The Artist's Journey

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How I came to be where I am now has been a long and bumpy artistic journey.

If you have the time and the interest...

Please grab a drink, get comfy, and let me tell you my story.

If you don't really have time for that right now, you can just jump to today!

The Early Years

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I was born in the summer of 1989, and while I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, any artworks of mine from when I was very young are probably locked away in a storage shed somewhere.... Which is just as well, since they can't possibly have been very good. Haha!

The earliest drawings that I have copies of are from the early 2000's. During this time, I drew on everything from homework to scrap paper, usually using whatever I already had in my hand, which was likely a Papermate mechanical pencil. Many of my drawings from this time are on lined notebook paper, and most have no color. I mostly drew creatures from my imagination or my dreams.

greyscale pencil drawing of a snake creature with spines and fangs greyscale pencil drawing of a unicorn with a very long neck greyscale pencil drawing strange four-legged aquatic creature with a medallion greyscale pencil drawing of a humanoid covered in fins greyscale pencil drawing of a spotted feline with horns colored pencil drawing of a pale skinned humanoid with red black hair and gold wings, wearing a light blue tunic

Around 2004 or 2005, I was gifted a set of Micron pens by a family friend. These gave me the power of lineart, and I used them religiously for years in combination with colored pencil.

el'Akethi Wildog and the Panthers Kohlvin

I drew a TON of pictures in this general style around 2006-2007, but unfortunately my sketchbook from that time is missing. I hope to find it one day, but for now, I don't have much to show from this time frame.

In 2007, I took an art class for the first time at a local community college. It was an art fundamentals course, designed to introduce the students to various different styles and mediums of art. We did abstract and representational styles, studied perspective and references, and used acrylic painting, charcoal, india ink, and permanent markers to complete projects during the course of the semester. This experience opened my world to the possibilities of what I could create, and some of the artworks I created in this class remain favorites of mine to this day.

Chaos in ContrastHiddenTools

In 2008 and 2009, I continued experimenting with different mediums. In my drawings, I focused more on accurate anatomy and more realistic shading and color blending. I started playing with sculpting, acrylic painting, wood-carving, and sewing plushies. I also started experimenting with digital art around this time, though not with your typical drawing software... I taught myself to use the drawing tools in Microsoft Word to create digital artwork.

graphite plant study Tregiphon colored pencil graphite eye study Birkah's Reprimand

Avianne Jaiadenjya Enaskit Color Study, Decay and Growth

Jemuso's Nisi UnKnown polymer sculpture Corn snake wood carving

In the early 2010's, I continued advancing my skills, refining my anatomy and adding more shading to my artworks. I started experimenting with adding backgrounds and variations in poses and composition. I also discovered Gimp around this time, and continued creating digital artworks through this software.

charcoal portrait Seeking Solace Hiking Companions

Kaia Break Away Issai Eternal Embrace Tulvahr Oraden

The Digital Age

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In 2013, using an ipad borrowed from a friend, I joined the online art community of the Draw Something 2 app (later renamed Art With Friends).

DrawSomething2 Banner

This was what you might call my "awakening" into the digital art world. You see, up until this point, "Yvonni Fhang" was a pseudonym only known to my friends and family. But shortly after joining the DS2 community, my skills were recognized, and I became a "recommended artist," indicated by a little blue checkmark next to my username.

I became well-known for my simplistic style, my unique characters, and my realism work. The DS2/AWF community was active and amazing. My work received so much feedback and appreciation, the creativity was always flowing, and I uploaded new artworks multiple times a day.

Many of the more active users of the community were younger than me, and so many looked up to me and were inspired by my work. I started a small virtual art school during that time, working one-on-one with my students to share my experience and to help them develop their skills as I continued to develop my own.

My experience and confidence, along with my popularity, continued to grow rapidly, and within a year I had gained an active following of about 10k.

