Two years ago I picked up a pencil and paper and drew my first illustrations. I really felt like I had something to share with the world, so I started an Instagram account as a creative outlet. I was a little embarrassed in the beginning to be honest as I hadn’t studied art, I was self-taught and thought I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t even tell my family and friends. I was worried about what people would think so this anonymity was appealing; it was like I had a secret superpower.
I was being brave, curious and adventurous. Like when I was a child climbing a new tree in the garden and unsure whether I could reach that next branch.
Eventually I shared my account with family and then friends. Then people who I didn’t know followed my account. They cheered me on and along the way my illustrations and confidence grew. I challenged myself by drawing new characters, which often led to frustration or the exhilarating triumph of ‘I did it’!
“Even in these moments of triumph I would hear my own voice saying to me ‘you’ll never be as good as (insert better illustrator here)’ or ‘you can’t draw’. This is my kryptonite. My own self talk.”
Now when I hear my inner critic, I think of that adventurous little girl reaching for that next tree branch. While she might have worried about falling, she tried anyway.
By no means have I stopped the self doubt. I still don’t feel comfortable calling myself an illustrator because I don’t think I have earned the title through study or years of practice. What I have learned is to be my own cheerleader and give myself pep talks, like saying ‘you’re doing so much better than you think’.
I encourage you to find your brave, curious and adventurous inner child, reconnecting with them could help you find your passion.