My Biography and Artist Statement

I’ve been struggling with my biography for a looooong time. In college we were required to write it on our student websites for a grade. I ended up with a generic one:

“Rebecca Gowdy was born in suburban Winchester, Virginia in the summer of 1989. Her family has always joked that she came out of the womb drawing and has been doing anything art related since childhood. It wasn’t until high school that her love of “making things pretty” turned into a pursuit of a design career. In 2013 she will receive her Bachelor of Fine Art concentrating in Graphic Design at Shepherd University. Rebecca specializes in illustration, but her strengths also lie in typography layout and identity design. Rebecca hopes to go into the comic book business, writing and illustrating graphic novels, but can see herself doing most anything. Ideally, she wants to bring design to the more rural areas of the Shenandoah Valley. “ But then I realized it wasn’t me. I tried to fix it, but ended up still not liking it. I even used a dumbed down version for a professional summary:

“A creative and motivated graphic designer and photographer in offering strong attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Works independently and has experience in supervising team projects. Strengths include utilizing graphic design software to create recognizable and trusted brands with event marketing in mind.”

However, something I still am happy about is writing a mission statement from my community college days.

*“I am a daughter. I am a student. I am a trusted friend. My life reflects my passion. My passions comes from my actions. My actions define who I am. I am created by God. I am the created, yet I create. I will follow in the footsteps of the Artist’s Artist. I will be open to new ideas. I will always see the world with wonder. I will always create.

I may walk a dangerous road, but I will not fear the future. I will never stop learning. I will always remember to listen before I speak. I will always see life as precious; it is not my job to judge a life. I will treat myself with purity and grace. I will treat other with what I treat myself.

I am a creator. I am a storyteller. I am a comic book artist. I am a photographer. I am a painter. I am a designer. I am a sketcher. I am a fantasy writer. I hold whole worlds in my head. I see the world as inspiration. I see the world as my canvas. I am a visionary.

If my vision no longer suits me I will transform it. If my vision no longer suits someone else I will fight for it. My skills are not static. An artist is not stagnant. An artist fails, and learns, and succeeds. If I fail I will try again. There is always more than a second chance.

An artist brings dreams to life. I will bring dreams to life.” *

Advice from Other Artists

I recently got some wonderful tips from my favorite artists that I wanted to share. These people are so talented and a lot of them do art for fun.

TheGeneraless | Professional Character Design Artist

I asked them about what to post as content to a gallery like tumblr or a website and this is what they said:

*“As for when it comes to Tumblr and deviantART, choose whatever content makes /you/ happy. It's what I do, myself. Whether it be personal, fandom, photography, writing--anything you enjoy making and putting your heart into.

I tell this to a lot of people who ask me about how I got my own small following, and whether or not they should be worried about popularity when putting their original stuff out:

Nothing will be popular immediately.”*

I also asked about if consistency or passion is more important:

*“Consistency is important if you're looking for a /specific/ fanbase, or if you're looking to spotlight a specific art style or passion. Consistency in original projects is especially important when it comes to gathering a following for that. People are drawn to something with a lot of content naturally--and quite a few are willing to stick by the artists as they learn and grow on their own right, with styles, stories, characters, the like.

So consistency is important--but consistency and growth go hand in hand. Consistent styles can improve while remaining consistent. Same with characters, worlds, fandoms, the like. It's all about maintaining the core of it all and the passion you feel for it.”*

Mayshing / Christine Chong | Film & Animation Professional

I’ve been watching mayshing for a while on DeviantArt and have found her to be a wonderful artist and person in general. I asked her about how she got into the business of art.

*“For any business it's always exposure. I think in the earlier days I borrowed fanart power and took out early enough for some series like Naruto, Sonic, SAO, and so on. Now I am not borrowing as much anymore it's a bit harder? You can still do impressive work, not having as high of exposure but if you got the right niche/genre for your originals you can do well enough when you open for commission.

Because for the business of art you first need exposure, second you need good portfolio on what you can do, thirdly is advertising your work ethic by constantly updating work to your gallery, paid or unpaid. And you will get returning customers/new ones.”*

KaiserFlames / Alyssa McCarthy | Professional Fantasy Illustrator

I literally adore her dragon art unconditionally and is one of the few artists I never have pet peeves about anatomy. I asked her about how she got into the business of art and what tips she’d give about promoting art.

*“I've honestly just been doing art for a loooonnnngggg time and never stopped. I did go to school for it, which helped teach some things, but the majority of my techniques and things are self taught just by constantly practicing and learning from other artists I admire. And also drawing from life. Everyone harps on it, but it is one of the most important thing you can do for your skills. It's the best way to learn about color and anatomy and all that stuff. If you can't get out to a zoo or get live models, the next best thing is to work from photographs, even if you never post them online (and if you use copyrighted images, it's fine to practice on them, but generally not fine to post them unless they are changed significantly).

As for promoting your art... that can be tough. I started out on DeviantArt and that was a big help. Artstation, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and social media places like that are excellent tools to use. Getting yourself ALL OVER the internet is the best way to really get attention. Surround yourself with the art you want to create so that you can learn from it, and if you can learn directly from artists you admire, do that too. Be active, be friendly, be professional, always be busy with your art.”*

Quotes That Inspire Me

In art:

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” Oscar Wilde

“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” Andre Gide

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

—CS Lewis

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. “ —Aristotle

In Life:

“Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” —Proverbs 16:8,9 (NIV)

In religion:

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

—CS Lewis