Yeah I know, everyone's doing it, you're probably sick of them, but I felt like pulling one out and doing it so please just bear with me and we'll all get through this really long journal. (Warning you right now that there is gonna be some shitty art in here so please bear with me).
------2009-----------I joined dA five years ago, I was a teenage baby who thought that I could actually draw pretty decently. Of course I'd been on dA just as a guest before, looking at all the amazing art, but I'd never considered joining. I didn't have a lot of interaction outside of my real life family and friends, always worried about internet predators. An old friend convinced me to try and get a deviantArt with her so that she wasn't joining alone. Her name isn't going to be mentioned. I remember having to write an entire essay to my parents AND give a presentation to them about the benefits of joining and the safety features that the site had so that I wouldn't be in danger. Even after that it took them about a week to deliberate and finally get back to me saying 'sure go ahead'. I chose the name EnchantedTopaz because my birthstone was Topaz (November babies forever!!!) and I have always had a fascination with magic and enchantments. It's been my name here ever since.
When I joined I was completely obsessed with the wonderful works of WildSpiritWolf, Malindachan, Ex-Shadow, and widzilla !!! (They're all very amazing and I highly recommend that you check them all out~) I was hugely into wolves and anime (mostly Naruto and Yugioh/Yugioh GX). I started my life on dA out just drawing wolves and anime.
I started realizing what original characters were, and created one that still remains with me-Aljan. He's your stereotypical moody, dark wolf mix. His design hasn't changed much since the first image of him (this is the second image) other than the tail became less of a curl. As you can see, I had no grasp of wolf anatomy, no sense of line variation, I had literally no understanding of anything!
I also began cosplaying as Bakura from Yugioh! with my brother as his darker half. I look back with fond memories but also cringing a lot...
In the beginning of 2010 I was slowly dragged into the Hetalia fandom for both art and cosplaying...It was a nice, fun fandom back then, I loved how it took a new view on history, I loved the characters, and I loved the friends I made through it!! I dragged quite a few of them into cosplay in retaliation for them dragging me into such a lovely fandom~Spaz-Tastical riquira-shina ohmistermagazine and Wolfhawk756 They are all extremely beautiful, talented people and you should go pay them all a visit <3
I also began to discover the world of designs, adoptables, and breedables that was really popular in that time. My first breedables were all free pretty much, because I just wanted to make friends, not profit. I also continued to draw fanart for Hetalia and Yugioh! GX all of that year. My style began to improve since my initial attempts, but it wasn't much to look at still. I also realized what shipping was around this year. Aljan got a redesign and a new purpose and a new friend, Ziro. By the end of the year I was shading a bit better and had more of a grasp of anatomy.
I made a ton of friends through the Hetalia fandom and they were all on deviantArt, so it served as a great way to communicate with people, to meet up for cons through, and just to do art together on. There was a lot of drama, but we got through it together.
In 2011 I became even more involved in the breedable community, starting the Indigo Project. It was essentially an experiment in what parts of a design drew people in, but most people seemed to just come because everything was free haha. I also joined my first rp group with riquira-shina. It was a great Pokemon group, I just kind of couldn't keep up and fell out of it. But I loved my dumb little trainer a lot haha~It was my first real OC couple as well, between him and her character Cat~ I think this was also the year I got my tablet, and was able to do a digital image of my beloved Taret. I began to do a lot of digital art, but still without any sort of concept of shading or anatomy. It was a lot worse than my traditional art, and everything still was mostly influenced by my anime days.
This was the year that I became the proud owner of Pavoradi, a gorgeous young kitten from the local shelter. I also continued to cosplay with the same friends I'd made during my Hetalia phase. They dragged me into Vocaloid, and while never truly establishing a connection with the fandom, I happily did Len for their group. Later in the year I also joined another rp group, making a character that was almost completely opposite of the one for the Pokemon group. riquira-shina and MossJayfire joined with me and we had a lot of fun until drama in the group drove me out and away. I drew out a breedable/rp character named Aarin that fathered many beautiful offspring and earned his spot as one of my beloved original characters.
This year I really started doing more digital art, developing more characters and strengthening friendships. I also formed my own roleplay group with riquira-shina and Wolfhawk756 -RISE-OF-THE-SCOURGES- which was stereotypically a post-apocalyptic world with wolves as the main characters. Oh it was horrid, but so much fun. I met so many great people and cemented some amazing friendships. Although we closed it eventually it is worth mentioning because I grew a lot because of it. I also learned that running an rp group is HELLA HARD. This group is how Shinkei-Shinto and shadow7-7 and I really got to know each other better. They are some of the sweetest, most supportive people I know <3
2012 was a great year with new cosplays, new friends, and old friends. muertoso and I got to really know each other and they are just so talented and lovely and as you can see, they instigated my wedding this year. I have a lovely wife-husband~I started having a lot of fun with my work, trying new things and learning new techniques and styles. I really got into both Sherlock and Supernatural this year, but also threw in a throw back to my YGX days! I learned how to use textures and line variation to add depth to the pieces. I joined The-Warriors-Guild because I grew up loving the Warriors books and needed to practice drawing cats. It was such a great group with really amazing people like Furdora GeneralPanic and PatchyFallenstar They are so sweet and welcoming and all have phenomenal art <3 Aarin also got a redone ref, which shows how much I improved between the first one and his new one. I was really getting more comfortable with digital art!
I also set up a design/adopts/breeding account EnchantedAdopts this year, where my style and designs continued to grow and flourish. I roleplayed a lot more on that account as well, although most of the groups I fell through or left.
I was branching out so much more, doing tons of trades, gifts, even entering higher level contests. I wanted to meet new people, take on more commissions, and grow as an artist. I still stayed true to my traditional work, but most people who commissioned wanted digital, especially 'chibis', so they became my main draw for people. I did lean away from an anime style for my fullbody work, really becoming interested in developing my own ways of drawing and enhancing older characters that I had. Regrettably, this year was also the year I lost a lot of friends to many different things, some grew apart naturally, some had rough encounters that left everyone hurting. I also had to leave The-Warriors-Guild. It pained me to kill my characters off but I'm still in contact with the group and they understand that it was because of a busy schedule and lots of anxiety and conflict that I had to leave, not because of hard feelings. Tumble and Dream are still watching over these wonderful cats from StarClan~<3
I started vanishing from dA for very long periods of time, much like I do now, finding that getting swept up in all the drama that was there was only increasing my emotional instability. Although I loved the friends I'd made and the communities I was a part of, it hurt to be stretched so thin and put in the middle of a lot. Regardless, I grew a lot this year in comparison to other years, and hoped to continue that in 2014.
2014 has been a really rough year for art for me. Classes took up most of my time, and most of the art I did was on EnchantedAdopts. I finished my year of school finding a new love for the pen and ink medium, and headed into summer ready to sell at Animazement in Raleigh, NC. It was an extremely enjoyable experience, and everyone who came by the table was extremely sweet and fun to talk to. Regrettably, I also lost my beloved Pavoradi at the beginning of summer, during finals week. He passed away in his sleep, and the Pavo Project was started in his memory. I hope that this year I can add more art to my portfolio, stay in touch more with the community here, and continue to grow and learn.
Thank you dA for your 14 years for the community and your 5 years for me. You've been a gem~