okay but now i realized how stiff my sketches look recently

THE WILBUR EFFECT (aka, why you should never give up on drawing ever)

Hey everybody! Jessica here, once again starting a text post with a wonky, odd title.  But it serves a purpose this time, honest!

So recently, I’ve seen a lot of people getting really discouraged about their art, both online and in real life.  On an unrelated note, I’ve also gotten a couple of requests to post some of my old art to show my progress.  So I decided I’d blend the two.

And to make things even more interesting, I’m not just going to pull out some old piece that’s semi-presentable but still flawed. No, I’m going to show you guys the oldest, most embarrassing, first-thing-I’d-ever-drawn-on-a-tablet-before disgrace:

…This is Wilbur. Whom my old roommate has since nicknamed “Urineface.”

I drew this originally in 2012 with literally no clue what I was doing.  As you can see, I got so frustrated with the piece that I never actually finished it—the lines were stiff, the colors were unnatural, and that poor kid’s hair is so jagged it’s about to gouge his eyes out.

As I cringe behind my computer with shame, I realize that one thing’s for sure: He came from a frustrated, embarrassed, and still-learning artist.  At the time, all of my best friends were astonishing visual artists, and, well, I was…kinda not. There were so many times during this period where I just wanted to give up, to stop drawing.  Heck, there were times when I’d actually cry myself to sleep over the fact that I’d never be a good artist.  I’m sure some of you have been in the same boat, and here’s what I have to say to you:


Need more proof? Alright, embarrassing drawing number two.  You guys are killing me here.

These were some characters from an animated film I wrote in 2012.  I am…not sure why the guys are giants compared to the girl, nor why half the sketch lines look like these people got electrocuted.  Also, everybody’s face seems…really stretched?  Their mouths are kind of melting off of their chins, that doesn’t sound safe.

I revisited the film for a college project in 2016, and:

I’d like to think these three look a little better.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. “2012? Alright, buddy, it’s 2016 now, of course you’re going to improve in like, 4 years—who wants to wait that long?” But rest assured, while improvement doesn’t come overnight, it doesn’t always take four years, too!

In all honesty, I know that creating art can feel really hopeless and discouraging at times.  We find ourselves comparing our work to other people’s, feeling obligated to work at a rapid-fire pace, or just plain giving up for whatever reason. But I’m here to tell you that you can do this, no matter how inexperienced you feel.  Even if you’re just picking up that tablet pen for the very first time: do not be afraid to keep going.

I’m far from perfect as an artist, and I still have a lot to learn. Maybe four years down the road I’ll be looking back at my 2016 art and having a cringe-fest. But that would just prove that I’d improved, and that things could only move forward from there!

Art is tricky, okay? Nobody expects you to master it in one night, or one month, or even one year.  But that doesn’t mean you won’t reach it someday!  Save a bunch of tutorials for reference.  Watch speedpaints.  Try the occasional drawing challenge. Even if you don’t get it right, at least you’re learning what to do and what not to do!  And in time, you’ll be looking back and going, “Wow…my younger self would be so astonished right now.”  That, my friend, is a magnificent feeling.

So, to end this behemoth of a post, I decided to redraw Wilbur again…for old times’ sake. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that time made things a whole lot better. In the end, all you have to do is be patient:

It really does pay off.

No More Wasted Time

Prompt: Dick and reader grow up together after Bruce adopts him and they have small feelings towards each other but don’t do anything till they’re older, when the feelings progress to something even more. And also you can have it to where the reader knows about him being robin/nightwing.

Requested by: @jasontobb

AN: It was a tie between Bruce and Dick last night, and Bruce won. So I decided to pick a nightwing prompt from the requests, so people could have a little Graysonade love

Words: 1259

“One of these days someone is going to notice you climbing in through my window.”

Dick smiles as he slides through, “Well, I have to climb, you refuse to let down your hair.”

You just roll your eyes before rolling up the carpet and pulling up one of the loose floor boards. Without a second thought you toss Dick the sleep clothes he stores there. You toss your head towards the bathroom, “Clean up, I’d rather not have the remnants of Gotham’s crime on my bedspread.”  

He just grins and lopes towards your bathroom. You climb back into bed, you toss the comforter to the side in favor of the coolness of the sheet. Gotham’s summer were hot enough, and Dick just seemed to produce heat.

You’re flipping through your sketchbook when he comes back out. You don’t even look up as he climbs behind you, his legs caging you in. His chin comes to rest on your shoulder as his eyes go over some of your recent sketches.

It’s a position the two of you have taken up more than once over the years. When you were younger though, he’d usually just lean on your back since he wasn’t tall enough to see over your shoulder.

