Believe it or not, this all started off with me just drawing celebrities that I saw in the TV shows and movies I watched. At the time, I didn't think too much about it. If you scroll all the way down on my personal Instagram (@kathren561), they're still posted if you want to have a good laugh because wow are they are horrific. Now looking back at those drawings, I can definitely see a huge improvement.
Then along came Youtube. The youtubers I watched back then obviously weren't as well known as they are today so every time I drew them, they acknowledged / liked / commented / reposted on social media (unlike the more famous celebrities that I drew from T.V). For that reason, it made me want to draw more of these youtubers and before I realized, drawing and fanart became one of the hobbies I enjoyed during my free time.
2014 - 2015
For these two years, I drew at every chance I got in between balancing my time with school, clubs, after school activities, sports, etc.. My drawings were now starting to look more realistic and every time I practiced, it slowly got better. They were still bad, don't get me wrong but at least they were resembling an actual human being and not an alien.
Towards the end of 2016, I began started practicing a more cartoon art style. Usually it's learned the other way around since cartoons are much easier to draw than realistic portraits but this only made the transition easier for me. It was definitely a drastic change in terms of details, shapes, and coloring but I think I adapted pretty quickly.
In July, I posted a new drawing I had just finished of these youtubers named Kian & Jc along with their pets. To this day, I still don't know why but a lot of people really liked this drawing and on my personal Instagram (@kathren561) there's around 2,500 likes and 1,000 comments. This was after I just created an account on Redbubble. For those that aren't familiar with Redbubble, it's basically an online store where artists upload their artwork to a variety of products for their followers to purchase. I uploaded it on the store and immediately, sales started to roll in from all around the world and I was honestly in shock. Never in a million years would I have thought people would appreciate my art, let alone spend money on it and wear it around or display it in their houses for people to see. This was a crazy moment for me and I think this is what encouraged me to continue.
Later that July, I saw that Kian & Jc were coming near where I lived for their tour and so I went online and purchased myself a shirt with the Kian & Jc drawing on it and a couple stickers. Long story short, Ryan Abe (a youtuber and friend of Kian & Jc) was also on tour with them, I met him outside and gave him the stickers, and the next thing I know, Ryan posts a snapchat and Jc is wearing the sticker on his shirt. I think a piece of my soul left my body when I opened that Snapchat. That day was such a mess by the way but it was all worth it at the end. Let me know on my social media accounts if you want to hear the whole story of that day because it's another eventful story for another blog post that you don't want to miss out on.
Oh yeah, and I can't forget about Kylie. The girl I met from Instagram/Twitter that's been there from the very start of this whole cartoon art adventure. To sum up some of our crazy stories, she met Kian & Jc wearing my design on the shirt she bought from my store, we both found out someone duplicated my Kian & Jc artwork and tried to sell it on tshirts on Amazon, and she flew from halfway across the country to come to Jc's show with me (I'll explain that in a little bit). I'm sure I'm forgetting some other good story times but feel free to ask if you want to hear about how our "internet friendship" came to be, I guess that's what you call it? I don't know. Go follow her on Instagram/Twitter (@kyliewidseth)!
And to end the year (probably another story for another blog post), I went to Drop The Mic Tour and gave youtubers, Jack Baran and Ricky Dillon, pillows of the designs I drew of them in December.
All I can say is, what a crazy year. Like all the other previous years, I kept drawing and practicing like usual. People continued buying from my store but at this point I was looking for other ways to start my own website with my own store. The prices for my customers on Redbubble were so expensive but I couldn't really change that to what I wanted. Besides, Redbubble at the time was a good starting point for me because they handle literally everything. I upload the designs, they handle all the orders (the manufacturing, shipping, customer service, etc.).
Side note, I also wrote and illustrated my own book for a non-profit I started ? Let me know if you want me to talk about that in another blog post as well !
Then July rolled around and I got the opportunity to work with Jc on his new merch for his NJ show at iPlayAmerica. If you want to see the design, it's up on both my store Instagram (@kateyeungdesigns) and my personal Instagram (@kathren561). I also talk more about it in the caption under that photo. That day was surreal and this is the show Kylie flew to come with me to see so if you want to also hear more about our day, let me know :)
And now look where I am. Writing this super long post. I can't thank you guys enough whether you've been here since the very very beginning or whether this is the first time coming across my name and face. Practice and patience is key to achieving what you want. Don't give up no matter what people tell you, it will all work out in the end if you put in your 110%. I believe that everything happens for a reason no matter what. I'm super excited to see what's in store for me in the near future and I can't wait for you guys to join me ♡
I'm terrible at writing but a lot of people have been curious about my store, designs, experiences, etc. so I hope this long blog post helps. If you have any questions for me or topics I should talk about on my next blog post, leave them down below/ask me on social media/email you know the drill.
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