What I’ve learned and what I’ve changed
It’s been a bit since I started blogging, so, I feel like it’s time to introduce myself, my art and talk about my artistic journey thus far.
I don’t want this blog to be only centred around my art and myself as an artist. But to make it a place to learn, talk about different experiences in an artist life and whatever experience & advice I can give you with what I’ve learned so far.
I remember reading a post in an art blog once that said: all artists blogs should have at least one blog post talking about their journey and – maybe more than – one about their art.
Now, it’s been a while since I initially wrote this post. And as I review it (as I do with most of my posts every once in a while) I realised some of this has changed a bit over this last year.
In the middle of 2020, I changed the blog’s domain to my name, and I did that because I realised me and my art are a part of this blog as well. I wanted it to be more personal.
I don’t think this blog will ever be a “journal about my art”, I still want to help people most of all. But I am an artist and this page serves as well as a shop & portfolio, so now I feel that talking about my art it’s also important.
So, I hope you’re ready for a trip down memory lane with cringy old art!
Ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved to draw and Ialways spent more time drawing than most kids I knew.
But, as you might have experienced yourself, there’s always a time where you kinda stop drawing – or you do it less and less till you basically leave it.
Well, I wasn’t any different.
I always had drawing in the back of my mind but dedicated myself to other hobbies; I learned by myself to play the piano and the guitar – I’m not a pro, but I can work my way around it – and I dived in music for some time.
I was never highly encouraged to draw as a kid, praised occasionally yes, but not really encouraged. And I never really thought that art was a thing you can dedicate your life to, the typical, not “a real job” thing.
Sorry about this first few images’ quality, I know it’s not the best but they’re a bit old! (I’ve tried edit them a bit but…)
Back in 2012 I picked up my pencil and started drawing.
It was a gradual thing, I remember doing a few light/shade studies and some animal “realistic” drawings, I didn’t really know what I was doing but I had a lot of fun. By then I was 17.
As a plus, they were praised amongst my family, my friends and at school, and I felt really flattered and encouraged to keep it going. By 2013, I was drawing regularly and my “realistic drawing skills” were improving quite quickly.
At that point I didn’t think about doing it as a professional, I just did it for the fun of it and never really considered it as a possibility.
REALISM PHASE (2012-2016ish)
As you can see, I started with art quite late, so I was already trying to decide what to do with my life and what career to study when I started discovering my passion for art.
So, I started studying Informatics Engineering – something like computer science, programming & such – cause I’ve always been good at maths, physics and I was good with computers.
Meanwhile I was exploring the world of realism.
Back in the day, I really enjoyed making art that look really similar to photos and I felt really accomplished. Now, I don’t really enjoy realism much anymore, but I believe it helped me build a great base to start drawing.
I would spend 20 hours per drawing, adding all the small details – so much patience…
I spent around 2 years or so in this realism fase, I didn’t have lots of time to draw as I was also studying at uni but I did my best.
And after I while I got commissioned for the first time. I was in awe.
You could actually get paid for doing art?
On the other hand, I was getting some buzz outta Instagram – back in the day, before the algorithm screwed me up & left me stuck at 2k – I got shared in some huge art accounts and in a few months, I went from 300 to 1500-1800 followers.
So, the idea of actually working as an artist started to peek into my mind. What if I actually can get a living as an artist?
But on the other hand, I was trying to get my degree, so I didn’t have time for too much. Engineering is a demanding career.
THE WATERCOLOUR PHASE
At the end of my second year of uni (2015) I spent my Summer as an au pair.
It was a great eye-opening experience and I got some extra money that I spent on a crazy art supply shopping spree. I never had been in a proper art supply store before, so I got a bit of everything that caught my eye.
So – after emptying my bank account – the supplies that stuck out the most were a set of micron pens and a small portable set of watercolours.
By that time I was getting tired of realism, I felt like there was a lack of creativity in my work.
I couldn’t draw anything from my imagination and that frustrated me a lot!
Slowly I started experimenting a bit more with other materials & tools. It was so much fun and I learned a lot from it – I felt like my art was finally starting to go up to the next level.
On October 2015, I discovered Inktober – or in my case Drawlloween, cause I didn’t know Inktober by then – and that was what actually got me into watercolour. I did most of the small illustrations for that month in watercolour and, by the time I completed the challenge, I was addicted to them.
I feel that that drawlloween was the starting point of a big change to my artistic journey.
