I am a scalie (lightning dragon, simply put) who is an artist that has been said to have a gorgeous expertise in backgrounds and scenery. The benefits of being an artist in this field can provide plenty of options, but it's not usually easy to come by good networking and marketing, as any artist would have their hardships of.
As I have noticed, plenty of notable artists in the fandom draw characters and body arts as their niche; a western-world idealism in the glories of visual art. I, however, am the reverse; excellent at backgrounds, faulty at characters. Should I be proud of this in my efforts to keep drawing and improving naturally?
My question however is: If I'm so good at backgrounds, why am I not entirely happy as an artist in the fandom? One of such main issues I've been having is that my character art skills are quite off and result in unpolished works of what I draw and paint, whether traditionally hand-drawn or digital. (I do both) The dream of wanting to cooperate and collaborate on their backgrounds with some of the best and/or biggest artists within the entire world of the furry community is a euphorically uplifting thought, especially when they need help. This desire is even more illuminating when it comes to artists I also want to meet and kindly befriend altogether.
If I improve greatly and fluidly on the characters, I can draw just about anything in the flat world of 2D visual arts, both physically and digitally. This can also include drawing (web)comics, graphic novels, character illustrations, and other great forms of art. In fact, I'd love to invent a new type at some point; I enjoy a good innovation, yet quality comes first in my eyes. Again, thrilling, but I need to know what to do from here to execute better artworks. I'd eventually want to do 3D, crafting, animation, and other forms of visual arts outside of the canvas, papers, and flat surfaces.
Oddly enough, I no longer have any intention to involve money in the midst of any artworks anymore, since it has put me forth a lot of undue stress in the past whether I gain money or spend money, and vice versa with the any other party and client involved. Materialism and money has been flooded all over the visual art side of the furry fandom, especially on the most accessible ones like SoFurry, FurAffinity, Inkbunny, etc. I do art passionately however, as I have been drawing since I was nearly 1 years old (could you believe that?) starting with a smiley face on a red phone book using a writing pen.
I'd love to become a video game artist or something just as majestic and positively productive as my primary dream career. I won't give up; I just need guidance, is all. Thank you very much for the availability of asking, and I appreciate any answers.
~Azure (age 21)
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First of all, to state the obvious, why are you so worried about character art skills if you’re not trying to draw for money? If all you wish to do is create art for the joy of making art, then draw what you enjoy and who cares about the rest?
The emphasis in the fandom, as you’ve noticed, is on character art, not backgrounds, because people are looking for things like avatars and other depictions of their characters, or drawings of characters they enjoy. If you wish to gain acceptance there, you will need to improve you character drawing a bit (although not much, really). You and I both know that the only way to do that is to practice, practice, practice.
Same is true if you are unsatisfied as an artist because you feel like you are too limited in your abilities and want to branch out into, using an example you gave, graphic novels and the like.
That said, I checked out some of your art online (http://www.furaffinity.net/gallery/azureparagon/) and it is gorgeous. Your background art is stunning. Yes, your character art is not quite at the same level, but while that background level is amazing, your character art is still pretty darn good.
Now, if you never get to be as good an artist in the area of drawing animals, people, anthros, etc., that you wish to be, you can certainly still make it as an artist in this world. There are many many opportunities out there for you. You could, for example, create computer screen art, skateboard and surfboard art, book covers, record covers, commercial arts, art for stage production backgrounds, textile arts, background art for animated films, video games, and even live-action films, or simply be a landscape/still life/abstract traditional artist. Many people purchase such paintings for their homes and offices. Given what I saw online, you could become accomplished in any of those areas, if you were willing to try.
So, when you ask the question, “If I'm so good at backgrounds, why am I not entirely happy as an artist in the fandom?” the answer depends on point of view. If you are limiting yourself to the furry fandom, then you are not satisfied because the fandom emphasizes characters over backgrounds and might not fully appreciate backgrounds (although I saw some comments on your posts and they were pretty darn positive); but if you are asking for yourself, I would say the answer is because you feel like you should be more well-rounded as an artist in your subject matter. Both problems can be corrected with more practice. You could, for example, take some classes in figure drawing, either at a college or from a private instructor.
In my opinion, however, I’d say you are already an accomplished artist and there is a lot you could do with the skills you already have. Depending on what you wish to do with those skills—a decision entirely up to you—will determine your course from this point forward.
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