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improvement by ToolKitten improvement by ToolKitten
This went around one year and everybody and their dog did one, but I'm keeping it going. I even added every damn year I could manage.

So here you have it, dug out of bins and storages for your viewing and laughing pleasure. I've lost generally everything from when I was a kid, and only some drawings done for family way back when even exist anymore. The photos at the top were recently sent to me by my mom.

its been a long journey on a long road with still much further to travel down that road.

Not everyone agrees with me, but for me, this is why talent doesnt exist. They've done studies, its not magic or science, its training your brain. I started out shitty like everyone else. I drew for fun. I found something that got me drawing and I played around. I didnt do art seriously for the years of perhaps 12-16 and from 12-19 when I did mostly anime there were barely any inprovement at all in anatomy or stiffness or line clarity until the very end when I started to take it more seriously. I've probably heard every view point and opinion on this, so spare yourself your time and mine by not writing me paragraphs about it.

So then I gave up video games, and devoted the time to drawing instead. I studied anatomy and worked hard and what do you know, now we're talkin. I started getting better. Going to show no amount of a so called "talent" will really help you, will it? you can draw for years and give up like, "i must not have talent" because you dont get better.

not to lecture, but if you take anything away from this. its put your nose down, study everything you can about art, and dont draw only anime and from your head and expect to get much or any better for long periods of time.

dont let people tell you art cant be your career or take away the pleasure you get from it. it can be nothing to you, or everything. it can be a part of your life or change your life constantly the way it changes mine.

dont ever stop drawing. you can lose it, and I almost did.

and if i can give any one part of important advice.......be yourself and the rest will follow.

in 2007-2009.......in other words, those 4 pieces i posted were the only ones i did that whole year.....

join me on patreon to let me help you walk some of your road! www.patreon.com/neiruffino

or my website www.organikmechanic.com
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:icontweekiedoox3:
TweekiedooX3 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2017
omg this is sooo cool. I feel the need to practise now
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:icondevotae:
devotae Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2017
we draw along the same timeline.. i wish i had kept all my stuff through the years to do this
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:iconsp0rkninja:
Sp0rkNinja Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2017
Wow this is really Inspirational! Its so great to see the evolution of an artist work. Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconbs-blackscout-bs:
BS-BlackScout-BS Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2016
Inspirational... Here's some thought about my situation:

As of now my stuff is compared to your Start-1992 stuff. I've kept trying and trying for the past month/weeks and I haven't got anywhere. I gave up dozens of times, and yet I keep thinking about how I'd love to become the same. I still keep giving up. 

Been browsing DeviantArt ever since I've discovered a certain YouTube channel. That channel usually posts Digital Art with Chilled music (SuicideSheeep). So, here's the reason about the interest on Digital Art...

From time to time I think all that drawing stuff isn't meant for everybody, that it requires "talent". I try telling myself that it isn't the case but I just can't get to think like that. I watched videos, I drew over my monitor, I tried things... Maybe not hard enough. 

I've tried, many, many times not to give up, but I kept/keep doing it. Every failure brings me down... The time it takes to get/reach improvement brings my motivation down.

I'm a pretty insistent person, I can't get over the fact I keep giving up nor that I draw like 5y old children.

