Traditional art, particularly pencil drawings, is something I was always capable of. I'm not spectacular, but I always had a knack for being able to do still life drawings. However, I never really enjoyed it. Every now and then I would get the urge to do a drawing and i'd do one, then not draw again for months, even years. It has always felt restrictive to me...always having a feeling of not being able to screw up. It's what turned me off to pencil drawing, and what made me never even give traditional painting a chance. I'm not saying traditional forms of drawing are like that for everybody, but it is for me.
Digital design is a different story. I was always fascinated by it. It's what drew me to video games (I am...or was, a huge video game buff), and eventually to web design, web graphics, and marketing materials, which is now my career.
I won't bore you with a timeline, so i'll sum this part up fast. About 4 months ago, I gave up all forms of video games and decided I would start using photoshop for fun again - something I hadn't done in many years. I made a design, I found deviantArt and posted it, and then started browsing.
I quickly realized that while I thought I was good, I really knew very little. Some of the art I saw on this site was INCREDIBLE. Digital Paintings? Let's just say the brush tool was something I thought was worthless, and basically never used.
Then began the search for any and all resources I could find. Instructional DVD's, free tutorials, speed painting videos, blogs that update daily with links to more resources - I have a list of sites that is almost overwhelming. I already owned a tablet but never really used it more than a couple of times...so I dusted that off.
I'm now completely addicted to digital art - digital painting specifically.
Not looking at digital art in awe in the games I played and movies I watch, but creating it for myself. And what is truely addictive for me is the freedom it allows. If I mess up, I can always fix it. If something is shaped incorrectly, I can push and pull it until it looks right. I can recolor something in seconds, change day to night, erase without screwing up my paper, redo entire parts without having paint build up, and my palm doesn't smear my pencil. Everything that turned me off to traditional art is irrelevant in digital art. All the limitations I personally saw in traditional art that chained me down are gone. Designing digitally has breathed new life into my desire to create art for myself, and has allowed me to speak visually in a way that I once could only listen to. This image is my representation of my experience over the past four months.
-Photoshop, Wacom, GEForce 7950 GT