Saw this #babyme tag floating around on Ross’s tumblr… which made me think back to my own childhood.
I often hear of other artists who say stuff like “I was born with a crayon in my hand” or “Ever since I was a tiny little kid, I was always drawing and drawing and drawing/ I displayed artistic talent since I was a child”, or the super dramatic “I’ve always wanted to be an artist”. Looking back at my wee years, I remember it being very mundane and low key. I don’t recall feeling any particular passion towards any hobby, and I don’t think there was any super talent that manifested itself.
There was a stint at about 9-12 where I started drawing a lot of bad, half abandoned, legless (literally) Sailormoon fan-comics, but I think that was more out of extreme Sailor Moon fandom rather than any actual love for drawing.
In secondary school I started drawing manga (always abandoned) and half scribbled comics about my classmates, but to be honest I think maybe 40% of that was artistic interest, and 60% of that was my awkward way of fitting in, because my friends found those comics funny. (I wasn’t the super smart kid, I wasn’t the athetic kid, I wasn’t the pretty+popular kid, so hey I could be the art comic!) That, and I was also pretty interested in digital technology in creating art.
My discovery of my love of art didn’t manifest really, until I got to university (ostensibly to study something practical like Multimedia Design) and ended up picking a load of Illustration modules… and the rest is downhill from there. :P
Ultimately, I don’t believe that I’m one of those “born with talent” artistic geniuses, I very much think that where I am today is a result of 10% initial interest in art, and 90% practice practice practice. It would be NICE to be born with bucketloads of natural talent, but I guess one can indeed get by with a lot of hard work, balanced self criticism and more hard work.
So if you want to do something new, I don’t think it’s too late to start. You just have to be prepared to put aside any preconceived adult ego of how things should be, and just do it. Stumbles and falls aplenty (when you see 12 year olds on Deviantart who can out-draw you blindfolded), but like any other skill, if you want it you gotta work for it. :)