In the past two years though, Gotham’s favorite adopted son had shot up, and filled out rather nicely. More than once you’d been approached by some girl who was hopelessly in love with him asking for your help.

You can’t help but think it’s a little hypocritical. You and Dick had become fast friends straight away. Both of you were orphans, your own parents dying at the hands of a drunk driver when you were six, and his dying at the hands of a mob boss.

You had been adopted by your rather rich aunt and uncle, and Dick had been adopted by Bruce Wayne. As a result, you had both been introduced to a world where you didn’t belong. Your aunt and uncle are wonderful people, but you had come from a modest home. It was a different life.

Dick had understood better than most. Both of you had been teased for your modest upbringings as well, but Dick had had it worse. The minute they had found out about his Romani heritage, it had become open season.

For that reason, the two of you had stayed separate from the rest of the crowd. Then Dick had grown up, and your uncle had made a rather wise business deal with Wayne Enterprises and suddenly everyone saw you and Dick as a connection to be had. Neither of you were stupid, you knew exactly what was going, but you played nice. However, you only trusted each other.

As a result of your bond you had found out about Robin and Batman in their early days. You had been taken in as a confidant, and Bruce had begun showing you how to make computers sing information. You had a natural talent for it. Your aunt and uncle never questioned it. They adored Dick and Bruce, and still do.

But as you got older, the sleepovers stopped, and you could understand why. In this world reputation is everything. That didn’t mean you and Dick didn’t find a way to sneak those slumber parties in. Whenever your aunt and uncle were gone on some sort of trip Dick would sneak over after patrol and stay the night. He’d always end up slipping out before the sun rose the next day. Tonight just happened to be one of those nights.

Due to all of this, and your entire history, you don’t exactly think about things changing. At least not consciously. Sure, your heart might speed up a bit every once in awhile when he smiles at you. Or you might get really excited each time you guys make plans, and well … . you do think about it. But never for very long, and never very hard.

And that’s a bold face lie, you’ve been in love with Richard Grayson for three years, now, since you were thirteen. But he’s your best friend and you don’t want to lose him, and something tells you that if you told him, you’d lose him.

That’s why when you lean back into his chest, you immediately pull away when you realize the boy isn’t wearing a shirt. You can feel the heat rising to your cheeks, and you don’t know why. You’ve seen him without a shirt on before!

You can hear the concern in his voice when he asks, “What’s going on?”

You steady your voice, and do your best to keep it that way when you say, “You’re not wearing a shirt.”

His hands go to your arms and he starts to rub them up and down, you can feel the goosebumps rising. “It’s the middle of August, and I just stripped out of a full body suit, I’m hot as hell.” You can hear the confusion in his voice, “It’s okay, isn’t it?”

You just nod your head and do your best to focus on your sketch book again. You hand freezes when he suddenly leans forward and wraps his arms around you. You go a bit stiff in the embrace.

You can feel his breath on your ear, from where his chin is still resting on your shoulder.

His voice is soft when he asks, “Y/N, will you please look at me, and tell me what’s going on?” The weight on your shoulder disappears, probably so he can have a better angle to look at you.

Reluctantly you turn your head to face him, knowing full well and good that your cheeks are bright red. You meet those blue eyes head on, and you can feel him examining you, looking for something.

Your breathing hitches a bit as he leans in closer and he whispers just a centimeter away from your lips, “You should have said something sooner, we wasted a lot of time.”

You’re just about to ask what he’s talking about when suddenly he’s kissing you. It’s his lips over your, very chaste, very quick, and you’re not sure how to respond, and then he starts pulling away and your hand snakes out without your permission.

It goes to rest on the back of his head, and pulls him back in. This time the kiss isn’t so innocent, it’s hot and passionate, and you can feel yourself moving.  The next thing you know you’re straddling his hips, his arms are wrapped around you, holding you close, keeping you safe.

When the two of you pull apart you burry your face in his neck. You breathing is a bit harsh, but you’re clinging to him for dear life, and if the constrictor squeeze he has on you is any indication, he’s doing the same. He kisses the side of your head, as your breathing begins to even out.

Then he asks, “How long?”

You mumble, “You first.”

You can feel him chuckle, and one of your hands slips down from the back of his neck, over bare skin to settle over where his heart is. He loosens his grip so that he can bring one hand and lay it over yours, entwining your fingers. “Four years,” he whispers in your ear.

You place a kiss on his chest and say, “A little over three.”

He brings you in for another kiss and says ,“No more wasted time.”

You just kiss him back and agree, “No more wasted time.”