The one other thing that gives me purpose is art. I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and make a mess of my own desk, and it was my first love way before writing happily got in the way. Art keeps me focused. Calms me down when the rest of my life has gone to shit. When I’m too stressed, or I can’t think, drawing helps keep the rest of me together. Just enough to clear my head and get the rest of my crap sorted out.
Sadly I haven’t been drawing as often lately. Journalism keeps me busy. It’s what rakes in the money that pays for the crap that keeps me alive, so of course I spend more time doing that. But I still find time in between the rest and the deadlines, or when I’m too stressed and I need to unwind.
My specialty is lineart. The doctor said there’s a problem with how my mind processes colors that aren’t blue, black, white, or gray, so most of my artworks are in black and white. I’ve learned to build my brand that way, and although it’s a shame, it’s also kind of cool to have a skill that’s that kind of specific. It allows me to zone in on only one style and hone it, and actually develop an expertise.
But I haven’t given up on being a color person. I don’t believe in finality even with health issues. I know I can still achieve the improbable if I try hard enough. That being said, I’ve been practicing with Copics and color pencils. I used to work only with Faber Castells, but I’ve recently upgraded to Prismacolor Premiums. I wanted to up my game a bit and try something new. Otherwise, I use Copic Multiliners and Faber Castell PITT. Both are very good, although PITTs are prone to smudging. I’m considering trying out Pigma Microns, but I heard they either dry out easily or leak out too fast. For paper, I typically use Canson (industry standard), but have recently considered trying Strathmore Bristol sheets.
That’s just the traditional end. I do digitals too. Just not as often because I don’t really have the proper materials. (Plus my devices lag way too hard.) For digitals, I normally use Adobe Draw, Medibang, Autodesk Sketchbook, and Adonit Jot Pro for my tablet. I use an old Google Nexus. For PC digitals, I use Manga Studio, Sai, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I’ve already upgraded my laptop from Windows 7 to 10, with faster specs, but I still use an ancient, early 2000 Bamboo Wacom tablet. I plan on upgrading to a newer model once I earn a bit more from my day job.
I’m trying to relearn drawing, so most of my pieces are fanart. I like to do anime and comic book fanart most of all. I’ve done Naruto, Dragon Ball, Evangelion, Shokugeki, Death Note, Nisekoi, Black Lagoon, Attack on Titan, and Ranma for manga and anime, and for comic book, I’ve mostly done DC with a little Marvel on the side. Favorites to do are Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson (pretty much anyone of the Robins), Superboy, Superman… I’ve done Roy Harper, Iron Fist, and Ward Meachum (as portrayed on Netflix by Tom Pelphrey) as well. There’s also the occasional portrait. My last one was Daniel LaRusso from Karate Kid.
When I’m feeling blue or just particularly depressed or morose (mentally), I also draw, but these are mostly very personal pictures. Often mental health-related, but it can sometimes involve other issues I’m struggling with. Friends and family have described these images as either disturbing or painfully relatable. Think Artidote but not that polished. It’s an outlet. It doesn’t have to look nice, or be clean.
Reason for relearning: there was a period in my life where I didn’t draw anything. Just wrote stories, that’s it. I gave it up for a while, which made me extremely rusty. I’m trying to make up for lost time.
Links To My Portfolio And The Prints
Obviously there’s more to this than just the art. So, if you’re interested in following my journey, there’s always my official Facebook at Dylan Balde, Artist/Writer. I post everything there. Artworks, articles, rants… If you want something a little more streamlined and cleaner, you can follow my Instagram @dylionpool. It’s all pictures there; I lump the art with the cos-pics and personal photos.
There’s also the option of just going through my portfolio. You get less of my internal monologue there, it’s really just pictures. Here’s my Pixiv profile for that: dylion
One last thing. If you’re interested in getting prints of any one of my artworks, you’re in luck. I recently decided to start selling them. They’re over here at my Etsy if you’re interested in buying: (LINK TO COME LATER)
They’re not very pricey at the moment. Just 3 USD/150 PHP apiece for artworks done in 30 minutes and 4 USD/200 PHP apiece for artworks done in 60 minutes. Of course, future Prismacolor prints are going to be more expensive. Maybe 10 USD/500 PHP or 20 USD/1000 PHP apiece depending on how long it takes me to make each. Shipping fees and photo frames are extra (but not that expensive if you’re ordering locally or from the same region). Size is 8R. I’ll update here and there if something changes along the way.
P.S. Not all drawings have been converted to print format. Just the best ones for now. If there’s enough demand for particular artworks (that I find less than appealing), I’m willing to sell prints of those as well. Just drop me a line in the comments to let me know.