“a person with positive view of Imagination is happy”

Every single day for the past couple of years, I have been really annoyed with myself for not drawing. I keep telling myself to make the time to get back into it, but I never know where to start. I began to draw again when I moved to Japan, being inspired by all the art I loved there. although, I kept only focusing on fan art. I was drawing characters created by other people in the forms of other artist’s styles. it was fun to do, but then I got on myself again for not not creating anything original or finding my own style.

I just get overwhelmed when it’s time to put pencil to paper. so many things to draw, so many styles in so many formats and mediums… and colors! I rarely finish a drawing all the way. I get attached to the sketch or stupidly worry if I put pen to it, I’ll ruin it. it’s dumb, I know. I tell myself to just DO IT but my brain goes in all different directions. I keep saving all this wonderful art I see on the internet for inspiration, but… I just stare and wish at it.

I even tried to just get in the habit of drawing even it was garbage. searching the internet for “meme challenges”, but none were too inspiring. they did all start with “DAY ONE: SELF PORTRAIT”. self ports are the only thing I am confident in. I can draw an overly ambitious and wishful thinking picture of myself any day. so I started one, but decided to try drawing myself in my favorite artist’s styles, just to get back into the swing of things.


When I was in Japan I bought a lot of art books. I drew this Mamiya Oki piece first, with an old hair cut of mine from last year (I don’t need 20 self ports of me with blonde hair and a hat at the moment, so I’m time travelling my self-ports here). I wore this korean men’s hooded sweater a lot to look like a jedi to match my padawan braid(s). I was super pumped it wasn’t too bad of a sketch. it would look better colored, and clearly there are some things out of proportion, but not bad after months/years of drawing next to nothing.

I am super pumped to work more on this sketch!! I have always been fascinated with Hirohiko Araki’s work, although I have never read JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga (on my to do list). The portrait I am doing of myself is from my 25th birthday dance performance outfit. I thought all the shiny jewels and chains would be an easy similar style to draw. I can’t wait to color it (although I am nervous!!).

other artists on my list to practice: Ai Yazawa, Yoshitaka Amano, Mutsumi Inomata, Fuyumi Souryo, Atsushi Kamijo, Takato Yamamoto, Junji Ito, Miki Wakako, Chika Umino & Kira Imai.

The great thing about copying other’s work you admire is to really get into the details of the picture. I would look at grand scenes by artists and think “WOW that looks so good!” but when I sit and study it closely, I notice things that I personally would have thought looked weird to draw or not been satisfied with had I done it myself. It teaches me not to be so hard on myself and to look at drawings as a whole.

The best and ultimate advice I got and will always give about drawing is–”it is 99% observation” (and practice, but duh). I learned that when I was 9 in a drawing class at the boys and girls’ club. the teacher had us draw bugs bunny’s head. I drew it better than her (she observed a line coming out of the wrong place, and I corrected her with hawk-like observation… I must have sounded like a brat). I still have the drawing, it looks straight outta looney toons, not gonna lie. I was a talented kid. if I kept up with it, who knows where I would be now. but I didn’t. it’s just a hobby.

I just want to create things. keep my hands off the keyboard and mouse and physically make something to be excited or proud about. I hate wasting time on the all-consuming internet. I want to leave behind physical objects that came out of my mind and then existed because I created it. I get carpal tunnel if I’m on the computer too damn much.

life is too short, let’s make things!


  1. David says:

    Since you scanned the sketches already, you don’t need to be nervous about wrecking them with the inking. You’ve got back ups.

    • alextthomas says:

      having a back up does help, but I still hesitate. or find something I don’t like about it a couple days later and never fix it.

  2. .. says:

    so.. you pretty much trace

    • alextthomas says:

      haha! no. that would defeat the purpose of drawing. I look at the picture, then draw it similar to practice putting pencil to paper in the same shapes.

  3. MJ says:

    Your post on the Fuji Natura brought me here. So sorry it is broken. It seems that in the right hands it makes superb pictures. You will finf another one!
    What I wanted to say: never gove up on development of your skill, believe in your art and make a lot of mileage. Inspiration = transpiration my high school art teacher used to say. And: please enjoy drawing as an act in itself!

    • alextthomas says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate knowing people are reading this and take the time to offer some advice.

      I am hoping to bring it with me back to Japan and maybe I can get it fixed? or maybe I will just come across enough extra money to buy a new one! I love that camera, it was my favorite! if you are considering buying one, you must! it’s the best!

      as for drawing, I have been having an overwhelming block. I don’t make the time for it like I used to. but thank you for the encouragement, I want to keep up the skill and improve it! I am always inspired but I never take the next step of putting pencil to paper. that is my real problem. too many things I want to draw! I am scared they will come out bad, since I am so rusty. I need to get over it.

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June 25, 2011 create