I haven't written a new blog post in a while as I have been so busy working on other things, but I've also been uninspired for what my next topic should be. I didn't want to write my next post without having made some progress in my business to be able to reflect on.
I have recently been feeling lots of self doubt when it comes to what I am creating; I have been underwhelmed by much of the work I have done. And so I took some time this week to go back through my recent work and try and discover what I was unhappy with and what was making me doubt myself.
In my sketchbook I have definitely been overworking my illustrations. Everything is too controlled and I feel I really need to focus going forward on loosening up my style again. I have also been posting my latest work on social media, only to delete it or archive it ten minutes later. When posting new designs I began to doubt my ability as a designer and the standard of my work. I didn't feel that the standard was as high as the work I usually create. In reflection I think it is important to create artwork that makes me happy, but I also must remind myself that a piece of work I might not especially like, a prospective client may love and be exactly what they're after. It sometimes turns out that you get the most likes and interest on your least favourite posts. I now realise that deleting designs from my social media is going to do me no favours in growing my portfolio.
And so after taking this time to review and reflect on my work, I feel I made a positive turning point.
I started the day yesterday by completing a surface design I had been meaning to finish for a while now.
I painted these yellow poppies back in October in my sketchbook. I remember being really pleased with them at the time as I hadn't used any reference at all; I did them entirely from memory (which is not something I do very often!). Not using any reference allowed me to be more free with the brushstrokes I made and the flowers I drew, something I want to encourage myself to do more often. I happened to just be experimenting with my new fine liner pens, but I think these flowers have actually ended up being some of the best I've ever drawn.
When I came to posting this on Instagram yesterday I felt proud of what I had created and pleased to share it with others, something I haven't really been feeling that often in recent months.
Completely overcoming self doubt is such a hard thing to achieve, it is natural to 'have a wobble' every now and then, especially when you are just starting out. I have learnt that taking the time to look over recent work and think about areas in which I could improve has been so helpful, and will be very important to continue doing more regularly to help grow my business in a healthy way. I have also learnt that I need to be creating work that I am happy with. If I am not happy then I need to stop and think about why that is. I will be making a point to try and not overwork my illustrations and to experiment more in my sketchbook too.