Uploaded as BAPQ1 submission.
My "best work ever" is pretty difficult to nail down from a superficial, technical, or conceptual standpoint, because "best" used in such a manner, ends up being about the relation between a viewing of an artwork and an incidental harmony with personal taste and aesthetic sense. So such usage of the label would tell much more about me at the very specific time of viewing, as opposed to being a label for something where the sense of a heightened level of self-accomplishment would have lasting power; appropriate for the "best" label.
I have tons of childhood drawings saved from 4 on up, and I would say that they are all my best work. Never in my life than as a young child, have I felt so free by creating. I had such enthusiasm and excitement about just being in the moment, and there was never doubting the self or even conceptualizing outcome. The main purpose was to enjoy myself by just putting whatever drawing element onto whatever drawing surface.
In post-childhood years, I was still been able to enjoy a level of freedom and fun from creating with no intention- just feeling the flow of emotion- but as my technical skill improved, even the freest of my drawings became less a realization of some obscure joy and more a reflection of a trained hand. More about refining heartfelt concepts of execution/perception; less about experimenting with such concepts to gain tangental insight.
The set of drawings I've submitted for BAPQ1, were done when I was 5 to 5 and a half. From a technical standpoint, there are a few advanced concepts involved, such as differentiation of character, character intricacies (like the four-legged one has a fishhook stuck in its tail with blood, wearing a lure hat), simulation of motion with the car exhaust, depicting cylindrical form, etc. But what is most revealing of the self, is what I left out. For example, it's obvious that I had a certain level of concern with hands, but it's notable that on the one set where I managed to put in all five fingers, I had no interest in depicting the arms! The eyes are front-view eyes put on the sides of the head, yet, I felt the importance of eyelashes. The leftmost character is some dude with a knife and holster with guns, yet he is smiling like everyone else.
...But such observations can be made about any drawings, so specific technicalities are only supplementary to the main point; being that they represent my early views on abstraction/simplification. What makes these early works stand out for me especially, though, is that they're not just attempts at representation-- they are physical records of me learning to See for the first time. They show my young self learning about life, and they show how I interpreted my context. I expressed at my purest and was wholly content with everything I managed to put down. They are records of my lifelong love of art and the early footsteps I left in the mud, as I excitedly ran into a world that I didn't need to know anything about to fully embrace. They represent my freedom, my passion, my willingness to enjoy free time and live-- they represent the essence of the deepest depths of myself as a person. Their execution represents everything that I will ever be as an artist, and while I might have a more solid grasp of the technical and conceptual, I will never be able to compete with the sincerity of my early works.
So I've submitted this set of four drawings to represent my early childhood works, which collectively, will forever be my best work.
I will never regain the love that was awakened within me from those times-- because I will never lose it.