I’ve been making fun comic strips and fanart for as long as I can remember. This has mostly been a solo activity since I didn’t know any other people who were interested in making them too. But then last year at CMU’s Activity Fair I came across Artist Alley–a club dedicated to people making fanart like I do! Of course, I immediately joined and it has been so much fun. And this year, I even tabled at the Activity Fair myself! Some of the art pieces are mine 🙂
It has been such a great experience being with a community of people who enjoy the same niche things that I do. One of the biggest benefits has been the structured improvement of my art skills. I have never actually taken an art class, so everything I’ve learned about art has been through online tutorials and just looking at a lot of other artist’s work.
But at Artist Alley, I joined a mentor-mentee program where I get weekly assignments and critique from a more experienced artist. Until now, I never really had the opportunity to improve my art this kind of structured, dedicated way and I’m already seeing rapid growth.
Another great thing has been the introduction to the concept of Artist Alley itself–not the club, but rather the event held at Conventions (Cons, like San Diego Comic Con for example) and next month I will be attending Tekko–Pittsburgh’s convention! I also got the chance to create some buttons–a staple item sold at conventions.
Overall, I’m just super glad that coming to CMU has given me the opportunity to expand on my personal hobbies through fun clubs like this one!