Updated: Dec 23, 2020
This is me SidVenBlu activating myself as a professional artist, and coming back into all social media after 4 years and a half! (More or less)… These past four years have been solely about training my drawing skills abroad, and I would like to say I’m proud of my improvement.
Truth is that I haven’t been in a complete hiatus. During my years in the states I started to pay attention to other social medias. In fact my instagram account has held most of my attention. But let’s start things from the very beginning. If you’re not really interested on knowing what I’ve been doing, you can scroll all the way down to the bottom of the journal to know about the incoming games.
Back in 2017 I finished my mayor on digital design, which I finished without failing any class and receiving my diploma! And then safely put it in a folder and that folder in my closet to never see it ever again in my life. That cycle was over, but my search for a vocation wasn’t done yet. Let me tell you, guys… especially those about to start college and who already started it, this isn’t a definitive point of your career, much less your life. Many are the friends I have that once college was over they dedicated themselves to grow the skills they always wanted to learn, and same is my case.
College taught me things I would use in the future, that is true, but the technical things I wanted to learn did not satisfy my lifelong vision; to be better at drawing. That’s why as soon as college was over I made the bold decision of leaving my home in Chile and travel abroad to the states. Mission? To take on the 3 years long bootcamp program at the Joe Kubert School and succeed at it.
Living away from home is a tough thing, but living away in a far away country, with a completely different culture and internal issues plus dealing with a new school is pretty much like going to train into the mountains. And heck it was tough!
My first year at the school involved a lot of personal challenges, I had to face language obstacles, cultural, and ghosts from the past... but curiously the structure of the school and it’s heavy workload was more of a focus point that kept me going non stop (I guess old college helped me develop the stamina for such workload, huh? Almost like I did learn something from it!).
And before I noticed, these three years were gone. What started as a hardcore journey ended in a zoom livestream congratulating us for the hard-work and getting our diplomas in the mail. Of course pandemic hit us all hard, and I send my deep condolences to everyone who lost any relative to this virus, and it was because of safety reasons that it was decided that we would finish our very last semester in our dorms with online feedback. But I can say that back in 2017 I expected a slightly more epic end of this journey. Well, you never now what the future has prepared for you. All in all I managed to finish school with honors and with a huge amount of new skills and experiences that I couldn’t wait to use. I guess I owe myself a celebration.
I consider myself fortunate because as soon as I finished I had a job as a comic book colorist for the indie editorial Silverline. There for the first time I felt what it was not only to work under a real deadline with a full team of artists, but the experience also forced me to look at my work process with a critical eye and decide which elements should I prioritize over others on a page. It was really a learning experience!
(As a quick update with that job, I just received the printed copies of the comic I colored! It is very exciting to see your work printed out, feels so “official”! )
I'm not entirely sure I can say if I have grown up as a person. I’ve learned that what defines you as a good or bad person depends solely on what people perceives from you. I have accepted that I am myself, acting accordingly to my believes and moral values. If that is considered good or bad, only my surroundings can tell. After all these years I try to keep living under my favorite motto “Don’t do to others what you don’t wish for yourself”.
All in all I still think I’ve done things I’m proud of during these three years, I’ll share them in hopes to give the idea that we are all subjects of change and improvement.
Anxiety in open places:
During my years over the States, I had the opportunity to attend to various comic book conventions in the Artist Alleys and could sell my work. The experiences helped me improve the way I would talk to people, thanks to my amazing friend and also artist Sarah Madura I learned new ways to sell my work, confront nervousness and relax in these situations.
Stamina and pushing forward:
Through all you life you have to do what don’t want to do. Frustration feels kind of bigger when you’re at school or college, having classes that you Know you’ll never use again in the future. Imagine how it feels to be studying art and Still having to do assignments that you find no sense on doing, but Still having to dedicate hours of your time on completing, finishing and hoping for a good grade....! Well, the best tip I can give you for those cases is to push any emotion that situation gives you away in a box and just do the job. The sooner the job is done, the sooner you can go do what you want (make sure you make the job right enough so you don’t have to get back to it and correct things).
