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Im an Artist.
I've known this since 2nd grade. I learned during an assignment where I would draw half a picture and my partner would draw the other half. I drew a dragon's right half standing up facing me on the left side of the page. It took up the entire page, top to bottom, which was huge in my 2nd grade hand. Needless to say, my partner destroyed/ruined/sabotaged my picture with what looked like a doodle to my 2nd grade eyes. Besides feeling great rage, I felt like I had a secret weapon: my imagination with a pencil in my hand. I knew I would draw for the rest of my life.
I remember clearly one day (couldn't have been much later than 2nd grade) I was watching Gargoyles in my Grandparents house in Washington, Michigan (now my Uncles house) when I realized I wanted to make cartoons. I loved drawing and seeing those cartoons made me realize I could make my drawings come to life. That's when my mind started brewing on making my own cartoons one day.
Not too much later Dragonball Z premieres on Toonami - the best thing Cartoon Network ever did. That's when I knew I wanted to make Action Cartoons. I remember I started working on creating Characters then. I drew things like Fire-Man, Ice-Man, etc. This was before I'd ever seen a comic book and I hadn't realized Marvel had all those things lol. I remember specifically one day showing my dad a bunch of characters that I'd created off of my mind. I was so excited. All he said was it looked too much like Dragonball Z characters and that it wouldn't work out. I was shot down but looking back he was ABSOLUTELY correct. They looked like new DBZ characters with the triangular eyes and spikey hair. That's when I learned about copyright - all this before Middle School.
Middle School and High School were probably my least artistic years, only because of puberty and peer pressure. But I was still known as the guy to go to when something needed to be drawn. I didn't have any unique style, I was just better than most - simple as that. I drew your typical teenage things, nothing special.
I remember my mom got a tattoo on her 40th birthday. It was a, sort of, midlife crisis thing. I was 15 - tops. My brother was 18, and he got a tattoo soon after her. Except I went with him and was exposed to the magnificent art style of tattoos on the walls. All over the walls! I was a kid in a candy store. Then I decided tattooing would be a job I could do art full time - I still feel that way actually. Anyways, when I was 17 I got my first tattoo - and was hooked right in.
After graduating I engaged freelance to the max. I was 17 with 2 tattoos and ready for the world. But my dad would have a different plan for me. We began to look at art colleges. Enter the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
I spent the worst art-years of my life there, I swear. Not only was I 17 in a school full of students WAY older than myself, they were "better" than me and had knowledge on programs I've never heard of like Photoshop and Maya. I was just pushing pencils and pens! Needless to say I was down in the dumps for the first year or two, outmatched and outclassed. Sparing the details - something happened. It was a culmination of leaving my despair behind, realizing the opportunity that I alone was letting slip through my fingers, people I met, people I left behind, and remembering that my goal was to bring my drawings to life. All this (I know - sounds epic, right?) and I saw my talent climbing to the point where I began to impress my teachers and friends. Most importantly I started to impress myself - something that hadn't happened in YEARS. It was a beautiful thing, that's all I'll say.
Now, I'm where I'm at now: taking a year out, every year, to learn a new medium. Telling any reader who's made it this far that I'm on top of my game and still have MUCH to learn and offer. By no means do I feel like I've reached my end yet. Their is no limit when I apply myself to my passion - ART.