While for most, 2021 has been a time of uncertainty. I feel blessed, that I’ve been able to connect to my inner child within the last year. I reminded myself of who I am, and what makes me happy. I’ve always had a love and strong bond with music; however, I had long forgotten how to be silly and creative and create whatever my mind guides me to. I’ve been reconnecting to this side of my persona through art. Specifically, painting and drawing (digitally and traditionally). The more time I spent crafting my skills, the less stress and critical of myself I became, and then drawing became an outlet the provided peace in my life.
I’m not talking about once a month drawing stick figures either. I invested time, money, and training into connecting with my creative side. I signed up for a Skillshare membership and took classes, I installed multiple apps on my phone to help with digital art and getting used to digital brushes/tools. I faced my fear and displayed my art on a 100% online art selling platform, as well has making YouTube videos.
Skillshare is an “American Online Learning Community for people who want to learn from educational videos”. So, I looked for art “Classes”. I wrote down notes as needed, tried to follow along with drawing techniques, and I participated in weekly or daily assignments as I could. For one class, we had a weekly assignment to draw the food we consumed that week in a variety of different angles, or textures of drawing. I unfortunately, only did the first 2-3 days before I medically had to focus on myself. I experienced a bad abscess tooth and the pain was so unbearable I laid down with my medicine and didn’t move much until the pain and swelling went away. I have to say that I love Skillshare because once I was feeling better, I picked up on the day I had stopped participating and my instructor was understanding and I didn’t feel horrible for not completing the weekly assignment on time. Vibe Check!
Like most people I love my cell phone. So when I was thinking of ways to incorporate art and drawing more into my daily life I went on the prowl for apps. After a short trial and error period, I found two apps that I instantly fell in love with and still use to this day! The first app is called Penup, I love this app because it’s another platform where you can store all your drafts, and finished pieces to your profile, and each piece of art is attached to a shareable link where others can view your art, even if they don’t have the app and like or “follow” your art. You can also share your art instantly to Twitter and Facebook if you want. But that is not even the best part!! I love Penup because of their special features I wasn’t able to find on most apps. Some examples are Live Drawing, meaning you can watch a pre-recorded video of how a piece of art was made, and you can draw along with it, step by step, pausing and resuming the video at your speed. I loved it because it’s how I got better at learning to draw people and certain animals. Another cool thing you can do with this app is called picture drawing. Say for example, you are working on a marvelous landscape piece, however you want a particular tree (let’s just say willow for this example) but you haven’t ever drawn a willow tree and want to make sure you capture the essence just right. Well with the photo drawing feature, you can do a google search for “Willow Tree” save or download an image that fits your vision, and insert that saved image onto your drawing and you can sketch around, trace or just use for inspiration for your own Willow Tree in your background. Honestly, this has saved me so many times!
The next app I feel you must know about if you’re trying to improve on your art is called “Sketch A Day”. This app is what really made drawing fun again for me! Every day they have 2 prompts you can participate in and as long as your art can be tied to that day’s prompt you can submit your artwork, and you can submit sketches directly from your sketchbook, or any saved digital art you may have. I love this app because it’s like a small family community. I remember the very first day I submitted my first entry, I believe I received like 25-35 likes from other users of the app and I almost wanted to cry. I did not think my entry was that good, but I didn’t have too many art friends in the real world I could go to for support or guidance, and I received so much positive feedback that I was excited about the next day’s prompt. Sketch A Day for me is like a support system. Even if all you can draw right now is stick figures you WILL get likes on your art, you will get inspired to keep going. You will feel included and never judged. This app just screams positivity to me. The users on this app has skills and experience levels across the board. And no one is judgmental or rude. If you are looking to get into drawing as a hobby I highly suggest you install Sketch A Day.
Once I got more confident in my drawing abilities, I eventually started uploading my finished pieces to an online art gallery. I chose ArtPal. I like ArtPal, because one it was free, you can set up automatic postings to your business pages on Facebook and your Twitter account. If you would like to check out the art I currently have listed, here is my gallery link . At this time I have 21 items for sale. The fact that viewers can purchase your art in many different forms also appealed to why I joined this community. At this time, your art can be sold as a framed print, canvas, fine art print or on coffee mugs.
Lastly, Since I’ve become in love with drawing, I started documenting some of my work on my YouTube channel “IndigoGamer MiMi” here is a link if you would like to check out some of my art focused videos. I attempted to publish a few different processes of my style of art. For some videos I have the camera over my sketchbook as I start from nothing and would document the steps and process until you see the final outcome. Some of those videos are for assignments I did for my Skillshare classes. I also did some coloring videos where I used my video editing skills and incorporated upbeat music, and fun transitions showing the process of me just coloring for fun!
I hope art will forever be apart of my life. Although, my name is Monet, I may never reach an “Monet” Status, but nothing can separate me from my art. Even now, when life gets hectic or work becomes stressful, I always find my way back to picking up a pen or pencil and letting my mind rest and let whatever flows from my hands flow. I may not create anything for a few days or a week max, but I always come back to my happy place. A place where I can just be me and free from rules.
I did also want to point out, in case you didn't notice the captions under the images of this story. All images used, are my work. Art has been my comfort zone for the past eight or so months, and I foresee art forever being apart of my life.