I just realized something some day ago at some time while riding some jeepney on my way home somewhere.
I reminisced the days when I used to hate trying to draw realistically cause it never turned out the way I wanted it to look like.
As a teenager used to drawing nothing but manga and cartoons, it was a big hassle for me to learn realism and usually, I would give up half way.
I once swore to my friend that I will never be good at painting anything realistic.
When I got into a school of Fine Arts, I was extremely nervous. My image of the fine arts was mostly of painting realistic people, murals and stuff. My image was wrong obviously. People of the same age as I did had the same problem. They are used to drawing manga like I did which gave me a ton of relief. So then, I started to learn how to draw in the right proportion, how to play with Global lighting yet still make it look realistic, I learned how to draw proper perspective, color depth and so much more. Now, I'm on my last year of fine arts, I tried to remember the things I have learned in school. I noticed my style became different (you can see it in my gallery.) I realized that my style is not limited to only one style; Manga. I may not have mastered the realistic style, but I have learned how to base my imagination realistically. Now I'm exploring what ever I can do with the realistic style and how I can bend it, even my manga style improved and I am so happy with my own style as of the moment. (Of course, there is always room for improvement.)
So what did I realize that day in that time in that jeepney on the way home in that place?
I realized that, what my professors say is true, for me at least. That the best way to learn your own style is to start from the basics. Meaning, I have to start over even though I have already gone far on the Manga style, when I learned new things, I found out I can go even further than what I have done before. If I was afraid to go into Fine Arts school because of my mental image on realistic styles, I might not even realize I'm not improving at all.
In other words, the best way to improve is to not be afraid
to go out of your comfort zone. When you finally get out of that shell, you'll find out how an awesome adventure is waiting for you. And its not just in art, but also in life.
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