So I came across this interview with Lesean Thomas (Character Designer for the Boondocks and others) and it gave me a little hope and guidance as far as where my life is going.
The way we got into art is oddly the same, competing to get the same attention as my older brother whom grew out of drawing...
Almost all of the things I do are self taught and I really want to get better. I am not in art school, but hoping that I can somehow get along anyways...
It's a hard sell to tell myself that I might make it...but this article encourages me to keep trying.
"Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?
I was born and raised in the projects in South Bronx, New York City. I'm an 80s baby: The Crack epidemic, Reaganomics, and the birth of Hip Hop culture all blanketed my adolescent life and kept me warm at night. I got into drawing from copying my older brother as a toddler to get the same attention he got as a first-born. I'm second oldest of 5 so I got overlooked pretty quickly. My brother grew out of drawing and I stuck with it because it kept me out of trouble. I got turned onto animation at a very early age like most artists in my field. Countless Saturday mornings were the culprits.
I didn't start taking this seriously as a source of income until much later in my teens. I was kind of a knucklehead growing up in the hood, toying around in school and focusing more on chasing girls. Also, there was very little encouragement in my community to be a professional artist. You either where a rap battle MC, played basketball, did graffiti or sold drugs if you weren't a lawyer or doctor around my way. I was good at neither, so I stuck with drawing. After a couple of life-altering experiences in my late teens, I realized that I didn't choose to be in this occupation, this occupation chose me. I got an opportunity and took it.
I didn't go to art school because I'm self-taught. My portfolio wasn't strong enough to get into an art college so I just learned from sketching from life, reading books, studying and sponging off of professionals I was lucky to meet during my path. I was pretty hungry for knowledge. I got one shot as an unpaid intern at a children accessory design company then proved I was worth hiring as an assistant designer and got the job. After that, I met various artists and producers in the field, landing some opportunities in comic book illustration and flash animation projects. I was lucky and am extremely grateful I don't owe $50,000 to a college right now. Life throws you curveballs.
My hunger, drive, and first job as assistant designer really prepared me for the concept of sitting underneath a lamp and drafting table and getting paid to be creative with a pencil, not to mention dealing with office politics, pleasing all the cooks n the kitchen and meeting deadlines. I was 19 years old then."