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.

Thoughts

Sorry for my absence last week; I was still here in spirit.

As my blog approaches its second birthday I’m reviewing my own advice, and considering how I’d like me and my little niche of cyber space to evolve over the next year.  Two things I’m currently focusing on are the benefits of To Do lists, and working to a timer to quicken my pace and get more done.  Nearly two years’ on and I feel like I’m heading back to square one

The post Thoughts first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

Finding the Words

Character-brief.jpg

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.