So I recently turned the big 21. And by recently I mean last Saturday. For anyone wondering, I had a fantastic weekend. Although is was mainly a blur of alcohol and chicken, with The Raid 2 thrown in there somewhere and my excitement at receiving a brand new Wacom Intuos tablet. It came complete with a full version of Manga Studio 4.0 Debut too!
But come Monday morning, the celebratory giddiness had worn off and I had the whole day to myself. So, firing up my good ole PC, I settled in for another wasted day of not really doing anything. These days the time I spend on my PC consists of checking facebook (Even despite the regurgitated dredge that people only seem to post nowadays), reading through most of the forums I've signed up to (Only to not respond to anyone), losing myself in a 12-page article on the effects that Hyper Sexuality can have on your social life, Wiki-ing movies and reading through the plot so I don't actually have to watch them and many various other pointless wastes of time.
It was then that I looked over at the black and pink box that encased my brand new drawing tablet. I'd requested it from my parents especially for my birthday. Why? Well...I already had a tablet, but I maintain that it wasn't very good, so I definitely needed a new one and it was about time that I started drawing again. Despite the fact that my digital art skills are very much under par and on the surface, I just couldn't admit that, in truth, I was the one who wasn't very good. So I banished this old tablet, left it to gather dust on some forgotten top shelf. I'd lost the pen for it months ago, anyhow.
So what was I to do then? Setup my new tablet and my Manga Studio software only to realise that my drawing skills still fail to reach an acceptable standard, impossibly set by my own, over-eager imagination? Yes, that's exactly what I did. I tried to re-draw some old pictures I'd done, but failed even then. I even reverted back to the use of pencil and paper, hoping that maybe I was more of a natural with the traditional tools. Whilst my attempts grew to become more than a mere few minutes, I still failed to come up with anything my mind's eye enjoyed the look of."Back to square one, then. This new tablet has been a complete waste of time and money. It'll be better off left in the box until I find a good enough reason to throw it away."
Things certainly seemed to point that way at the time. It was then that I was overcome with annoyance. "Why? Why should I just put it away? Because I haven't drawn in years and now I'm rusty as hell?"
"Well yes, that's pretty much it. Also, because I'm extremely impatient and I expect instant results most of the time." "Well that's a completely valid reason, except...y'know...it isn't."
At that point something else kicked that I hadn't felt for a while; Determination. This clever little voice inside had opened a door on an urge I'd had building up for a while. Y'see over the past few months, I've been reading more Manga than I have been watching Anime. And it hit me one day that I enjoyed Manga far more than it's animated counter-part. Why? Because I was free to interpret more. The sounds, the moves, the voices, the music. There was so much more on offer to keep my imagination hooked. I mean, Anime is great an all (Far better than what's on TV these days), but when it comes to watching it, my imagination is left docile and unneeded. Everything's already taken care of. I'm subjected to music, voices, sounds and movements all chosen by other people. There's nothing left to the imagination. Sorta like a Half-Naked Girl Vs. Fully-Naked Girl argument. I'd pick Half-Naked every time. Why? Because that way my mind has something to do. Something to think of, to create, to imagine.
So this door was holding back an urge to draw. Not only to start drawing again, but using a tablet and creating awesome pieces of digital art. However, this time I controlled my overactive imagination. Instead of thinking up all of these wonderful Fantasy pictures or a Sci-Fi landscape or even my own Naruto OC, I decided to place limiters. I decided that I was going to set goals for myself, actually attainable goals, and see them through until completion. The first thing I ruled out was colour. I've never been great with colours. However, as soon as I did that, my path became clear. I saw my end goal and exactly how to achieve it. I was going to learn how to draw Manga. I already had all the tools needed to do so. I read Manga practically all the time. The only thing left to do is find a tutorial.
When you type 'Manga Tutorial for Beginners' into Google, it's easy to become lost in the first guide you click on. All too quickly can you find yourself back where you started because you half-heartedly scanned through a tutorial, all the while thinking that you're suddenly out of your depth. This tutorial is talking about things you're not yet ready to learn. You want to learn how to 'Draw' Manga not 'Produce' one. All of this because of one simple reason. I was looking in the wrong place. So, backtracking, I decided to search for tutorials to do with drawing Manga. I found mangatutorials.com.
This is exactly what I needed. Something that was going to give me the absolute basics, right down to shading a sphere. Because, despite my BTEC in Art & Design, I hadn't the foggiest about how to draw. I mean really
draw. All because I'd only ever copy-drawn everything. Sure, I made some tweaks here and there but, more often than not, the picture came out wrong. Copy-Drawing can be great to learn with but before I even think of doing that, I need to learn the basics.
Now that I've given you a considerable amount of back-story, I'm finally going to explain the upcoming future of this page with a handy list:
I want to thank you if you've read this far. I understand that it is quite the entry. I look forward to sharing this learning experience with you.
Wish me luck! ^^