Simple Style Oni Draw Simple Style Hyn and Rio eat Pizza Simple Style Kids Build a Snowman Simple Style Ret and Ruu Snuggle Oni Approaches Pelusa Banana

Nahyn and Miane Diiman's Eyes Panda Realism Oliver Realism Snow Leopard Realism Lion Cub Realism

You can see more of these drawings on my Patreon.

But alas, all good things must come to an end...

In early 2015, the app became so glitchy that it was nearly impossible to use. The app software was no longer being maintained, and the community received notice that it was scheduled to shut down. Many in the community rallied in an attempt to save the doomed app, but the powers-that-be had made up their minds.

With the shutdown on the horizon, I, like many other DS2/AWF users, struggled to find a replacement. I meandered around various other drawing apps and communities, including SketchClub, ibisPaint, and Animation Desk, but they were all temporary... DS2/AWF was one-of-a-kind, and nothing could quite measure up.

In April, despite great protest from the app's virtual community, DS2/AWF was shut down forever.

Thus marked the end of the DS2/AWF era...

Final Screenshot of AWF bio

RIP DS2/AWF: I have yet to find your equal.

Following the tide of many other DS2/AWF refugees, I eventually found my way to the DrawCast app.

Interestingly enough, my transition into DrawCast was met with some unpleasant surprises. Apparently there were a few individuals from the DS2/AWF community who, seeking to take advantage of my former popularity, had created DrawCast accounts under my name, attempting to trick my followers into believing that they were Yvonni Fhang.

Thankfully, I had joined other social media outlets by this time, such as Instagram, so I was easily able to verify my identity to my followers and discredit the copycats and imposters.

And so began the era of DrawCast.

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@trueyvonnifhang Profile Banner

While I never regained the large following I had lost from my DS2/AWF days, DrawCast was still a good place to grow.

During this time, I worked on varying my styles and poses, drawing characters belonging to others as contest prizes or fanart, and creating new original characters that my followers could interact with.

RussiaFox Corrosive Coyote Cat Painting Aqua Wolf Whimsy Rose Iguana Realism

Simple Things Dragon Cat Lynn in Gold Jiirakin Shimmer Wolf Dragon

You can see more of these drawings on my Patreon.

Based on my original species, the chariil, I created a mini online social community known as "Chariilden."
Any DrawCast users who created a chariil character based on the posted species guidelines had the option to join this virtual mini-community.

By adding their name to the Directory Page, users with chariil characters could find each other within the vast DrawCast community. There were contests, community events, roleplays, art trades and other activities. Users were awarded Community Morale points for drawing fanart of their fellow Chariilden community members.

Users could join the Neighborhood of Nests by drawing their chariil character's home nest. Nests could be decorated with virtual items traded with other chariil at the Trading Post, such as glow-in-the-dark stars, shiny thimbles, dried flowers, and ethically-sourced butterfly wings.

I was even in the process of implementing a community currency and marketplace where skilled chariil could open shops and advertise services and wares.

Chariilden is Open Shimmer Inspection Welcome Winter RP Spring RP Snowflake Trophy

Altogether, it was far too ambitious of an endeavor for me to attempt at the time,.. but maybe someday the Chariilden community, or something like it, will be reborn.

While using DrawCast, I also created unique adoptables that I called amuleta. These were stones, usually worn as jewelry by their chosen characters, which contained the lifeforce of a unique creature. These beecame popular contest prizes for my followers.

Tribal Amuleta Sylevar Amuleta Kajehund Amuleta Y'kood Amuleta Braidtail Amuleta Grkn Amuleta Hollymander Amuleta

In 2017, I created my first set of YCH (Your-Character-Here) drawings for Pride Month. These became somewhat of an annual tradition, as I did it again in June 2018 and 2019. Each year, I would create a new base drawing, and each year that base got a little more detailed. In 2019, the third year, I offered a few different base options for different character types and offered couples bases as well. The Pride YCHs were usually offered as art trades, in exchange for drawings of my characters, but occasionally people preferred to pay for them instead.

