I have a daughter, whom is ALSO an artist and an amazingly talented child prodigy. So, I can TOTALLY understand, and identify with her how she feels, and what she goes through... It's sad that no one really cared nor valued who and what I was in my family... but, I can;t totally blame them, they were conditioned and raised to be that way... ironically, they ALL have natural artists & creative skills & abilities, but to them they think it's normal, or that anyone could do it, so it's of no value to them...
However, for me, I was sort of leaps and bounds ahead of them (not to toot my own horn) but I stuck out like a sore thumb, where as they hid their abilities, and barely perused them other than in practical means, such as drafting, or science stuff... for example: my father is an inventor.
There's a another sad angle to being an artist. Not only are there moments when people behold you with awe, which is an odd experience, and always trying to downplay it... but, people are VERY vicious! They can turn on you, and scoff at you JUST because you are what you are. It's not as they anyone couldn't do what I do, but they can't do what I do, the WAY I do it...
In other instances, people whom would scoff at me, bully me, brutalize, and harass me just for being genuine and accepting who and what I was, but the moment they beheld my creations, suddenly they would start freaking out:
YOU did that??? What?
No! You couldn't do that???
HOW DID YOU DO THAT???
I mean, come ON! I'm right here in front of you working on this thing, and you STILL don't believe me?
Next thing I know, they're hugging me, or praising me, or calling over other people to look, or calling people on the phone....
Human beings are weird that way....
Among my teachers, this however was NOT the case... I was encouraged, even if they didn't like me doing it during class. My art skills were generally very useful to virtually ALL of my teachers growing up, even by teachers that disliked me... that didn't stop them from using me.
So... where am I going with this????
Well, at many points of time in my life, just because of who and what I was, I had no friends....
It's not necessarily any better, as an adult either... in my last job, when people found out I was "a creative" (as they put it), they treated me as tho' I were mentally diseased, or a freak.
I was (and still am) a very imaginative child. BIG, wild, fantasy, and BIG day dreams!
When I was a child, I mostly liked drawing animals, especially unicorns, and horses!
But, I also liked: dragons, griffins, cats, dogs, dinosaurs, etc...
I made my own books, posters, cut-outs, etc!
That all changed when Disney made a film called "The Little Mermaid"!
I SOOOOOOOO loved this film, that I wanted to start drawing human figures! So, I did!
Then, I became utterly entranced by the Katzenberg era of Walt Disney traditionally animated films in the 1990s!
So, that was a HUGE influence on me.
The OTHER big influence on me, in my art growing up was MARVEL COMICS, especially X-MEN. It's so ironic, because as different as they are, Disney NOW owns Marvel!
I LOVED American action comics & super heros. I also liked some CD stuff done by Warner Bros. like Batman The Animated Series, and the Tim Burton Batman movies.
I was also LARGELY influenced by American SciFi films & television series, such as Star Trek, and Star Wars.
I also loved many exotic works of arts from the 80s & 90s such as "Heavy Metal" Magazine, artwork by Boris Vallejo, or Frank Frazetta, or even 80s films like Conan, Red Sonia, and many other artistic yet sexy films, or printed media.
I remember a guy in middle school that said he wished more artists would make their own original characters or works, so I felt the pressure to make my own even more...
It's TOTALLY normal for kids, and artists, to make their own new experimental characters, or art. So, of course I did too!
And, out of that.... eventually came "Lively"....
But, she didn't have a name yet.
If ever I find my old sketch books from middle school, or high-school, I will scan the old sketches and show you.