Art and template (c) Ai-Bee and Tyshea | Not for public use!
[Wow, it's been ages since I wrote a journal, so I thought this little bandwagon would be the perfect opportunity to do that.]
I joined dA in 2006. I was 16, a sophomore in high school.
A friend of mine suggested it offhand, and I had been posting my first ventures into digital art on forums for a private server of Ragnorok Online, so I thought to myself "why not! Let's see what this is all about."
I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the moment I first started posting, I could feel something change. Having people interested in your art and stories was so motivating; it was unlike anything I had ever had in person with family or friends. Up until I joined, I'd never really taken my art seriously.
I was on here for a year before I started concepting SalaDays
, a slapstick story about supernatural teens in school. A lot of people showed interest, so I started up a webcomic (and even opened up a group to let people make their own characters) and tried to keep it up for a couple years. Man though, I was only 17! I wasn't prepared for such a big investment at all, and SD ended up flopping.
It was definitely a moment where I bit off more than I could chew. I had no idea how to build an entire setting for people to roleplay in, didn't know which fan characters to include in the "canon story", I let a lot of people push me around and I got really sick of the whole thing. It was a disaster, honestly. I also ended up in some really bad relationships with people who I didn't know how to deal with. Three of them in particular sorta messed me up because there was romance and hurt feelings involved.
To top it all off during all that drama over SD, I was in the middle of figuring out my sexuality, so a lot of that was trial-and-error for me. For those who don't know, I actually identify on the Asexual spectrum, but I tend to fall in love with girls. I didn't know this, and probably wouldn't even have understood it when I was a teenager. There was a lot of me trying to figure out my own boundaries and getting my heart broken.
(one of those drama people was actually the one I was originally going to write Romaine Hearts
with. After we fell apart, I had to pick up the pieces of that story. It's why it's still kind of vague at the moment)
But I had met some amazing people through all of it too. Some of my best friends are ones I met back then, and they've become like family to me.
They all inspired me to pursue art as a career, and throughout working on SD, I really realized art was something I wanted to do. Despite all the drama and fire, I loved the feeling of getting feedback on my stuff, so in 2008 I went to art school.
It was the winter of that year, I was in my first quarter of college, when I started dating my current partner of 6 years, Ai-Bee
I'd casually known of her for a while, and I was completely in love with her art. We followed each other's work mutually, leaving shy comments here and there. But the night before the new year, I was so lonely that I made the leap and asked to talk to her over instant messenger. I didn't think she'd be awake at 3 in the morning, but she was, and we talked until the new day came. We binge-talked for the next two days, and I knew I wanted to be with her.
She agreed, and I had never felt so happy in my entire life.
Like I said earlier though, I had been struggling with my sexuality (and also gender, hah), so our relationship was a secret for years. To express it, we started a series of angel pictures, known as Children of Pathos
. It started as a way to write semi-anonymous love letters to each other, and also talk about the ways we were helping each other heal. We were young and had just come out of our respective series of bad relationships and heartache, so it was source of solace.
It was incredible, really, working with her. Working with an artist who jived with me on so many levels. It was so incredible that I knew I couldn't keep it a secret anymore, and in 2011, we came out to our fans
Ever since coming out, it's been an amazing journey rediscovering ourselves. It's weird being "out," you realize you can't go back into hiding ever again. There were several moments where me and Bee had to step back and realize "hey we're Queer artists, we have a responsibility to write and illustrate about our experiences."
I had been so busy with college that I hadn't been as active on dA as I used to be in my teenage years, but with coming out and all that invisible pressure gone, I was ready to start something new and honest and bare. Something that I could put my new skills to the test with.
And with that, we started Picture This
, which I'm sure most of you know about.
PT has been in the works for the past 3 years-- between graduating, getting my first industry job, losing it two years later, finding my second job just earlier this year, and also struggling to write something wholesome and worthwhile-- it's been a hard but rewarding journey. And it's still going.
Just two weeks ago, we finally produced the prologue to the first story
That brings us to today. I've been on this site for 8 years. Through high school, college, my first job, and now onto my second.
Thank you everyone who has stuck with me, thank you to the amazing friends I have made, thank you to the people who broke my heart, I would not be the same person today had I not met all of you.
And most of all, thank you to Bee for inspiring me to come back to this website and keep posting art, for inspiring me not to drop the stories with bad history, and for inspiring me everyday to work towards our dreams together.
DeviantART definitely has its problems and rough crowd sometimes, but I'll always be grateful for the things I learned and continue to learn through this site.
Here's to more everyone!