Your post is indeed pretty helpful. But at the moment I'm writing this, I wonder if I will move on and keep trying, regardless of failures... or if I will just give up like all the previous attempts...
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:iconekuan:
ekuan Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2016   Traditional Artist
You are wonderful ... I love watching this ... much artistic growth and talent! :D I congratulate you!
Reply
:iconwayno777666:
wayno777666 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2016
Now I know how you do it hard work. dedication and lots of talent. This may sound strange but could I buy a copy of your life as a artist I want to put it on my wall and use it to motivate my lazy butt.
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:iconkypfox:
KypFox Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing and inspirational on multiple levels. Thank you.
Reply
:iconsalvadorio:
Salvadorio Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
This is so excellent and something that every aspiring artist loves to know about. Thank you so much for sharing.
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:iconbignando:
bignando Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow Great job !!!
Reply
:iconcore-point:
Core-Point Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016
Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconringelotta:
Ringelotta Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2016  Professional General Artist
amazing! your path is really inspiring! I can't wait to be an amazing artist like you one day. Just need to keep working and working and practising and working haha xD
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Professional General Artist
you got the idea :D
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:iconringelotta:
Ringelotta Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2016  Professional General Artist
haha yeah. At least that :'D
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:iconken261:
ken261 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2016
That is quite the amazing journey and a great story to tell anyone that wants to draw but thinks they can't.
This idea really goes for almost anything like music or computers.  If you really want to do it, just stick with it and learn all you can, from wherever you can.
Reply
:icongogyotonik:
Gogyotonik Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Great!
Keep it up!
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
SO, you are what? 32-33?

Oh, baby. So young you are!

The only thing I feel I can allow myself to say to you, and not appear condescending in any way, is that you are absolutely the real deal. Income does not matter. Credits does not matter. You are a card carrying professional creative artist, kitten. It may not be the MOST exclusive club in the land, but it does boast a rather limited membership. 

You have every right to be very proud of your accomplishments.

As for me? Watching you grow into your own as an accomplished creative artist over the past 5 years or so has been one of the main reasons I still have a membership here...:)
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Professional General Artist
32 yeh :)

and thats awesome! im glad that i will be more active now :)
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:iconahmedauron:
ahmedauron Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016
I want to believe you..but I am scared :O
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Professional General Artist
its natural.
Reply
:iconmlh70:
mlh70 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016
would you say zenescope was the opportunity maker for your career. long live al rio.
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Professional General Artist
i would, but because of the artists that they got to do their covers.
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:iconmlh70:
mlh70 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016
DO you prefer working on art that has environments as the focal point or people ?
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:iconnefermeritaset:
Nefermeritaset Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Sooo many years of drawing and coloring ! No wonder you became so good ! Experience is everything… almost. I can't help thinking some people DO have a little bit of talent. ;) Of course it can't show until they have worked so hard they can reveal themselves. 
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:iconpanda037:
panda037 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Couldn't agree more.
Reply
:iconarm01:
arm01 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Wow you have work from 2 years old! Nice, you have improved a lot. Yes drawing is a skill, just like working out.
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:iconbigaace:
bigaace Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
nice
Reply
:iconschneekloth:
Schneekloth Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016
Ha, I actually remember some of those earlier ones. Definitely shows what hard work can do.
Reply
:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Professional General Artist
some of them were done at your house :D
Reply
:iconwooper95:
wooper95 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016
Awesome progress! :D
Everyone that is good at something once started sucking at it.
But you went from being good to becoming awesome.
Join it and the future will bring a lot of good stuff.
Reply
:iconjohny-be:
Johny-Be Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016
WOW, very impressive progress! Thank you for sharing it! This is the first "artist evolution" that I've ever saw and it is great! Really, thank you! This is very inspiring! I found myself in this "improvement process" somewhere between 12-16 years of yours and the following illustration of your progress really motivates! I wish you do not stop in what you are doing for the sake of yourself and your fans!
Reply
:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Professional General Artist
I can never stop, I m driven to breathe in only this way ;)
Reply
:iconkapocalypso:
Kapocalypso Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is super inspiring! thank you for posting
Reply
:iconbanfia:
BanFia Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
omg your ages 9-11 look just like mine did when I was 10-13!haha! :D
Reply
:iconpaul053:
paul053 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016
This is really inspiring. Long ago I once thought drawing skill is gifted which I didn't think I have. But you are right. Practice plays a huge part as well.
Reply
:icondanyboz:
danyboz Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
A clever way to show your impressive progression... Congrats! :clap:
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:iconasgrblagovest:
AsgrBlagovest Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016
amazingg so next a you become art god?
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:iconpencil-stencil:
Pencil-Stencil Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing! I love it how you scribbled the missing years :lmao: I think I open this meme every time you update it and check it all over again. Since it's always one and the same file though, I can't re-fav it :D I do think talent exists though, but it's just something recognized at an early age. It's not a magical ability, but maybe the ability to catch on and learn faster. Maybe you don't consider yourself talented, but with hard work you did amazing things! Someone who is talented usually relies on their innate skill alone and that's what stops them from growing, eventually having a hard-working person beat them to it. Whether you're talented or not, you'll create amazing art only with hard work! :heart:
Reply
:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Professional General Artist
i will be updating it very soon, im a couple years behind and i forgot about this for some time until now!
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:iconpouget:
Pouget Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fascinating to see the growth - thanks for the share
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:iconlancedart:
lancedART Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Brilliant.. This is the kind of thing that art teachers at school should show their kids - firstly that we all began somewhere and secondly as an example of what hard work and dedication to your craft can bring... and if I do the math correctly, your progression of skill over the time proves that the 10 000 hour theory of deliberate practice actually has some validity (obviously you did far more than that but its in there)...

