Oh boy. 2015. Where do I even start?
This is the year I withdrew from some fandoms and started talking to more people as individuals rather than finding a common interest. I've learnt so, so much from them, not only in the area of drawing, but in the writing and storytelling scene as well. These people have become my inspiration, their passion and their dreams make me want to work hard for my own goals too.
The first third of the year was spent fretting about my future. I was about to graduate from poly with a science related diploma and I was fraught with 'what ifs' and 'should I's. I was thankful that my grades allowed me to get into the schools I wanted to go to (all of them with varying disciplines), and all that was left was deciding which one I wanted to carve my future with. Ultimately I decided to go to an art school in a local university, called SIT-Digipen. I made it past the selections and interviews and was on my way to a new future.
After that it was a period of relaxation and celebration. I boothed at my first convention, a modest convention called EoY and later a large-scaled one called STGCC. I really enjoyed the events and met even more amazing people. I guess it was one of the first bigger steps I took to getting my work out there in the local art scene. I'm not sure whether my work made an impression, but nonetheless, it was a memorable experience.
The last third was diving straight into university. I have never been so thankful for the people I've met. They are a fun bunch that made my days in university amazing. Despite the breakneck pacing of work and assignments, and the periods of exhaustion, I look back to my very first semester at digipen and go "I truly enjoy what I'm doing.". Being around these people made me realised how I missed bouncing ideas off other people. I couldn't do it in polytechnic. Sure online friends are great and meet ups with people too, but it does not compare the feeling of having people around to help others to improve in their own work.
'Talent = Passion + hard work (+ motivation??)'
But not only just that. Being an artist is not a lonely battle. You have to be around people.
That being said, in 2013 and 2014, I learnt how to let go of those feelings of constant comparison. (They're younger, but better than me. I won't improve as fast. I'm stagnating, etc.) If I were to keep those feelings today, it would've been toxic to my own improvement, especially being so close to the art scene with people around my age. I would've started doubting whether I deserve to be called an artist or not. This acceptance of how my improvement should not be dictated by others allowed me to accept criticisms graciously. Also, I don't see myself as inferior to my peers, but as equals. All of us have our own experiences to share. Don't be afraid to ask for help and learn as much as possible from people who are better, and when appropriate, give tips to those who approach you for help.
It's not a rat race to see who's the best. Ultimately, if you're happy with what you do and how far you've come (even if it's just a little bit of improvement), you're already taking steps to becoming a great artist.