Who is Artsy Amani?

Short answer: it’s me, Lila. Long answer: you’re about to find out!

Through this first blog post, I want to take the time to properly introduce myself. You may have learned a thing or two about me by checking out my About page, but here I want to do a bit more of a lengthy introduction. It may seem cliché, but I’ve always been drawing. OK, maybe not always, but at least for as long as I’ve been able to. In kindergarten, I was so focused on drawing within the lines, and as soon as I learned how to write I started crafting my own books! Funny story, in second grade, I would have students line up in front of my desk to pay whatever they could to read my books, and I would joyfully go back home two or three dollars richer (kids really didn’t have much pocket money back then).

Image of some of the books I made as a kid
Some of the books I made as a kid

And then manga came along!

It wasn’t until fourth grade that I discovered the amazing Japanese comic industry, also known as manga. I immediately fell in love with the art style, which ended up having a heavy influence on my own. Soon, I was bingeing series and drawing like crazy. I began nurturing the dream of one day creating my own manga series, which is a dream I still hold on to today. I was still interested in more classic mediums like acrylic paint, which I dabbled into for a little bit, but nothing pulled me in like the detailed backgrounds and flashy screentones I found in manga panels.

My fingers had always been itching to draw (even in class, sorry) and it’s in summer 2020 that I finally decided to create a manga series. Though I had never read a single webcomic in my life, I decided to make one, which is how my series “Junior Rush” was born. It’s the story of Aliyah and Jace, best friends for the past ten years, who start tenth grade on the wrong foot. For some reason, Jace no longer wants to be friends with Aliyah, who tries her best to get through the year despite her constant feelings of regret and solitude. Working on this series – which is still ongoing – helped me learn even more techniques related to creating manga.

Thumbnail of my webcomic series, "Junior Rush"

What about art school?

Funny story: I didn’t go. Through the years I watched tutorial videos and copied a lot of my favourite artists to get to the level I’m at today. Despite my lack of “formal” education, I was still able to grow as an artist and work on many fun projects for various clients. I believe art school can give artists a great boost in their career, but in today’s digital age it is no longer a requirement for artists to learn new techniques and receive work opportunities.

So... who exactly are you?

To sum it up, Artsy Amani is me, a young Black female digital artist who is on a quest to improve her art skills. My goal is to work with individuals and companies alike to provide them with creations that meet (and if possible, exceed) their expectations. I know I still have a lot of room for improvement, so my learning journey is nowhere near over. I hope you follow me along through these blog posts as I share what I learned and other personal stories!