Greetings from Leicestershire!
I've just joined the community, and am looking very much forward to working on some of the courses that SVS has on offer. I've been listening to the podcast for months (starting from the first-ever episode, I happen to be half way through last year currently). I am a student at Loughborough University taking a degree in Graphic Design and illustration, and I hope to become an illustrator as my full-time profession, but I won't need to worry about this for a couple of years.
My dad is a Graphic Designer and my mum happens to be a fine artist, so I happen to have been around art all my life more or less. I've done art all of my life but in particular, I had a couple of photorealistic drawings which were my calling card in most youth art competitions I entered. I have been lucky enough to win 2-3 times in the last 6 years but don't really enter them anymore for a multitude of reasons. My photorealistic drawings taught me the techniques I need in regards to penmanship, patience, etc but I'm trying to stray away from that kind of art and push more into digital work and more simplified work that requires more technical knowledge.
I am confident in my ability and I know that if I can learn to apply myself instead of play video games all the time I could be quite successful in the world of art and illustration (or at least I like to think so). I already have a lot of art resources and books like Loomis, Gurney, Robertson, etc, but haven't studied one book in full yet.
I'm making this rather drawn out post to ask any illustrators of experience what resources (books, courses on this website, youtubers..) I should be consuming and studying in my spare time in order to further my art and style digitally. I am in a position where I am struggling to transfer from traditional to digital as "style" is something I have always had an issue with (due to only pushing for realism) I hope one day to illustrate books, childrens or adults, and also create graphic novels, though, any job which can pay and additionally provide creative fulfilment would be a great start
I'm afraid this is a very vague and open ended question, but I would love to start a conversation with a couple of illustrators on this site in regards to what direction I should take towards developing my work. I'm showing below my favourite realistic drawing I ever did, it happens to be my calling card in a way for my art instagram. the piece is called "Thinking With" and is a pencil drawing. It's a favourite of mine because although it's main goal was realism it's an interesting and original piece, unlike most of my realistic drawings. I worry that the scan has always looked quite gritty and I assure you that the drawing doesn't look like that in person! My art account can be found at @lukejustdraws but I treat it as a showcase page and as a result do not often post to it.
Any suggestions in regards to how I should go about developing myself, or anything I should prepare myself for, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time, Luke.