When can I call myself an illustrator?
I know I don’t need to wait until I’ve done the (un)necessary training, have a certificate, or passed a test. So, must I have a pre-specified number of followers on Instagram? Or an extensive online portfolio (which I’m sure is very helpful indeed, but I’m new here).
So, what if I don’t?
When two completely disconnected people* raised this question, it got me thinking. I well and truly dread being asked what I do for a job, as mine isn’t a straightforward answer. I feel I have to justify my own situation with an abridged version of my awkward journey through life and work so far. Concluding with “but I want to be an illustrator”. This alone isn’t self-explanatory. And I feel I have to justify what I’m doing to get there (although I’m continually fighting self-doubt that I could ever be so lucky as to live the life I always dreamed of).
So, having given this some thought, I’m choosing to call myself an illustrator right now, despite not having much stuff “out there” to prove it.
[Audible intake of breath]
Well, where has being a hopeful illustrator gotten me so far?
If you’re also fed-up of self-doubt and the niggling, irritating voices that accompany this, try calling yourself an artist, illustrator, or whatever you hope to be, and listen to the new thoughts that start popping into your head.
*Hat’s off to Jessica Abel and my Canadian friend J for raising this.
The post By Definition first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
Did I mention my resolution for this year was to Simplify?
My attempts haven’t quite gone as expected these past few weeks as I have more commitments rather than less. So I’ve been asking myself: “Is it better to spend a few good hours on a project, seeking flow? Or is a quick sprint better for productivity?”
I’m currently practicing quick sprints, setting my timer so I jump from one activity to another, and rushing to finish before the buzzer. I also gave myself permission to complete even the simplest sketches over several consecutive days, rather than putting them off because I have a heap of other priorities. I’m not sure this was the best strategy as a drawing that should take 30 minutes is dragging on. But I’m drawing daily, and that’s a good (re)start.
Footnote ~ I can recommend this apple drawing tutorial which I found on the Will Kemp Art School website; it’s part 2 of 3. Part 1 explains the theory of shadows, and part 3 is an acrylic painting tutorial.
The post Fly or Flow? first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
Happy 2nd Birthday Filbert and Smudge!
The start of a fresh new blogging year is the perfect time for me to reflect on my ‘New Year Resolutions’, and set my goals for the next year of my life, too.
For the past two years I set out to: i) overhaul my wardrobe, and ii) become prolifically creative. And, unlike last year, I’ve made some great progress.
Wardrobe Architect/Overhaul – Finished?
Over the past year I’ve completely reorganised my wardrobe with feng shui, I’ve parted with a few items and added a few as well. I may not be down on quantity just yet, but now I’m conscious of the stuff I don’t tend to wear, we may be parting company soon. My wardrobe project is still in progress, but it won’t be my focus for this new year.
When I resolved to be prolifically creative, I intended to draw more often. Two years’ on and I’m well aware of my own real and imagined obstacles, so this one is coming with me for another outing.
I’m undecided what my resolutions will be for the next 12 months, but as soon as I’ve decided you’ll be the first to know.
The post Now We Are Two first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
If this was an illustration or drawing brief I’d be distracting myself with time fillers. But it’s not, and (despite my lack of experience) it doesn’t seem at all scary.
I’ve just started a creative writing course – a free Open University one on FutureLearn.com, and this exercise appears halfway through Week One. So, what is it about writing that feels just slightly daunting but doable, yet if we were tasked with drawing the very same we’d make our excuses not to (or in my case, keep putting off until I’d plucked up enough courage just to open my sketchbook, then spend longer criticising the results than I spent crafting my sketch).
But that’s the point of a beginners’ course, isn’t it? To have a go, make mistakes as we learn something new, accepting every stumble and fall as a necessary part of the learning curve. Yet, with drawing, whether we’re starting out, starting over or beginning to find our feet it’s harder to accept the very same stumbles and falls.
The post Finding the Words first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
Chaos in my mind (before feng shui, 2017).
When was the last time you showed your creative space some TLC?
Since rearranging my own studio last year, I took it for granted that all would be well in my creative world. And it was for a few months. With it almost tidy and organised it felt like a breath of fresh air, and inspiration had room to play.
At the moment, my own messy studio is a reflection of me – a chaos of ideas I want to cling onto, just in case. Fabric and yarn donations that I’ve welcomed with open arms, just in case. They’re stored on the floor because I haven’t found space for them. And boxes. Good sturdy cardboard boxes, just in case.
But, as much as we should take care of ourselves, we should take care of our creative space. Show we appreciate it supporting us through peaks and troughs, and it will continue to provide the breathing space for our crazy ideas and inspired thoughts. If we keep the path clear we might even get to see the next stage of our journey, too.
WordPress prompt: Messy
The post Creative Space first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.