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About Digital Art / Professional Member Sol TanMale/Singapore Recent Activity
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Doing a lot more personal work lately.

I take no credit for the original images in my photo studies.

Contact me at or drop me a message here!


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Sol Tan
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
Freelance digital artist. Contact me at!
Alright! It's time for another summation of what I've done( and not).
if anyone's at all's been watching, they'd notice i'm posting a lot less. Number of reasons.

This year started off with the release of my favourite game ever, Soul Calibur V. I was hitting a wall with my efforts to improve my drawing and painting, be it digital or traditional, at the same time. I decided to take a break, and with school being as irritating as ever(second semester of foundation year, which is a mishmash of everything and too little drawing) I went competitive with this game. I'm not gonna list out the embarrassing rationalizations I made for myself that might make this course of action seem OK, given that I'm still miles away from my goals with art.

This crazy push lasted till about mid august. I did prety well for my inexperience(went to EVO 2K12 as the 10th seed after scoring second at regionals! A fluke but whatever...), and learnt a bunch of things about life along the way, and made some friends.

I was forgetting something. I look around myself and I realized I wasn't making any progress with my goals. I went back to this thing I wanna do forever and for a living, drawing and stuff, and I saw that I just lost more valuable time. I still love playing, and its my only hobby now, but the truth is I've got to give it up. I went to STGCC this year and even talked to the esteemed Artgerm about this haha, and he just told me simply that everyone's only got so much time.

It became clear to me that I would be just as happy doing one thing I love and being better at it compared to doing two things I love simultaneously and being half assed at both.
So that's that and now I'm back.

On to my issues in illustration:
I still suck at drawing! By drawing I mean the set of skills to do with defining forms in space associated with being really good at line art and difficult poses. This is also a contributing factor to my horrible inability to produce good traditional pieces and sketches that are not really messy. Someone tell me-- is this going to be permanent? I've been drawing frequently for quite some time now, every day for about a year and a half, ommitting the time I took a break! There is a slight improvement, but those wobbles in my lines on the sharpest of days and those bad days when figuring out a pose takes forever... not to mention those times I draw a "broken limb" or a warped person and dont see it at all until I'm mortified by someone pointing it out.

I have no imagination. Well. I look at other's sketchbooks and I see stuff that will make me go, "hey that's a cool idea", "nice concept". And then I go draw and I can't do it. I'll try to let my mind run wild and suddenly I sit back and I'm looking at something incredibly lame, or banal. There's something in my sketch process that is not conducive to idea generation, but I'm not entirely sure why. I know part of it has to do with my preoccupation with improving technical skills. I can't seem to stylise things in a nice way too.( I know this has to do with my poor ability to visualise forms in space)

I also suspect it is due to my insecurities as a person. I am afraid to commit myself when drawing and end up toeing the line with trying for realism, which makes me end up with boring subjects. A lot of people get away with this by being GODLIKE at their technique, but of course I'm far from excellent in that regard. I also tend to avoid cliches that work to prduce a solid image. I dont like to use saturated colors and strong light, and try to go all subtle and end up being too plain. I'm not sure if I'm making the right diagnosis, so someone answer me!

I'm also good at identifying problems but not at fixing them. I'm not sure why this is the case. I sort of get that some problems get worse if you are aware of them as they work like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm also aware that writing long journals about problems that nobody will reply to makes it seem like no one has an answer at that makes it seem like it's ok to have those problems. HAHA.
I get a lot of " free your mind" sort of advice from friends, but never how to do it. I'm lost in this regard.

I am afraid of harsh critics
I literally run away from them. I am so afraid of showing my work to anyone I know will have the slightest chance of ripping it to shreds. I'm all fine and dandy with putting it up here or on facebook but when it comes to asking for a critique from someone I know is going to be very nitpicky or blunt about it I am deathly afraid.  After getting a harsh critique(usually pointing out stuff I'm already aware of but unsure how to fix without creating more problems) I practically shut down for a while and stop drawing for at least half a day. Someone tell me how to stop being such a wuss.

I am narrow in my interests

Yeah, I am the embodiment of the word parochial. I find it impossible to continue a conversation that isn't about stuff that I am interested in. My mind is so.... narrow. This is probably one of the reasons why I'm not imaginative! Is this one of those you gotta do this sorta things? Is it imperative that I kill this aspect of myself?( as it is this is gonna take a lot of effort and I really want to focus on drawing. and im not trying to be funny here, I'm serious)

On a positive note, I feel like I have improved in spite of the break, after returning to drawing  for these few weeks. I am also no longer embarrassed about drawing on the bus. Which is a good thing. It means I draw more during a period of time that is typically wasted staring into space, or squirming in discomfort.

I am going to get good, make no mistake. I am this bad now, but I know. And that's certainly something. So, anyone keen on helping me know more so i can start doing more about these things?

Oh, and I wont be doing photo studies nearly as much now, working on my drawing. not to mentions assignments froms chool which are getting to be more relevant and drawing related.
  • Mood: Zeal
  • Listening to: the fan whirr under the FFxiii-2 ost
  • Reading: Imaginative Realism by James Gurney
  • Watching: Jinrui Wa Suitaishimashita
  • Playing: just quit soul calibur v
  • Eating: gulps of helium hope
  • Drinking: the dread of dry dreams

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ILikeCommas Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

Great gallery!
thank you for the llama!
SpiRiTRapt Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist have such great work..I'd just like to ask you what you mean by study, and how do you study?
Raphire Sep 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
In most cases I set up the image on the side and try to replicate it from a blank canvas, and in the process I pick up ways to tackle details, anatomy and lighting all at the same time. Most of the knowledge is retained, and it also helps to develop a visual vocabulary I can then work with in the future, thereby making reference optional and composition/thumbnailing faster when I work.

Hope that helped to explain things!
SpiRiTRapt Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course, thanks for taking the time to reply :)
NudeTaylor Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Wonderful work! 
Raphire Sep 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:D thanks
dcwj Sep 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hello! hey its your bday! haha have a great one! =)
Raphire Sep 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sormia Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
happy birthday :>
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