Hi there! I’m Elizabeth Shana, an aspiring artist from sunny Singapore! (Check out my Instagram, Blog and Etsy store!) and this is my sketching story. I was pondering for quite a few weeks, thinking how I should introduce myself and my art, which Charlie has been so kind as to feature on his amazing site, Doodlewash. Having read through some posts by his many guest artists, I found myself in awe, being truly inspired by their diverse styles and their equally varied stories.
Yet, I found it hard, like many have described, to pinpoint just how I started my own art journey. There wasn’t really a trigger moment – no sudden inspiration from picking up an adult colouring book for the first time or from flipping through a never-before-seen graphic novel.
Looking back, I suppose that makes perfect sense. Though I never actually studied art formally (save for fun-filled art lessons in secondary school which let me paint all sorts of things… including my friends’ arms and legs and scowling faces, muahahaha), drawing and sketching has all my life been one of my most favourite activities.
Here’s a personal project I’m currently working on: A set of illustrations of my favourite flowers.
In my younger days, I distinctly remember sitting distractedly in class, trying to look the part of an attentive student while actually doodling pictures of anime characters I was into (characters from Bleach, mostly), sketches of pets I wanted to own, emo fashion styles I wanted at the time to emulate… the list goes on. My sketchbook was always cluttered and full of odd-shaped doodles, and the ink in my gel pens was always running empty.
Perhaps because I’ve grown so accustomed to using the same pen (a Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 Gel Pen) for both taking notes and sketching in class, I now find it hard to use anything else.
Fast-forwarding say 15 years or so, today, as a final year geography student in the National University of Singapore (NUS), my story still remains pretty much the same! I love to draw, and it’s something I try to do every chance I get: while waiting for friends, in the canteen, and still in class even (pretty often actually, though I always make it a point to pay attention and take notes on the side… I promise this time!)
This is an ink sketch I did in my first year of university, after having sat for a particularly difficult exam which left me feeling pretty down and in need of a hug. I wanted nothing more at the time than to feel as comforted as this baby penguin, feeling warmth in mama penguin’s fluffy feathers.
Here are some my watercolour artworks which I’m proudest of, and which I’m most excited to share!
I did this painting close to the end of my third year of university, on a day when I was STARVING and had a particularly huge craving for fat, juicy tiger prawns!
Here’s my favourite pair of Converse shoes! Of course, when I did this painting in July last year, they were still close to being brand new. They were my favourite, in part, because I was super happy that I got them cheap, and I used to wear them everywhere I went.
This sunflower is one of my favourite paintings, despite it being a really simple one. It’s the first drawing I did on a brand new really expensive sketchbook my dad got me for Christmas last year. I normally find my mind clouded over with deep thoughts (I’m pretty emo-nemo most days), but on Christmas, I felt exceedingly happy and very, very loved.
The last painting I want to share is a world map painting I did for the NUS Geographical Society’s Valentine’s Day Card Project. All geography majors must surely love maps!
Pursuing art in any capacity is a journey in itself, that’s for sure. So perhaps, like many aspiring artists, I’m still a far cry from where I hope to be. I’m also constantly excited and kept on my toes because that means I can continually learn new art styles and techniques, challenge myself through drawing different and more difficult subjects, and explore new, interesting personal projects.
Drawing lets me create and share in a very visual way the weird, idiosyncratic thoughts that constantly run through my mind, and I really love that! That’s one thing that will never ever change.
Thank you, everyone who’s supported me thus far in my art-ing journey, I always remain very appreciative of your love and support! I hope my drawings bring you as much joy as it did me while I was doing them. Do continue to follow me at the links below for more!