Young fanartist Boku no Botanist isn’t shy when it comes to sharing her introduction to fandom and the world of art. She goes by “Bot” for short, sometimes confusing people in the communities she frequents into thinking she’s not a real person. But she definitely is, and she’s got a lot to say! Read on and learn more about this month’s featured Emerging Creator.
TPTH: How long have you been creating art, and how did you get started?
Bot: I’ve been doing art for about a decade now. Literally. This July marked the 10th year I started seriously wanting to draw. Based on most people’s reactions, I get kinda embarrassed now when telling the story. It was the summer before 2nd grade. I was 7 going 8, and one morning, I was bored and filtered through the Saturday morning channels. Then I found the later infamous meme channel for anime dubs — CW For Kids — and found a running of a season 2 episode of Sonic X. That’s right, my inspiration for art came from me seeing an episode of Sonic the Hedgehog the anime from the early 2000s.
Coincidentally, this coincided with my exploration of the video games from our local Movie Gallery rental store at the time. I discovered all the Sonic games for rent. By the time it was shut down, I had bought almost all their Sonic Wii games because I was determined to draw that blue hedgehog and I needed all the references I could find.
TPTH: What a fun introduction to the world of art! When did you join the Dragon Ball fandom?
Bot: My first taste of Dragon Ball was when Nickelodeon released Dragon Ball Z Kai. (Editor’s note: Mine, too!) The styles seemed so similar to the Sonic anime, I binged it and other anime I saw on YouTube. I was really interested in it. Embarrassingly, I remember developing a MASSIVE crush on Gohan. I drew and drew and drew DBZ style to my heart’s content, which really helped improve my art skill and definitely shaped the style I emulated most. I never contributed to a fandom until 2015, but I was alone and deleted my works very quickly. My return to the fandom was just me falling back in love with DBZ and my childhood ships (GoChi and VegeBul 5EVA). My real contributions to the fandom started after I joined the Vegebulocracy server in early 2019.
TPTH: And we’re glad you did! So, which part of the creative process would you say is your favorite?
Bot: I really like doing the final sketch and putting on the flat colors. Although, I really like it when I get to add lighting/highlights to the almost finished piece. Sometimes it feels like I’m on the last lap to the end of a race. I like nice sketches, I like flat colors, and I like sparkles. I’m a simple girl.
Keep drawing and finding inspiration from everything that amazes you!
TPTH: Totally relatable. We feel the same way! This community is full of wonderful creators. How have other artists helped you develop?
Bot: It’s really hard for to name specifics. I feel like I’m really inspired by every artist I come across. I always find something intriguing and beautiful about other people’s styles. Whether it’s someone’s linework, their shading methods, their highlighting methods, or their lighting or shadow methods, even the way their anatomy is stylized. Anything can catch my attention. Notable artists in the VegeBul niche of the DB fandom that catch my attention are definitely RedViolett — her lighting and lines are beautiful, and so is Fayeth with her photon hair!! — Lem0uro’s hands, eyes and lips are gorgeous and so alluring. Also smiles — YES! And VegetaPsycho’s and Nala’s unique emulation of the actual DBZ style is just so nostalgic for me. Also did I mention that every single one of them are anatomy geniuses!! Just amazing, simply amazing. I’m always taking mental notes.
TPTH: Thank you for sharing your inspirations! Now it’s your turn. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to any fledgling artist?
Bot: Such a cliché but PRACTICE!! Look at other more “skilled” artists’ works and try to visually copy the anatomy, mental practice is great for the hand, and it betters your skill over time! Search for dynamic poses to sketch. Save every reference your stumble across (you never know, you may find the tutorial™). Always save your traditional sketches, they are a chronological map of your evolving skill (always date a finished page). Find your signature! EXPERIMENT!!! Just keep drawing and finding inspiration from everything that amazes you! It works, trust me. It’s what I did.
TPTH: It’s wonderful to watch how a creator improves over time. We’re so happy to watch you grow as an artist and develop a style that’s uniquely you! Now, finally tell us something about yourself that the community at large might not know!
Bot: I’m just a simple Texas girl getting ready to tackle her Senior year and hopefully get accepted into the animation program at her dream university.
Thanks so much for sharing your insights with us, Bot! We wish you all the best with your Senior year, and eagerly await news about your university adventures!