I admire that she can take a concept or a feeling and convey it very clearly visually--it's something I can never do when I'm trying to do it. So although she's busy with real life, I do hope she continues sharing her art and growing in her skill. I truly think she has something special to offer.
As for me, I both draw and sculpt, and I love both. Drawing happens a lot more often than sculpting, 'cause it requires a heck of a lot less set-up and clean-up to grab a pencil and paper than to set up all my clays. However, you wouldn't know that from my gallery, because the overwhelming majority of the sketches I make never make it online for any of the following reasons: (a) they're just practice, drawing freehand based on other artists' & photographers' works to try to get my anatomy and poses down, so I have no right to do anything with those drawings other than leave them in my private sketchbook where nobody but me ever sees them; (b) they're just practice, so they're not high-quality enough to upload here; or (c) they're simply the result of many, many false starts and failed attempts as I work through the creation of a final finished piece. Sometimes there's just one final deviation in my gallery, but it's the result of literally a centimeter tall of a stack of papers that went into creating that piece (like my most recent dragon illustration, featured below). I've spent a lot more of my life drawing than sculpting, and it feels easier to me (sometimes), but over the past few years, it hasn't felt like ... enough. It's as though I've become (at times--not constantly or permanently) dissatisfied with two dimensions. This has driven me toward sculpting, which allows me to make a character in its entirety: I only have to make the character once--create a single piece of art--yet I can hold the character in my hand and see it from every angle. Plus, sculptures don't require backgrounds, which I absolutely hate doing and am terrible at anyway.
Some of My Favourite Pieces
For a fun little comparison, here are some critters I've made, showing the 2-dimensional art on the left compared with a similar species in 3-dimensional art on the right. Here I have my dragons, my equine-ish critters, and my gryphons:
I've also set up my online portfolio
and am planning to keep it somewhat regularly updated, so if you're interested, go check it out as well.
Here's the journal that started it all:
And here are the winners for the First Session!
Project Portfolio - Session 1: Overview
We would like to invite you to a project meant to promote your work!
(Yeah, time for some shameless self-promotion! )
What you need to do
a) Create a Journal Entry where you include
some of your works, in a way you think they shine best!
or Project Portfolio
Here's the group promoting this project:
or Project Portfolio
Soli Deo Gloria!