(Also this is a mention-fest so I probably mentioned a lot of my friends here!)
Above is the first deviation I posted to deviantart. This is a flipnote I did from a bygone land and era known as Flipnote Hatena. When flipnote shut down (May 31st 2013 I believe) I came to dA to connect with some friends I didn't want to lose from there. Of course, I couldn't just post a link to my barren, unartful account, how embarassing! So I uploaded the one flipnote that didn't require audio as a GIF, as well as a quickly done image on pain.net (an art program).
In regards to my friends, I hadn't made many at this point but the ones I knew from hatena, that being Zephyrift, MyLittleAshy, TheOfficialBlazie, rainubrew, and Eeveetales. My apologies if I forgot you, but this was a very long time ago!
This was my first piece I posted that I was extremely proud of. It's a simple watercolor of one of my oldest characters, Candle. I was very proud of the shading and linework, and that was the best background I had ever done in my life. What's more, one of my friend's parents happened to see it drying on the table and complimented my work. It meant a lot to me that someone would enjoy what I drew even if they had no idea what it was about!
Around this time or earlier I met chrompetitive, a very cool person who I remain friends with today~ I also was wonderfully connected with Nix-Sil, who was very kind and really helped me come out of my fear of online friendships.
How many of my friends remember my crazy pixel challenge? Over the summer (2013) I had convinced myself that my best work was in doing pixels, and proceeded to do a request challenge of 100/later 50. I didn't complete it, and it ended up instilling me a deep dislike of doing pixels voluntarily, but I did end up doing a ton of fun characters in the meantime. Above are my three favorites, for Eeveetales, Nix-Sil, and DaikaLuff respectively.
About now I started making friends (veeerrrry sloooowwlyyy) with people like TheAuraTrainer, who introduced me to groups, and many people from Quinque Terris, a xweetok roleplaying guild on Neopets. People from this would be Garobro, DaikaLuff, and a few others that I can't quite remember at the moment!
(The character featured above is Nix-Sil's Laboryne.)
I included this one because, at the time, this was a HUGE turning point for me. Previously I had only known how to use a lone digital art program, but often my sketches were ugly and demotivating. Suddenly I discovered GIMP and the web camera, and one expo marker sketch later, I was learning how to shade and actually do pretty things. While this style has long since been outdated, I still look back on these types of images very fondly.
(The character featured above is my IRL friend Tardis's Lux.)
October came, and wow, look what my dad borrowed from work, a small drawing tablet for me to play with and use! It also came with an art program called sketchbook, which blew my mind away as it allowed me to do practically anything I wanted! ...With five layers at most, that is, but very often only I used four. This had an abstract background and was the best thing I had ever drawn at the time. It still remains one of my most popular pieces today.
About now I had officially joined QT and met even more awesome people like EternalSelenia, Iitwick, and catIike (though I met Fab on dA because I really loved her style and finally got to meet the artist).
A short while later I met Ally-moo and got to know a lot more about this person's creative style!
Here comes December! Christmas had just passed, and I finally owned a tablet I could call my own. Of course, right before sending the other tablet back to its home, I happened to install ArtRage, which was a traditional art simulator, in short terms. I decided it would be a good time to try out acrylics before using them in reality, and proceeded to do a painting of the "still-new-and-hip" mega absol. This was also my first lineless digital image that I can say I was super proud of.
By now I'm 99% sure I had met Kiwicide (and Tinypaperdresses) who is an amazing artist and also has plenty of wonderful species. She's also always active and the latest I've seen her do something is five days, which she considers late! Talk about a hard worker!
This is also about the time I met Akatsuune, ShiroKyune, and YoruRei1999! I met them via Zeph Via via Crysalian and they are also super cool peeps that I don't show enough love! ;o;
ALSO I think I should probably add Wereniss to my list of friends cause even though we don't really talk much Clocks has an amazing style and we kinda nod at eachother from afar. ...pffft not even that but Clocks is a cool cat.
Now we're getting to the modern stuff! There was a wonderful free art program I downloaded called FireAlpaca, which I experimented with over a month-and-a-half long hiatus. FA would proceed to blow all my other programs out of the water, even the SAI download I tried for a while.
The image above is my favorite example of the new style I had discovered, but I think that this piece was my best work of that style. I chose not to feature it as I'm trying to show you my work that had a major influence on the way I draw.
Aaaah this is the point where I am sure I knew goldnretriever (though it was probably way earlier), who is awesome and does great journal skins~
Also I know I met abby-wut earlier too but I can't remember where! This is the mspaint queen guys, and her style is really unique and wonderful~
(The character featured above is Garobro's Feglai.)
There came a day when I learned how to use overlay, add, and multiply as different blending methods. This opened LOTS of doors for me, and this is the image I tested my technique on. I also love the background for its not being something abstract or just a sky; I took the time to do a wall and floor, and even added a candle mounted on the wall as a light source. I also drew an anthro subject, which I hadn't done for a loooonng time in fullbody digital art, especially since I always assume my quadrupedals are my best, but it's amazing how wrong we humans can end up being, especially about ourselves.
This is the most recent image in my gallery. I took the time to invest in a lineless style, and I am very pleased with the results. My wings have gotten so much better since the first image I displayed, and so has everything else. Essentially, this is a sum of some of my best work, and I was also confident in this before I posted it, something I struggled with for a while.
IN CONCLUSIONMY FRIENDS ARE AWESOME AND MY GALLERY IS ONE LOOOONNNG IMPROVEMENT MEME.
Okay that's all guys! Thank you so much for all this awesome time together!
PS- Ahh you guys are so kind! I'll try to reply to comments when I get the time, right now I'm just smiling happily and still soaking in the emotions/feels. ;w; Again I love you all and please bear with me as I try to think of something nice to say in reply!