☕️ Note, you’re helping me out today by creating content for each other while I continue to refill my creative jug. In my short experience as a picturebook illustrator, December to March/April are the busiest Months.
I want to write a post about how to feel good about as an illustrator, but to do that, I thought I’d ask what are some ways you feel bad as an illustrator or creative in general. Maybe it’s to do with rejection or contracts or envy.
Answer for yourself or Answer “for a friend”…
Call your friend Fabio, for example you might say;
Fabio feels bad because he hasn’t got a thriving instagram account or Fabio feels bad because he has no time to hang out with friends…
The second best place to learn is in a classroom environment, the best place to learn is from reflecting on experience. What we’re trying to do here is to reflect on an unpleasant situation that you’ve witnessed or experienced yourself as a way to draw out it’s valuable lesson.
Answer, How to feel bad as an illustrator?
Share a valuable lesson from that painful experience.
Times I feel bad as an illustrator:
1. When a work I'm proud of is not seen properly on social media. It makes me think negatively about what I do and the value I can give to people.
2. When I'm not drawing enough to recuperate from a day's work. It makes me feel guilty for not having the discipline or drive to work on my creative career.
1. That there are other ways to show my work like conventions, or this newsletter, without getting burnout from beating the algorithm. That I had to value my work and experience (and have courage to share it) because someone out there may have the same story/struggles.
2. That rest is as important as achievements and creative growth.
Worked really hard on a difficult assignment. Many hours of toil. Realised I hadn't answered the brief properly. Felt bad as an illustrator.
1: that I 'should ' be better by now. Man I hate the word 'should ' soooo much... expectations placed on us, by us, from a society that makes up stupid rules of progression.
2: that my illustrator friends are doing more than me. Equating a sense of status to business when that absolutely is not true either.
I think the times I feel the worst are when:
1. I’ve tried to put my work up with other illustrators and I can see that mine isn’t as professional looking as the professionals, and I can’t identify if it’s a technical issue, a style issue, or a lacking in my current ability, so I end up feeling stuck in that place.
2. I can’t decide where to spend my time because I can’t make myself prioritize my goals and drop the rest. I end up following the dopamine of short-lived IG likes or prescribed assignments where the decisions are largely made for me. Then I get sad when others are making faster progress despite feeling like I’m working just as hard.
Lessons I can take from these moments:
1. I think it may not be that I can’t identify differences and work on them, but that I’ve been avoiding looking closely for concrete differences because of a feeling of shame or embarrassment. If I could just set my ego aside and look for really tangible differences I can act on, I would probably learn a TON from doing that!
2. The past two months, I’ve had a deadline in order to submit my picture book to several agents. I HAD to have my pitch package finished by January 21st, so I put aside most other things, didn’t post nearly as much to IG, ignored several art challenges that interested me, forgot about trying to design any greeting cards right now, and solely focused on my picture book project, and I did it! I met my deadline with days to spare. And that was very telling.
Try and do all the things and feel unable to let go of anything or focus. Feel miserable for not being able to do everything.
Learned that i can feel fulfilled and have more fun and relax a bit more by just honing in on one main thing
1. That I can’t find my style even after 2 years of trying whilst simultaneously
2. Knowing I’m probably still not giving enough time to my creativity to find said style
3. The inability to finish a Skillshare class