It's been a long journey, but it's been so worth it! I stumbled upon this "Improvement Meme" over on Deviant Art and thought it might be a fun thing to whip up. I've put my filled-out meme under the cut because it is so big!
Many artists get so focused on their current abilities (Does this look good? This composition is terrible but I can't seem to get it right. My art sucks!) that they never pause to look back at how far they have come. I believe that if we do take time to look back, we won't be so hatefully critical of our current work. Of course, it is always important to be critical of your work, that's how you improve, but we all know how artists can take it to harmful levels of self-deprecation. In this improvement meme, I reflected on who I was at each age, how my interests and perceived flaws affected my art, and what kind of strides I was taking to improve. Not everything is covered due to the small space the meme provides, but this does show an overview. One major thing I left out was how strongly my colorblindness made me limit myself to greyscale at a young age. I didn't (and to some extent still don't) feel comfortable working in color because I had the mindset that it had to be "correct", and since I obviously couldn't see colors very well compared to most people, my colors wouldn't be correct. Although I didn't really learn color theory until much later, only working in greyscale at a young age turned out to be a blessing in disguise when I started my art degree. Thanks to my fears, I had already overcome what many artists struggle with: making the shadows actually dark. And, even more thankfully, my many years of practicing shading gave me a wonderful basis for using colors properly and even experimenting with them (even if I still couldn't see them!)
Like always, let this be a reminder that everyone can improve, and practice is the key to drastic improvement. Just look at the difference between the years before and after I started my art degree (2011). The only thing different between 2010 and 2012 is that I was forced to draw every day! If only I had been motivated enough to do that myself before my professors made me!
The full meme under the cut! (beware, it's HUGE)