I started drawing with pen and ink, using a dip pen (usually a little Hunt 102, which is still my favourite) and india ink, sometime in junior high school (that would have been about 1985-1988--yes, I am old). My art teacher at the time thought I had a lot of good energy in my line work, and that was all the encouragement I needed to make pen and ink one of my main media for drawing for years afterward (which just shows the effect a teacher can have).
Obviously I wasn't especially good at it right away, but I liked the results enough to keep going. And while I was still drawing fantasy (a habit I have never broken and don't really care to), I was also starting to do fewer obviously Elfquest-inspired characters, and more things out of my own imagination.
Also of note, it was around this time I started trying to develop a little wordmark or monogram to use as a signature. I later abandoned "Nik" in favour of "Niko," but I've since come back to it (partly because, as indicated by the title of this blog, it's an anagram of "ink").