And how did I figure out the answer? I went to class. Outside. On a park bench with my sketchbook.
I sat hunched over, scribbling questions about why (oh why) does my art not feel personal? I see that it has improved... but there isn't anything personal or about me in it. How could this be?
It's missing my scribblings.
What does this mean? Well... I've been using a sketchbook to work out my thoughts/questions since I started College. It's just where I tracked everything - took notes on what I learned in class, or asked my paper the questions that were looming in my mind... What I noticed when I asked myself (in my sketchbook) why my "fancy art" felt impersonal is that my sketchbook felt personal. My journal was in no question identifiable as 'me.' Same with my photos on Instagram. Why did those feel personal? Because I used them as an outlet. I scribbled diagrams to help understand concepts I was learning; I had a surge of energy to create, so I used IG to make something whimsical.
It was simply about putting my thoughts on paper, not about making something pretty.
Well, I've been exercising "try to make something pretty" in my digital art skills, and not trying to use Digital Art as a medium for portraying something else. So, I've learned: I need to try to convey something - which happens to be in that medium - and not try to simply make a pretty illustration... because then it will only be that. Just a hit or a miss on my vapid goal.