I wanted to make a year end roundup post, taking a look at the stuff that happened in 2017. Grab some hot cocoa and get comfortable, I wrote a bunch of stuff. :3
First off, a list with stats and key events from 2017!
- Over the course of the year I finished 94 full color pieces! (10 of those were Chinatsu :p) Despite always putting quality above quantity, I am very happy with the volume of work I manage to put out. Especially since I'm not able to do it full time yet. I hope I'm able to work on even more stuff in 2018! :D
- I livestreamed over 1840 hours of myself drawing! That's a 76 full days! Or 20% of a whole year. I was able to stream almost every single day for 5 hours. The few days I lost were due to studying for exams and health problems. Also, I now stream to both Picarto.tv and Twitch.tv.
- I finally created a Patreon account! It took many months of friends pestering me to do it to finally make one. The big reason I kept holding off was, to be honest, because it really scared me. I held back for fear that I'd come off as a beggar, and had anxiety about learning that there would be no one willing to support. Now, after having created it, I can thankfully say I'm glad I did it. The numbers weren't and still aren't impressive compared to a lot of other artists out there - it's a little ways away from being enough to make a living, even with commission work on the side - but it's been slowly growing as the community expands and I get a better feel for how this works and what things I can offer. I feel incredibly grateful for every single person that has chipped in and the ones who continue to support. Every little bit has made a tangible difference. Thank you so very much. ❤
- I created the community Discord room on April 3rd, and it's nearly 100 members big now!
- Follower milestones: Deviantart - 8.6k (200k pageviews), Twitter - 2.4k, Picarto - 1.4k (77k pageviews), Pixiv - 3.7k, Tumblr - 1.7k, Twitch - 400.
And some more Patreon specific stats:
- There are now a cumulative of 54 hi-res image posts available for $5+ patrons! It's been averaging into 8 new pieces a month.
- Since introducing the Sketch pack reward, I have posted a total of 372 sketches, with the last 3 months averaging 89 sketches/month!
- Since introducing the Custom Sketch reward, I have drawn a total of 34 sketch rewards so far!
- I have posted 197 cute kits&pups sketches in kits and pups packs. :p
I managed to make good on a lot of improvements I wanted to make to my art in 2017. Some are more marking than others, but every one has expanded my knowledge and skill and gotten me one step closer to where I want to be. :D
List with some of the improvements:
- I increased the overall resolution of my canvases, from 200% web size, to 250% size. This makes it so now I have better control of certain details like eyelashes and nails, and my lines look cleaner and crisper overall. :>
- I refined my iris coloring method to something that reads better and is more vibrant.
- I changed my hair highlighting technique. The new technique's look makes it so highlights reads better from afar, and look softer up close.
- I solved how to do blonde hair highlights! Until this point I had been doing highlights using Add blend mode layers, and despite it working fine on darker hair colors, it looked terrible on blonde. The new highlighting technique + color dodge blend mode highlights finally make it look decent.
- I took a huge leap in my cloud painting technique. Clouds look way more voluminous and fluffy now, and are finally resembling the look of real clouds. Since clouds are essential to summer pieces, I'm super stoked about this one. :D
- I vastly improved my vegetation! I barely did any trees prior to 2017 because it felt so hard to make them look good. After having several attempts at it this year I've gotten pretty decent at them! Additionally, my grass game is also much better.
- I started doing 2D/3D hybridization! Rendering geometrically complex objects in 2D with correct perspective is a nightmare. It takes forever to do and the strictness of the geometry makes it very hard to render those objects with the level of accuracy I seek. So I started learning 3D and incorporating it in pieces. Objects like umbrellas now look so much better. Learning 3D has also been aiding me in bettering my perspective in 2D, so that's super exciting. I'm stoked to see where this will lead.
- I got a better grasp of composition overall. I also started doing 16:9 pieces and 4K wallpapers!
- And lastly, I also made many little improvements to my anatomy and figure, and general drawing speed. :3
And finally, I would like to make an unofficial list of drawing resolutions for 2018. :p
- Sketch and doodle more! I'm starting to feel constricted by my drawing speed. I don't consider myself slow, but I feel like I could be so much faster, and make less mistakes. More sketching will allow me to improve at that.
- Improve the look of my faces and range of expressions. It's been an increasing source of frustration for me that I have difficulty nailing down a face at first (or even second) try. I also feel limited in the range of expressions I know how to convey, and I want to work on improving that.
- Improve water painting techniques! Summer settings are still my main love, and with the improvement to clouds and vegetation this year, the water has started to stick out as the most in need of an upgrade. I'm probably not going to turn into Mark Waller overnight, but I'm committed to getting closer! *w*
And that's it for my rambling. Overall, pretty good year!
Thank you for reading this far, and thank you so much to the people who have helped me - by giving encouragement, by providing feedback, by sharing my work, and by contributing to the Patreon.
With my degree looking to finally be finished this year, it would be a dream to be able to transition to drawing full time. I hope 2018 will bring in the growth necessary to make that a reality.~