Yes, I missed home. During these years I went from living in dorms, to an apartment, to staying at friend’s houses and so on. And even when visiting my family in Chile for the holidays I would only notice how much different things were in my own house after a whole year, not to mention that my bedroom was full of boxes with my belongings, it felt like I slept in a storage for a while. In some very mental point of view, I felt homeless. In times where everything is constantly changing, the best solution was to rely in the things that hadn’t changed for you. I relied on my far away friends, that no matter where I was, I could always contact them online. I relied on my personal abilities and improving skills, and relied on my art and characters that grew alongside me.
I can’t really say if I grew or not as a person, but I can tell I have changed and got through some personal obstacles that in the past I wouldn’t have dared to face.
For the people that knew me here in Deviantart, surely it looked like I just vanished from the website. I became just another artist who found no use or benefit in the community and just left. Truth is that.... that’s pretty much what happened, in a way? Bootcamp school kept me away from answering messages and keeping in touch with the community. In a technical point of view it always bothered me that it takes me a lot of time to set up files to update in my page. The proper format... descriptions, filters, categories etc.. I couldn’t invest the few time I had free to post artwork. Not mention that I didn’t have any artwork to show, only exercises and assignments that lacked the spirit of my personal art. And while I was busy inking comic book pages, I would see how the fandoms I was part off evolved without me, and felt like I had no place in them anymore. But in other social medias probably I could start over again.
I dare to say that I entered social media rather late compared to other people. But I saw the chance it brought to creators back then, I saw a more casual way to share art and the quick feedback felt very attractive compared to the few to none feedback I was getting on DeviantArt. Of course that involved falling into a dependance on likes and short term reward. Numbers and follows became stronger than the need to focus on my art... it took some deep meditation to accept that I will never be one of those 20m followers people and that numbers don’t define my quality as an artist. I mean.... I found a job as a colorist sooner than most of 5k follower artists, I didn’t need any other proof! The last wake up call from instagram fever was their last algorithm, currently is affecting creators negatively, and forces us to pay in order to put our artwork visible out there. If I recommend using instagram nowadays? Sure why not, but don’t let it be your only artwork gallery out there in the media.
I entered twitter short before leaving the country. Honestly I was looking for a way to be more active in the fandoms I was part of, sadly everything back fired when noticing the strong toxicity in the social media per se. I wasn’t part of the social media generation, and entering twitter only meant for me reading arguments and toxic competition between artists, not to mention finding out tendencies or trends that I didn’t understood, and because of lack of time, by the time I got a grab of them said trend was already a thing of the past. Once again I felt I didn’t belong to the fandom anymore. If I was following the wrong people? Probably, but the fact is that I left my account abandoned for a long time....
I can conclude that I have not been fully inactive. Those who followed me outside DeviantArt can tell that I have improved my technique little by little, and I am honestly really grateful for all the support I’ve received from everyone of them. These people have been the anchor I mentioned little above.
Here You can continue Reading!
Plans for the future!
Now that this challenging year is about to end I have decided to make a big revamp of my Artist Persona. I think it is time I start unifying my brand and officialize my work! And For that I will do the following steps:
-Make SidVenBlu my official brand.
-Revive my DeviantArt account.
-Undust my facebook page.
-Unify my Instagram, Twitter and DA account.
-Offer high tier commissions.
-Start using my youtube channel to post timelapses and other art videos.
-Officialize the production of my personal project called Tehrras.
-Officialize my Website and use it as an archiver for Tehrras’ comic pages.
-Re-activate my livestreams, that being Picarto, Twitch or Youtube (I'm still figuring out that one).
And while working on all that~~~~ I will celebrate my massive revamp with a multi-socialmedia Art Giveaway! A fun 2 side contest that I promote on all my sites for everyone to join! And I will post all the details in my next post!
Thank you very much for reading this first blog entry in my website~
I will keep things updated as much as time allows me. Take care everyone!
End of Transmission.