Hello - my real name is Jelissa Lin, and I'm based in the United States (currently California, but soon to move to Wisconsin). I go by "Nyx Aurelia" as my artist name.
I was previously at UCLA in 2019 majoring in Engineering, until COVID and other issues made me reconsider. I decided to make art, then my hobby, into my main career focus instead.
I do freelance work with TTRPG games and other fantasy media. Some of my clients include M.L. Wang Books, Forgotten Times TCG, and Fragging Unicorns.
On the other hand, I can creating my own project "Iteration", a medieval-cosmic universe, and an epic tale which I hope to make a reality through my original works.
For any inquiries, these are the two fastest ways to contact & chat with me:
〉Discord Server: https://discord.gg/hsmKDhfmuu*
*(send me a message request if it needs to be private)
You can find me as @nyx_aurelia on most social media (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Artstation, Reddit mainly).
〉TL;DR At the very core of my advice is that you have to be scrappy. There's no "but I can't do it" or "I don't have the skill yet" or "I don't have the right materials" - find what you need, figure it out yourself, make do with what you have, and make a new way to do it. Nothing can be "too low" or "too much work" for you, if you want to really learn and master illustration. There's no magic button - I guess, AI image generation if you like - but when it comes to really learning, understanding, and reaping the real rewards of being able to express yourself in this medium, there's no "quick way," "right way," or "special secret way" to do it. As I like to say, bang your head on the wall if you have to. This painting process was an example of me doing the same for 15 hours painting, then painting over, and over again, to make a portrait. Now (in 2022) it takes me 5-6 hours to make a similar portrait.
As long as you have this kind of mentality in mind, you'll get there. I cannot tell you how much time it will take, because that depends on your personal situation. But practice with these things in mind, and you'll go far.
〉Now, my thoughts on various drawing topics:
If you are looking to learn, the best advice I can give you is start now and work with what you have already. Pick up pencil and paper maybe. Make some drawings of whatever you want. Do you like nature? Is art relaxing? Have a project idea you want to work towards? It can be anything from scribbles and sketches to full drawings. This is important to keeping your motivation on the hard grind ahead. Don't bother too much with researching different skills, the best materials, etc. at first - they can be flashy and alluring but will not help you at the start when you're starting out. Get something that works, and just go at it!
When you get going with your first doodles, you may not realize it, but slowly you will come to understand the direction you want to go and what kinds of skills and materials you need to accomplish your mission. At this point you can start trying to research things and build your skill and knowledge. There's tons of knowledge online, or you can find a teacher/school or something, or you can observe other artists and real life. Start off with easy drawings, then increase the difficulty little by little - if you try drawing something too difficult it will make learning slower and discourage you. For example, I started learning anatomy from drawing anime, then improved from there. I wanted to learn digital art at the same time, but I actually started out with color pencil, then watercolor, then going to digital art a couple years later. Still, challenge yourself from time to time. You may be surprised at what you're really capable of.
If you're not able to get the "best materials and education" or if you don't have much time, don't worry - part of art is making use of what is available to you. And, having better materials doesn't help you as much as having better technique and motivation to draw. (The one exception I'll make is for watercolor - the paint behaves badly on low quality paper and screws the learning experience...trust me…even if you get a tiny scrap of high-quality wc paper it'll be far better than a pad of bad paper...lol. But if not, make do with what you have lol).
Practice will be frustrating and tire your brain, so take a break when you get overwhelmed. And, make sure you draw what you want to draw. If you find focus in anatomy drills or something, go ahead. If not, don't bog yourself down in practice sketches, just go for it, even if you feel you don't have the skill to pull it off - you'll learn on the fly through your projects, and eventually you'll get better (this is how I went about learning things like anatomy, lighting, etc.). Keep working at it if you feel like it, or move to a different piece if you feel like it's stuck. Or if it's stuck and you don't know what else to do, bang your head on it (figuratively) until you squeak something out or at least learn something from the struggle. We all learn in different ways - you'll find your own, in time.
If you're worried at some point about having your "own unique art style", let me say this. A person's art style is shaped by their journey - which materials were available to them at the time, what their goal is, what art inspires them. What colors do they like? What knowledge do they choose to use, abuse, twist, and abandon? What concepts have they never heard of? Everything that affects your art, including things that you can and can't control, will affect your style. Experienced artists have enough knowledge to understand what affects their style, and are therefore able to draw in different styles. Art style is something you can decide on and work on yourself in your own time.
There'll be a ton of information blasted at you to process - some of it you will understand far later in your journey. Some of it you, and I, may never understand. You'll make do, whether you're a beginner or a master. One thing I firmly believe in is that anything is possible with enough working time. Literally impossible things in this definition will take "infinite time" - but, you also have to remember that humans once thought that going to the moon was impossible. So go out there, and keep going!
Also, if you want to talk more about art stuff like this, this is what my Discord server is for so come join!