Beware, I am sharing A LOT of pictures here, so you might have to let it load a bit, sorry about that I have many old drawings I want to share with you folks I soon started making Sonic pictures of my own using my memory and imagination. I alternated between traditional and digital art. The only art program I had at the time was MS Paint. I would draw out the pictures in pencil, scan them, and do the rest on the program with a mouse.
Looking back in my gallery, sometimes I regret taking down a large section of my past, because it showed so much of my development of how I made “fan art”, and I felt rather shocked by the growth and at the same time pleased with what I could do then. But a lot of my past work also held some painful memories I wanted to forget.
Even before I joined deviantART in 2007, I knew about this place for quite some time. I came across it by accident while browsing around on Google for some Sonic artwork to save for my screensaver. There were some great artists I looked up to. Unfortunately, most of them have left this website behind.
When I first started drawing Sonic art, I used screenshots I found online as references to create observational drawings. This was good practice for me to become accustomed to the character designs. They were all done in pencil and color pencil. My very first Sonic drawing I had ever done was the one of Tails and his many poses from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and 3 for the SEGA Genesis. I also did one for Super Sonic, but cannot find the drawing anywhere. I may have thrown it away long ago.
I had introduced ILoveKnucklesShadow to deviantART, who had become a close online friend of mine around 2006, and she encouraged me to join with her. I was very scared of joining because of the kind of people I might meet. I knew the internet was an attraction for trolls and cyberbullies, so I was very hesitant of becoming a member. February 2nd, 2007 was the exact date when I finally made up my mind to join. Not only did I want to present what I could do, I wanted to show what my interests were and hopefully someday make some good friends. I also wanted to watch over the artists I had looked up to. I was 15 years old when I joined, and I gave myself the name “allhailshadow”.
Of course, I was not very noticeable in the first few weeks. My only friend on there at the time was ILoveKnucklesShadow. But eventually I was able to find some friends who liked Sonic just as much as I did. These are a few pictures I had submitted to start off my life on deviantART. They were drawn on paper, scanned, and then colored on Photoshop, which I had downloaded as a trial. I colored them all with a mouse .__.
When my Photoshop trial ended, I shifted back to traditional art. By that time, I started creating fan characters. Jericho, Trisha, Revon, and Eclipse were the main four I made and stuck with since.
I began to draw out scenes about Jericho and Trisha’s relationship, Jericho’s past, and Amy’s encounter with vampire Sonic. All these pictures led up to a story I unintentionally started, which was later called “For Love or Blood”.
The first picture to start the story off was a drawing of a raccoon boy by the name of Jiffy, hiding behind a large rock in a cave. I gave a brief description of the scene in story format, and viewers became curious and wanted to see more. I felt so happy and wanted to continue the story myself, so I just kept on drawing day after day, posting at least one picture a day of the story.
During these times, some watchers asked me to draw pictures for them. These are a few first requests I had done.
When “For Love or Blood” had ended, I went back to the very beginning up to the point of where I first started the story. Eventually, I was given Photoshop as a gift from ILoveKnucklesShadow, and I started making pictures digitally more often.
During the year 2008, I had introduced some of my own hamster characters online. They have gone through several changes in not just their looks, but their backstories and personalities, ever since that year. I’ll show you some of then and now.
Later on, I discovered the pen tool on Photoshop. That tool really helped make my lines and shapes look so much sharper and cleaner! I also went from writing "For Love or Blood" in the artist description right to submitting literature while including small illustrations at the top.
Later on, I was inspired by ILoveKnucklesShadow’s lineless style, that I decided to give it a try myself. This style lasted a while.
I also went through an anime phase after watching Bleach and Air. I made a couple Bleach drawings and some anime characters of my own.
By the time it was around 2009, I reverted back to using line and started over on “For Love or Blood”. Jericho’s personality had completely flipped from being this sweet guy, to someone more aggressive. I was not very pleased with the outcome, so this version of the story did not last very long. I also want to mention that I had gotten a Bamboo Tablet for Christmas 2008 and started using it for my later drawings.
All of a sudden I was getting comments on my character Jericho. Viewers started bashing him for being a Shadow recolor and would constantly tell me that I sucked and was unoriginal. To be honest, I never saw Jericho as a recolor, but more as inspired by a combination of my interests, that being Shadow the Hedgehog and the supernatural, particularly vampires. When I could no longer take the comments, I decided to give Jericho a makeover and removed all pictures of his old design in order to avoid more comments. His redesign also pushed me to do the “For Love or Blood” story over. In the end, I was quite happy with the redesign.
Late 2008 to 2010 turned out to be the years of change, observation, and experimentation. I practiced drawing directly on the computer with my tablet without the need of scanning pictures. I also tried out the “classic style” for some of my pictures, as well as a few other Sonic styles to celebrate some of the character birthdays.
2011 was when I first opened up commissions. I think this was also the year I had changed my username to Tri-Jean, or else it was in 2010 after I had graduated from high school.
In 2012, I started receiving comments from other Sonic fans criticizing me for drawing couples I liked, particularly Shadow and Amy. This and other things happening in my personal life had caused me to become depressed, nitpicking the tiniest mistakes on my drawings. I wound up taking down more of my work involving Shadow and Amy as a couple, my fan characters Jericho and Trisha, the majority of my hamster characters, as well as work I would post and then remove a couple days later... I had gotten to the point of drawing my fan character, Trisha, either suffering or getting killed by Jericho. I used to have them up in my gallery, but they are gone now. I will not be sharing those pictures with you folks.
Because of this, I had slowed down drastically on my submissions. I became self-conscious of the things I drew. I was afraid of receiving negative comments on anything aside from the couples I supported. But later in that same year, I wanted to work on “For Love or Blood” again for the last time, but this time in comic format. I have pretty much redone the story about 4-5 times...
This summer, I started organizing some of my folders on my computer and suddenly came across all of my work I had removed from public. At that moment, I sat back and thought about how proud I really was when I first drew them, and wondered why I beat myself up for doing something I enjoyed. I could tell that I had so much passion and energy in my past compared to recent. Why did I let the negatives win? I was aware of the possibilities of those things happening before I had even decided to join here, and yet I still crumbled. I would like to be more productive again and not worry about what others will think of my work, but it is not as easy as I want it to be since I am currently a college student.
After looking back and writing up my life on deviantART from the beginning to now, I realize that I should not let people bring me down. I should continue drawing what makes me happy and not change myself for someone else, especially if these changes end up hurting me more.
DeviantART has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Though there have been people who have hurt me, there are still many others out there I have met and still mean so much to me today. This is one place where I can keep in touch with my friends and make some new ones of the same hobby and interests.
To me, deviantART has become the place to inspire and be inspired, to express and make friends, to experience and develop into who we are today. Not only does the art grow, but the artists grow along the way.