I've drawn anything in my mind that I wanted to physically show to others since the day I discovered what things like crayons and markers could do to flat surfaces--much to my mother's frustration. Obviously I have improved much since then through personal practice, observation, and personal lessons from my grandmother who is a painter. I have taken several art classes specifying in drawing, painting, sculpture, and simply art in general at Abingdon High-school, Emory and Henry College, and Virginia Highlands Community College.
Illustrating books is my dream and goal, for it suits the reasons why I love creating images through painting and drawing. Sometimes I imagine or dream up creatures and people that I want so badly to display in a way so that others can see it the way I do that I use art as my tool. Similarly, I believe that I can create pictures to compliment the images created by a writer's words, and I want to do my best to give them and their readers an opportunity to see the scenes and characters from stories on a tangible surface outside their minds.
Most of the time I try to draw things as realistically as I can, so I study things like models, other images, and proportional facts for accuracy. For example, when I want to draw a horse I will probably first sketch its skeleton in whatever position I wish and then put on the rest of the body from there. My pictures may not have the photo-graphic detail I wish them to have, but I believe I put enough life in my drawings and paintings to make the images seem real.
However, I don't believe every story needs realistic styled pictures to make it come more alive. I respect cartooning and anime for its vivid personality, and enjoy the immense flexibility it allows to create something intricate and beautiful.
I have never been afraid to show my art to others, although some may have more or less skill in comparison, because my motto is that art is meant to be seen. There is nothing wrong with sharing what you love, as I'm sure all other writers and artists can agree.