On New Creative Adventures, Feeling Fraudulent and Showing Your Work
Yonks and yonks ago, I started doodling cartoons, mainly for fun, but also out of curiosity as to how I could merge comedy with drawing.
I popped a couple on my blog, a few friends said some nice things, but then I stopped almost before I’d really begun. Why?
Because I felt like a fraud.
Because I felt like I had no right to even try to put my stupid little terribly-drawn creations out as though they were worth looking at.
Because I felt scared.
But lately, I’ve been feeling tremendously creatively inspired, to the point where it’s almost mania. I’ve been drawing up a storm just for pleasure (inspired by stumbling upon the fabulous Jane Davenport and her plethora of books and e-courses) and while diving down the rabbit hole of the kinds of illustrations and styles I’m attracted to, I’ve realised something they all have in common: they’re gloriously and purposely IMPERFECT.
It’s just suddenly like I’ve realised I have permission for my silly little drawings to be just that: silly little drawings. They don’t have to be critically acclaimed visual arts achievements. They just need to be what they are. That’s enough.
This, combined with recently re-reading “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon, have worked to give me a more intense desire than ever to stop getting in my own way and instead just create, create, create and then: actually share it. Not because I want to make zillions of dollars out of it or be discovered or get a big break, but because I want to put it out into the world, rather than hiding it away behind a wall of my own fear.
So. Here I go!
My dream – yep, I’m gonna just own it – is to develop a body of cartoons about family life, motherhood, dreams, mental health and relationships and call it “The Motions”. Meaning the name of the family, but conveniently works in the context of “going through the motions” and well, you know, “the shits.”
My incredible partner Jon has encouraged me no end, to the point where he took my little hand-drawn creations, digitised them, coloured them, and showed me what they could be. OMG.
I’m determined to keep sharing them. Who knows where it will lead, if anywhere. But I’ll keep making, keep sharing and we’ll see! In the meantime, here’s to getting old projects out of the bottom drawer and bringing them into the light and feeling the fear and doing it anyway.