How I create – it’s messy and imperfect

How I create is messy and imperfect. I feel a bit insecure about sharing behind the scenes photos of my pencil illustrations as the perfectionist in me thinks they don’t look ‘finished’. I then fall in to the comparison trap of looking at other illustrators work and thinking mine isn’t good enough. I’m learning to lean into this feeling of vulnerability, self doubt and fear and instead of keeping all my drawings hidden away in my sketchbook or in my iPad (I’ve started using an Apple Pen!) I’m starting to share my raw and imperfect drawings.

I’m sharing today some examples. First is an illustration using pencil and paper of a little girl who actually turned out to be a self portrait of me as a child, I wanted to capture that wild and carefree nature of childhood. The second illustration is a little blue bird who I doodled using my Apple Pen and Adobe Draw over an image I took of me in the garden. And the third illustration is of a sweet unicorn who I drew on the iPad, I then digitally colour her on my iMac.

“My iPad is filled with first, second and even third try’s at a drawing and my sketchbook has erased illustrations, crosses and abandoned ideas.”

I create my drawings in the ‘cracks of the day’ as I like to call them. In between cooking dinner, when Harry is playing, while watching TV or late at night. My artist studio is often my kitchen table, outside on the grass, in bed, the couch or at my desk. And my tools – up until recently when I purchased an iPad Pro and Apple Pen – are a less than $5 2B or 3B pencil, a moleskin or notebook from Officeworks and an eraser.

I feel if I share how I create and share my process more openly and with less perfectionism, it might demystify the idea that only certain people are creative. Or that you need to have all the tools, ideas and perfect space to be creative. When I was at high school I was told by a teacher I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to draw, so I stopped going to art class that year. That story followed me until three years ago when I picked up a pencil and paper again. I just doodled and dabbled, I exercised my drawing muscle to learn what worked and what didn’t.

I’ll continue to push through my perfectionism and share little glimpses and stories about how I create. It will be messy, imperfect and filled with eraser marks and smudges.

Follow me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes.
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