WARNING: Life-story-ish post ahead. xD
Well, I’ve been painting and drawing since I could hold a pencil and brush. My mother still keeps some of my first pieces from kindergarten and first grade framed and on the wall at home, lol. My grandmother was (and still is, somewhat) my biggest supporter for a career in art; she gave me my first watercolor pencils when I was probably 4 or 5. I won first place in an art show in the 4th grade, and that was my first taste of success artistically.
And then we moved to Florida when I was 11. I finally got out of the Catholic school system and went to a public middle school, and anime was the biggest thing around at the time. It helped me get back into art, albeit I was re-drawing manga scans at that point in time. Over time, I loosened the training wheels more and more, and then come high school senior year, I said to myself, “Okay, this is what you’re good at, and you can only get better. Go for it.”