Pride 2017 Silverfox Pride 2017 XbOxKaT Pride 2018 Bearded Dragon Pride 2018 leafstar Pride 2019 lyrical Pride 2019 Naomi45 Pride 2019 zJcampx

2018 was also a big year for more traditional projects. Using polymer clay, I created a memorial sculpture for a friend whose cat had passed away earlier that year. I started volunteering to do Face Painting at some local festivals and events. A local vet clinic asked me to create a bean-bag game board for their annual Pet Festival, and also requested a large pallet painting for the silent auction. Later that year, I was commissioned to paint a portrait of a pet for a Christmas present. In early 2019, the individual who purchased the original pallet painting from the Pet Festival commissioned me for a second to create a set.

Moxi polymer sculpt pawprint face painting Acrylic Sunset Treat Toss Beanbag Game Elsie, acrylic pet portrait Nosey, acrylic painting on wooden pallet Too Close, acrylic painting on wooden pallet

Near the end of 2019, my iPad started to get glitchy and I couldn't really use DrawCast anymore. I tried accessing it on my mobile phone, but it was pre-owned and the previous user had somehow gotten themselves permanently blocked from the app. I attempted to message the app creator and moderators about it, but it never aounted to anything. By this time, though, I had discovered Sketchbook as a very nice alternative for creating digital artwork. There was no community surrounding it, but I could still share my artworks through other media, such as Instagram or Facebook. Unfortunately, the social media communities were never as active as the app communities.

My following on Instagram is about 1/4th of what I had on DrawCast, and DrawCast was 1/5th of what I had on DS2/AWF... Seems many of my former followers are just scattered to the winds.

Whatever the case may be, 2019 wasn't a big year for me art-wise because I had a lot of big changes going on in my life that year. Little did I know the changes that were on the way just around the corner in 2020!

Despite the start of the pandemic and all the confusion that followed, 2020 was a pretty good year for me, artisticly. I was travelling a lot that year, and was primarily using Autodesk Sketchbook on my mobile phone for digital art. I continued to experiment with realistic light effects and anatomy, and created one of my very favorite realism pieces early that year.

Best Boy of Luck Red Eye Reach

In the spring, I was commissioned to created a series of stencil-style pieces. These were a common medium for me when I was younger, but I hadn't done them in many years, so it was a pretty nostalgic experience.

Dirt Bike Stencil Tropical Flower and Butterfly Stencil

In the summer I was travelling again, but by using Sketchbook I basically had a canvas in my pocket everywhere I went. That fall, I started playing with sculpting again to create a custom drink holder for a coworker.

Unburnt Fen, God of the Wind Corgi polymer sculpt

In early 2021, DrawCast as we knew it was shut down.

This shutdown didn't have as deep an impact on me as the DS2/AWF shutdown had, mainly because I hadn't been able to use DrawCast for some time anyway... But it was still sad to see it go, as I had always hoped that I would be able to return to that community someday.

Recent Years

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In early 2021, alongside the other digital artworks I was creating, I started a webcomic about some of my original characters. It was called "Behind Pale Eyes", and was an explanation of some of the events that had been revealed on DrawCast.

bpe cover bpe chap1 bpe pg1 bpe pg3 bpe pg7 bpe pg10 bpe pg12

This comic has since been put on hiatus, but you can see the original pages on my Patreon.

This was also the year I also started experimenting with plushies again, creating some large custom stuffed animals as gifts for friends and followers. I also started experimenting with rock carving around this time and made quite a few carved-stone pieces that year.

Beautiful Darkness Sunbringer Scorpio Commission Forest Creature Sweet Dreams Boomer Bear plush

Shenzi plush sigil stone carving squirrel stone carving leaf stone carving oogie stone carving pela pendant stone carving snake stone carving

2021 was also the year that I started playing with colored pencils again. This had been one of my favorite mediums when I was young, but I had gotten lost in the world of digital art for so long, that I hadn't played with colors "the old-fashioned way" in quite some time. I missed the feeling of a pencil in my hand.

