When you're seeing the drawings and reading the thought process of an established, relatively-accomplished artist (it's not just that he's been doing it for 17 years, it's also that he has gotten remarkably competent and continues across the years to get better in spite of having gotten good years ago; early 2002-era art might be slightly cringe, but he improved to have a stunning style that got better and better and still occasionally makes leaps and bounds in quality albeit so subtly so that you only really notice by comparing the current stuff to older stuff).
And you, yourself, are a similar-mindset artist with a similar pop culture knowledge basis. (There's a lot of things which make it evident I think a lot like he does, which I suspect is autistic tendencies. For instance, his author notes are tremendously detailed, a trend I am infamous for. He has a few gaps in his pop culture knowledge and I know I do, while he also knows some obscure material in a similar way to how I do, and lots of stuff like that.)
It's really just the inevitable consequence.
When you see a guy who is by every metric an objective success, who has managed to succeed at something like that for so long. Of course you want to get art going of your own. Even though there are so many obstacles in my way. My scanner is still not working, and I think my dad's given up hope of making it work. And my burns haven't fully healed yet and drawing puts them at risk.
Then there are of course the various other blocks, mostly mental. There is the concern that because I know my art is a "me" thing, that I fully intend to never make money off of (basically, it's a combination of three factors; my art is largely cheating by using multiple reference images heavily rather than partially/occasionally so I'd feel like I was plagiarizing; I don't feel like I deserve to make money off of my art; my art is art and when I share it with others I want to share it with the world for all to appreciate, and making money detracts from that), that people will see it as a waste of time.
Art is, while a bit of a personal enlightenment thing, pragmatically speaking, absolutely worthless. Aside from occasionally being useful for expressing myself in a way to feel like my femininity is strong, it does nothing to get me closer to transitioning. It doesn't make me money. It doesn't prepare me to leave the house. It doesn't get me closer to my girlfriend. It doesn't do anything for me. Art is just basically the same as any other thing, like reading, watching, or playing; it is personal gratification without tangible results.
Well, there's the drawings as tangible evidence that I spent time on the task, but I can't point to a drawing and say, "this drawing is productive!", because it's not. I draw because I want to draw. Not because I want to make something from the drawing, accomplish some grander goal with the drawing.
There is the mental block of always thinking I'm not good enough--that I'm a hack. That I don't deserve to succeed with my art, because I am genuinely a cheater. (See also, my feelings that I'm a plagiarist, via me heavily using reference images, sometimes even directly sketching from them, which is as rip-off as ripping off gets.)
There is the mental block of not being able to bring my vision perfectly to life. I'll have a vision in mind and be unable to well and truly bring it to life as I had intended it to be.
There is the mental block of being able to tell something is off, but not being able to identify what--or if I can identify it, not being able to fix it.
And there is the mental block of feeling like I don't really know what I'm doing--and not unjustifiably so. There are often "gaps" in my vision. I'll have a vision of what I want to do, but gaps in how to execute it, because I couldn't figure out all the details. It happens all the time in stories; I'll see point A, point B, and point C, but not how to get from A to B to C. When I try to make those paths, errors exist.
Plus there's my constant revisionistic tendencies. The fact that I have twice remade the signature scene of Ruby saying "Hello" should be a tip-off to that. At least two and a half times, I've revised The Descended, and if I worked on it again, I'd be revising it another time even though I know I should just keep going on it.
There's even the urge to redo the poorly done bits of Red Hood Rider...even knowing that I'm likely not able to do them better than what I did.
I constantly make excuses, too, every step of the way, to delay making art. If I can think of a reason not to make it, I will end up not making it. Yet I still want to.
One of the things which I want to make, now, is a character height reference guide for my female cast of both The Descended and Red Hood Rider.
The Descended neatly recorded the heights of characters.
Red Hood Rider, I sketched an image with about half of them--but unfortunately, not the other half, which I'm not sure there's any recording of.
One thing I keep seeing Dan mention for EGS in various places as I read the sketchbook mainly is a desire to create character models for the characters--variety in facial structure, but consistency for characters. I really, really want to do that for my characters, even though I know it will take a lot of time and effort to get done right.
There's also a bunch of things that are specific to webcomic format that I want to revisit. My skills in sketchbook art have continued to rise throughout the years. In a sketchbook, I've gotten better and better and better each and every time I've been drawing art.
But webcomics have rules (well, guidelines) for structure, and these are rules that I have more or less forgotten the details about. The 3x3 grid, flow from one panel to another, proper method to style a word bubble (there is a right way to do word bubbles and half a dozen wrong ways; I forget what the right way is) and by extension the text within, maximum dialog in a panel, how much space between panels, page/panel layout optimization, and so on and so forth.
If I do get back into making a webcomic rather than just sketching.
These, and so much more, are skills I need to have down. Mastered. To pull off a comic with some semblance of competency. Yet I've forgotten all my knowledge there, and I don't know how exactly other than meticulous, painful, trial and error, to regain it.
Also, while there are some things that I can go without mastering (screw backgrounds, I'll do the bare minimum necessary to convey the idea of the location and a basic idea of the layout of where people are, but beyond that I'll leave it to readers to fill in the gaps), there are others which I never mastered that I need to (such as lighting).
I am an artist, dangit.
I know I don't look like one anymore.
I know I am a failure of an artist.
I know I'm not particularly a unique artist.
But that doesn't change that the artist within me is very much alive and that she wants out badly. She wants to create. She wants to share her visions with the world. So many ideas of mine have been lost forever because I didn't let her draw what she saw.
But I want to.
Art is in my soul.
The artist that I am may not show the quality which I theoretically could be capable of. (I know that theoretically if you combine all of my strengths in all of my artistic works I'm an amazing artist, but that's an "IF" that's never to be because it involves combining all of the strengths with none of the weaknesses, when I can never combine any of my strengths.)
I'm not a good artist, even if I theoretically had at some point the potential to be one.
But no matter how much I don't look like one.
I am an artist.
And it's maddening that I can't create what I want to.