Has it really been seven years since I joined DA? It's kind of amazing how much has changed during that time.
I joined DA during my final year of high school. I made my account at my friend RuneOrb
's house. At first I was unsure of what I wanted to use as my username because it was something to represent myself whereas before I had used account names based upon characters of mine. I was also going through some rough stuff at the time in real life and so this site felt like it could be a positive outlet. So I adopted the name of Sariel for a couple of reasons. It is similar to both my real name as well as a nickname I had growing u. And at the time I was studying Angel Mythology and Sariel was an angel I identified with. A fallen angel condemned for for doing what they were told. But being down didn't knock me out so I latched onto that hope. Hence Sariels-Hope
I started uploading scans of my work since I worked 100% traditionally back in those days. My first forays into digital colouring were laughable, but they were a first step. I struggled with it for quite a while.
Then came two years of college. My submissions slowed down but I was drawing every day, studying art, learning new techniques & theories and putting them into practice. Those two years did the most to build me up, taking my "raw talent" and honing it into something more refined. I started working towards my own style which is still evolving to this day but I'm more confidant and proud of what I can produce now.
When I was 12 years old (five years before I joined DA) I realized I wanted to become a comic book artist. It's still my aspiration to do so. I've read and studied thousands of comics by this point. I stopped drawing comics for a few years so I could better hone my foundations before committing myself to visual storytelling. It's been a dream filled with ups and downs but I feel like I'm now making stronger strides towards being able to do it professionally. It feels great!
The past three years has also been filled with ups and downs both in real life and in my art. I had down-times where I couldn't bring myself to do more than the bare minimum of work on a drawing. That phase was definitely filled with more static images, but at least I was still drawing? In recent months I've started hunkering down and putting forth a solid effort. If I wanna do this professionally I'm gonna do my best, dammit! And if I see something wrong I won't let it go, I'll fix it! TIME TO GET STUFF DONE!!
Over seven years of being on DA I've watched both myself and other artists I've followed for years grow and become even more awesome! It feels great seeing people progress, accomplish things and enjoy what they're doing. Sometimes it can be daunting or overwhelming seeing someone so much farther ahead than you, but hey, it ain't a race. Nor is it a competition. Everyone goes at their own pace and as long as you keep going it's alright if you slow down every once in a while or even take a break. Just enjoy it!