and of course.. doing something you love is actually possible....

 
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:iconcardstone:
cardstone Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Student General Artist
it's 1:21 am and I've been drawing/training since 8 pm. I needed this motivation
Reply
:iconsnapper314:
Snapper314 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016
This is a VERY IMPRESSIVE view of your growth and progression over the years.

THANK YOU for sharing this with all of us!
Reply
:iconserribi3night:
serribi3night Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I can't wait to see what my own work is going to look like when I hit your age! Im finally starting to find my own thing FINALLY and its a slow going process but as long as I keep going it will work out in the end! I am very inspired by your work I was so happy to buy your comic and meet you in person at the Reno Convention last year! Looking forward to collecting more of your work and thank you for your inspiring work!
Reply
:iconkittykatkay:
kittykatkay Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016
Thank you very much about talking and showing us the road you have traveled as an artist! 
I get very nervous thinking that my hard work will not pay off in the end.
Reading your words and seeing your progress is very encouraging for me!
I hope one day, with hard work, I can have an amazing style like you have. 
Reply
:iconjuvartis:
Juvartis Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016
I love reading these Improv Meme !!! :D (Big Grin) 

I can see we are aaalmost the same age (3 years apart) and when reading this I suddenly get struck by a feeling 'that I have abandon me childhood dream, not putting enough effort into doing art when I was younger'...... Hmm, well this not helping anyone ( sorry the little teen in me was taking over, LoL )

But what is helping is your writing below the meme. I find myself less caring about gaming, and more hungry for knowledge about art.
In the years I was educating myself into plumbing (Y 07, age 21- to -Y 11, age 25), I wasn't barely drawing anything...... and after all the jobs afterwards have payed the cost for me to go digital with my paintings :)

Sorry for my rambling here, hope you don't mind.
Love to see your progress, and your work are wonderful. And thanks for your 'Basic Coloring Tips' post, very helpful, and love the 'light cage' link---(for others)--->(www.photoworkshop.com/pages/li…) also a very helpful tool :D

From my inner 'artist' child, You are AWESOME!!!! I am a dummy!
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Professional General Artist
i'll never mind, i love talking about art!
Reply
:iconrln:
RLN Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I first discovered you in 2009 with this toolkitten.deviantart.com/art/…

I know it wasn't your art, but the coloring you did on it was just phenomenal!  I didn't really start following you till around toolkitten.deviantart.com/art/…, and as much I loved the lines more, sadly I can't find them here anymore.

*whisper* Though I do have them saved on my hard drive ;)
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:icontoolkitten:
ToolKitten Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Professional General Artist
thats fine by me! the lines are old so removed awhile back.
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:iconrln:
RLN Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I seem to remember you giving a fair warning about cleaning out the gallery, if there was anything we wanted, save it or lose our chance at it forever.  I use those lines as benchmarks for some of my own stuff when I'm drawing.  Some of the most beautiful lines I've ever seen, regardless if people complained about the "small shoulders" pfft, she was, IS still beautiful =)
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