I had also recently discovered the TikTok app, and decided to record timelapses of my colored pencil drawings to post there. It was just something I decided to do for fun one day because I missed the way people could watch playbacks of my drawings like they could on DrawCast and the late great DS2/AWF. It was nostalgic... I had no idea at the time how much this was going to change things for me.

In September 2021, I started uploading colored pencil drawing time-lapses to TikTok, and promptly began to gain a following. Many old followers of mine from DS2/AWF and DrawCast began to find me again. With the uploaded my Maned Werewolf drawing in October of that year, my account blew up. To my absolute shock, I surpassed the number of followers I'd had in my DS2/AWF days, and the number kept going up!

Rainbow Hyena Flame Fox Floral Snow Leopard Water Wolf Ice Cream Wolf Maned Werewolf Mushroom Deer Blossoming Burro

If you'd like to see more of these drawings, check out my colored pencil gallery.

In early 2022, I took a pause from my colored pencil drawings to experiment with plushies again, but this time I wanted to try something different. Using my counterpart, Oni, as inspiration, I created my first soft plush with a somewhat pose-able skeleton!

Oni plush down Oni plush sit Oni plush stand Oni plush cute

You can see more of this poseable plush and others in my plush gallery.

In the summer of 2022, after much deliberation and discussion with my partner, I finally decided to try my hand at being a full-time artist!

My wonderful partner, Szeka, spent a lot of time helping me to build this website, and I spent a lot of time organizing my creations and collections and figuring out what I wanted to put on display.

Over the latter part of 2022, I continued to experiment with my poseable plush creations. Through much trial and error, I figured out what worked and what didn't, what was durable and what wasn't, how much bend was too much, and what kind of materials worked the best for what I wanted.

In January 2023, I began creating OOAK (one-of-a-kind) poseable plush creations, no longer as experiments, but as unique adoptable plush creatures.

Lsyf Poseable Fox Plush Lsyf Poseable Fox Plush Lsyf Poseable Fox PlushMuseWyrm Poseable Plush MuseWyrm Poseable Plush MuseWyrm Poseable Plush

In February 2023, I started experimenting with flopsy and weighted plush creations, with simple and cute designs better suited for cuddling and comfort.

Stingray Flopsy Plush Crab Flopsy Plush Frog Flopsy Plush Plesiosaur Flopsy Plush Axolotl Flopsy Plush Snake Flopsy Plush

All these original adoptables can be found in my Plush Shop for a limited time. Similar creations can also be custom ordered through my Custom Plush Page.

In April 2023, I created a semi-poseable plush of an original creature, which I affectionately called a Fleef. This marked the beginning of a new creative obsession for me, and a wide variety of these fluffy little creatures quickly began to pop into existence.

Grim Fleef Zinni Fleef Baba Fleef Shoal Fleef Agari Fleef

You can find out more about these whimsical little creatures on my Fleef page.

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TODAY

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As of Summer 2023, Fanciful Realities has gone back to being a spare-time side project as I return to school to study Veterinary Technology.

All purchases made from my shop, all profits from customs, and all donations and Patreon support go toward helping me pay for school and continuing my education.

I continue to add new creations to the shop periodically, but updates will be less frequent going into the new school year.

If you would like to be first to see what new projects I am working on, be first to know when a website update is in progress, or be the first to know when new creations are about to be made available in the shop, you can follow along on my Patreon.

heart Thank you for joining me on this journey! heart

I wouldn't be here without your support!

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SPECIAL THANKS

to my Patreon supporters:

purple diamond Spock-Meow purple diamond

gold diamond Amakthema gold diamond Key gold diamond Mak gold diamond

red diamond Julie Spradley red diamond PookaWOODS red diamond Shenzi Swan red diamond

Thank you so much for your support!

Support me on Patreon!