By Definition

mima jewellery drawing

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.

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Keeping it Simple

I believe in fate, and sometimes things happen because the timing is just right; things are just meant to be.

With my life feeling more like an ongoing game of Tetris, I’ve decided I need to simplify.  I feel like I’m at that point in the game where you’re a few levels in and you’re just about managing to maintain some control, but those blocks keep appearing and stacking up around you.  Imagine those little blocks are the things you want to spend time doing, and the longer you go on the more they stack up and although those stacks keep going up and down you never quite clear all of them.

Over the past two years my (almost) weekly blog posts have helped me identify my real and imagined obstacles, and led me to make some remarkable changes.  But catching up with my resolutions last week, I realised I’ve spent more time writing blog posts than I have being prolifically creative.  So, in order to simplify things I’ll be posting here on a monthly basis.  For now anyway.

The post Keeping it Simple first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

Now We Are Two

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.

Prolific Creativity

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.

Happy Year Ahead

“Build milestones on the road ahead… Because the more finish lines you set, the more moments of pride you’ll be able to celebrate. Not only does that feel good, it will motivate you.”

Eric Barker, …How To Create Happy Memories…

I’ve wished so many people a “Happy New Year” over this past week, yet I don’t think I’ve ever wished it to myself.

As I looked back over my 2017 posts for the last two-weeks’ annual review, I realised how many big goals I’d set myself, and how bad I felt for not honouring them… I’m still planning a blog redesign, by the way.

So, I’m taking Eric’s advice and setting a few more finish lines this year, rather than just one major one that might just be a few steps too far (and this post is the first one done).

The post Happy Year Ahead first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

All for One?

I’m almost done.  My casual winter wardrobe is set aside, and I’m reviewing a few other items that I haven’t worn for a while.  The rest will have to wait until spring beckons.

Focusing in on just one project isn’t such a bad idea.  I see that now.  Picking a wardrobe category and giving it my full attention has helped me get close to this particular finish line.  But I’m not sure whether I could approach my creative work in the same way.

  • How do I balance building my technical skills with the joy of exploring an illustration or design project?
  • What if I get stuck?
  • How do I make the smooth transition from one finished project to a brand new one?

Seeing how my wardrobe has benefited from my (almost) undivided attention, I’m sure my sketchbook would appreciate some quality time with me, too.

The post All for One? first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.