For some time, I still did a realistic pencil piece here and there but I was slowly moving away from there.
By 2016, I decided to give up my degree in Informatics, I was three years into it…
But I was drained and tired and had discovered a whole new world with art.
GOING THROUGH CHANGES
I went to the UK for a few months as an au pair, to try and have a different experience while I decided where to go from there.
When I got back I tried to switch careers to Fine Arts.
Sadly, I didn’t get in and that frustrated my plans a bit. But – casually – I got in the Fashion Design degree and I decided to keep that up while I worked on improving my art by myself.
Fashion Design is not really my passion, but it’s good to have a career on the side just in case.
Also, for the first two years, I had some illustration and drawing classes. So there are a few things that I’ve learned thanks to it, and others – like photography, marketing…– that have helped to add some extra skills that might come in handy.
Besides, it’s a less demanding career compared to the previous, so I had more time than I had before to dedicate to art. And I’ve learned to organize myself a lot better so it gets easier – just slightly – to juggle it all.
Since then I’ve implemented some things that I hope slowly will build up to give me a base to start my art career.
BUILDING INCOME STREAMS AND SKILLS
Back at the end of 2015, I started an Etsy shop. It’s not my greatest source of income but I do sell something from time to time.
If you want to know more about these and other options, you can read more about how you can make passive income with your art here.
I started a YouTube channel in the summer of 2017 and been working on it ever since. I was pretty constant for a while, but it’s had its ups and downs.
Lately, I’ve been keeping up with my schedule, 1 video every fortnight!
And on February, 2019 I started this blog.
Since the switch of careers, I’ve changed and improved a lot. I still don’t have a clear focus of what I want to do specifically but I’m trying to build myself different income streams.
And I’ve been working on my own projects as well to see if I find a specific path in my art carreer.
FINDING AN ART STYLE AND MY LATEST ADVENTURES (till 2019)
These past 3 – 4 years I’ve tried a bit of everything – Acrylics, gouache, charcoal, coloured pencils, oil painting, markers, digital art, different brush pens & liquid ink – maybe I’m even forgetting something, so yes, you can definitely say I’ve been busy.
I can’t tell you I’m an expert on everything – and I might have to practice some of them a bit more – but I know enough to get my way through it. One of my latest favourites is digital art. It has taken me some time to get used to it but once I did I simply can’t let go.
It was also fun to see that about a year ago I realised that I finally have some sort of “style”, mainly because people pointed it out to me.
I know having a style is relative, as it changes a lot through time and experience, but it made me so happy!
- If you like what you see here, take a peek at the stickers, prints & originals in my shop!
LEARNING TIME (2019)
Right now, I really want to evolve and improve, so I’m gonna try to improve my fundamentals and things I find myself lacking. This is something I haven’t done much of so far, at least not consciously.
This is always the hard part – as making art for fun is much more entertaining than to study – but I’m looking forward to feeling fulfilled and more competent as an artist.
One of the most important things I learned is that as an artist one should always be ready to learn and improve, as there’s always something else to learn.
If you don’t, you probably stagnate as an artist and never really get out of your little comfort zone, which is totally fine as long as you don’t plan to make a career out of it.
Learning was what I focused mostly on 2019-beginning of 2020.
I had a bit of a burnout/artblock for a while so it helped to just sit down & focus on learning.
However, I still felt stagnate and like I wasn’t improving or creating anything worth it.
2020 – NEW ART PHASE
I’m updating this with a new, end of 2020, addition.
For a good while, that burnout was bad. It didn’t help that I was in my last year of uni and that requires a lot of extra work.
My life has changed a lot this past few months, I moved out of my parents with my bf (see my new studio in a tour here!) & I’ve been having more freelance work.
It’s still not a lot, but I’m making do with that & my shops, and I’m being consistent so everything keeps growing.
And talking about shops, one of the things I’ve done this year is try my hand at producing enamel pins & stickers!
- Related: I have a post here to help you make your own enamel pins for the first time!
Now, despite “our friend corona” & the weirdness of this year, it’s been a productive one. A few months ago I finally got out of that artblock and I feel like I’m starting a new phase, both in my art & my life.
If you like my work and want to see what I’m up to, feel free to check my art Instagram here: @Patri_P_P
It’s definitely been a journey! I hope that you enjoyed this little rant about my artistic journey so far.
I’ll keep you updated!
And I would love to hear about your artistic journey as well!