2007 was the year I finally found an artistic community to be a part of and it did wonders for me artistically. I became a part of a website called deviantart.com and it was the first online community I've ever seen. It had a boat load of artists ranging from hobbyists to full blown seasoned veterans. I was able to see the art of comic artists I loved for so long as well as see artists I'd never heard of. They were all doing such amazing work and I needed to learn. I needed to be a part of this scene and I grew so much because of the people I met and the amazing knowledge and art they imparted on me and anyone else willing to be a part of it all. I was fortunate enough to meet a few people in real life because of the site and had 2 artists I met on the site contribute to "A Reason to Smile!"
Getting my first Wacom was a great artistic freedom as well. I was finally untethered from the mouse and I was able to pic various brushes and create more like i would with paint. With the time I had working at the Children's Aid Society, I finally found a rhythm and was creating as often as possible. I was more entrenched in my sketchbook than ever before and every so often, I created a new piece completely in photoshop with no scan to work from.
I began trying to do a bunch of different art to get my name out there and get noticed. I began taking part of contests and offering up artistic prizes for those who could help me get information I didn't have on my own. I drew various character drawings and even got to do some aerosol graffiti for Brooklyn College's Theatrical department.
Life had finally put me in a place I felt comfortable in as an artist but I knew I had a long way to go and this was where I recognize the most change in my work. I was blessed with being paid to do some things and able to do others that helped me grow immensely.