Rapunzel:I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?
Flynn Rider: It will be.
Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?
Flynn Rider: Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.
On my blog you’ll see me talk about dreams a lot because they are something that I really believe in. Sometimes when we are on the path to fulfilling our dreams we take a turn somewhere that leads us to bigger and better ones.
This is what happened to me.
By the time I was 7 I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: an illustrator. Sometimes I would say “and a detective, and a power ranger, and an explorer” but I always stated illustrator first and I knew it had to be with Disney. I was always doodling powerpuff girls in my notebooks, and drawing fairies or Disney princesses and random objects I would find around the house. To this day I still have my first real sketchbook from when I was 8 years old.
I was introduced to the Anime genre when I was in 7th grade and man was I hooked! Obsessed in fact. I was definitely an Otaku. Not ashamed to say that I still kind of am (hello! Have you seen Fullmetal Alchemist?!). My style of drawing changed dramatically when this happened. My art teachers in high school at first told me that it was just a fad and the anime hype would die down and therefore I needed to stop drawing it and focus on realism. I didn’t listen to them, my dream was to draw cartoons and nothing could stop me. After that first semester ended I was the only art student allowed to draw in this style for my assignments AND use photoshop because my teacher saw my potential.
I was 19 when I drew and created this character. Yes, there are other far more talented artists out there than me, but this is pretty dang good. Should have listened and took realism classes though! Also, ignore my shading. I just did what ever I felt like back then.
When my senior year came around I signed up for the 2 remaining art classes left. I still had 1 slot open each semester and didn’t know what to fill it with. Luckily, my art teacher had my back. He put me in his Photography 1 & 2 courses, even though I had zero interested, and there were students who were scrambling to get a spot in these coveted classes. I was told that, while I still had to somewhat participate, I could mostly work on my art class portfolio in here.
The first class had my head spinning.
Apertures? Shutter speed? What the heck is ISO?!
I had no idea what he was talking about and didn’t care, so its no wonder my shots always came out underexposed or overexposed, which frustrated me and in turn caused me to hate photography even more (oh yes, I loathed the art for years. A story for another day!)
This was in the days of film (2005-2006), so the one aspect of this class I did enjoy was playing with the enlargers and developing the film. I would develop other peoples negatives because they didn’t like the smell it left on their hands, but it was like magic to me and had me captivated.
Fast forward to April 2006, one month before my graduation. I came home to a rather large envelope from the Ringling School of Art and Design; it was my acceptance letter to my dream school and the ONLY school I applied to (yes, risk taking for the win!). Unfortunately, I was unable to go and I was just devastated. It seemed as though my dreams of being a Disney illustrator slammed the door in my face. What was I going to do?
Later that year my sister gave me her hand-me-down point and shoot camera when she received a new one for her birthday. At first, I did all the typical things a MySpace user would do: self portraits at arms length and then heavily edit them in photoshop.
I then began to dive into other subjects, mostly still lifes. I distinctly remember being at a family friends for dinner one night and I took a photos, with flash on full force on the dark patio, of a plate of sliced tomatos. My mother wanted to get it printed out and framed. Yeah. That happened.
After about a year of doing tomatos, I finally ventured into people who weren’t me. Usually it was my dear friend Ashlee, but I finally started to photograph other friends as well.
One of those friends told her cousin about me and I was asked to photograph my first wedding ever in Georgia. That was in 2009. I was not paid for it, but it was a HUGE learning experience for me. They LOVED their photos and I fell in love with photographing weddings. Thus my new dream was born.
So even though my dream of 12 years was never fully realized, I found a new dream while on that path and I am so thankful that I did. My drawing style was heavily influenced by my favorite manga artist, Daisuke Moriyama, creator of the amazing manga Chrono Crusade. Photography is no different. I have photographers that I admire and whose style I try to incorporate in my work.
And I did get to work at Disney, but I was a photographer instead of an illustrator!
More from my drawing days. You’ll notice my lack of backgrounds…I had no interest in doing those! Guess I’ve always been attracted to just having people be my subject.
My favorite character that I created, K-chan. I was into drawing huge bows at the time…
Hands were my enemy
A self portrait (-;
what what! DBZ throwback!
The rough draft for my final project in my art class