I studied art to GCSE and have been largely self-taught since, though I have gone on a few adult learning courses and am constantly trying to better myself as the road to improvement has no fixed destination. So in that way it's more of a death march really. I'm also a member of 'Art in Herts', my local art society in Potters Bar - this is great as it pushes me to work on subjects generally outside of my comfort zone.
I work in both traditional and digital media but lately, due to health issues (carpal tunnel, regular and De Quervain's tendonitis in my right thumb) I have leaned much more toward the traditional as working on the computer hurts my arm. I do enjoy what can be achieved digitally - the possibilities are nigh endless and, of course, there is the wonder that is the 'Undo' button. Yet to me there is something that lacks in digital art - it just doesn't compare to putting paint on paper, seeing the colours physically transfer from palette to brush to canvas, or seeing the ink flow indellably from pen to paper. I guess I like both for different reasons. I go through phases of using different media - maybe weeks working in acrylics, then I'll be back on the watercolours or get into stippling with pen and ink for a while or I'll dig out the sculpey and clay and try some 3D work. Variety is the spice of life.
Art is my escape and my passion. I love to get lost in a painting although this does occasionally mean I sit down in the morning then suddenly realise I'm hungry and it's seven hours later. It's a little bit of an antisocial pastime like that. Whilst I like to paint random beasties, dragons and animal skull studies a lot of my work relates to my project 'The Daemonslayers' and the world it's based on, 'Tymaera' which, conveniently for me, has a healthy dragon population. This is something I've had in mind since childhood - clearly it's grown and changed a lot since inception but it's always been with me and is kind of the purpose behind my art. I do also write but don't get nearly as much of that done as I'd like (and I'm bad at finishing. I've at least a couple novels' worth of odds and ends, scenes and bits of story on my hard drive). If you'd like to know more then check out the DS website.
I first got online in the late 90's. Back in the day when you had to dial up the internet and could only go on for a few minutes at a time because the parents wanted to use the phone. Seriously, if you were born into the broadband age then you don't know how lucky you are!! I used to freeform RP in chatrooms a dracoliche character called Drakhenliche. That is where my username comes from and I still use the handle to this day. Gender-wise it's an ambiguous name and when I didn't clearly state I was female the assumption generally seemed to go online that I was a 'he'. This has caused me no end of amusement over the years. I can confirm though that I am definitely a she.
And the photo? Sandboarding in the Atacama. Please don't be misled into thinking I do that sort of thing every day; my life isn't that exciting. I also wasn't particularly good at it (I'm better on skis) I just really love that photo because it's a happy memory and Chile, the Atacama specifically, is one of my favourite places I've ever visited. This was taken a couple years back now. Since then I've caught the tattoo bug and have more ink on my arms. Bug... come to think of it, after your first one I don't think it's something that ever went away to be caught anew, more like it just lay dormant for 12 years, which now makes it sound more like herpes.