We all want to get better at our craft. We all want to be the best we can be if we’re going to put our hearts and minds towards anything. But how on earth do you do that when the path isn’t defined? When the road isn’t mapped out? When the journey is uncertain?
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the notion of getting better at something like drawing. It’s something that is such a personal art form, yet can have so many uses. Drawing can be used in both a professional environment or exclusively used as a creative outlet. How we want our career to form naturally falls back on our individual wants and needs.
When we figure out those needs and wants in real time can be the overwhelming aspect. Overnight we’re most likely not going to wake up and realise our lives are “all figured out before us”. A lot of our aspirations take time and effort and a lot of weeding through uncertainty in real time.
For the last couple of years, I always felt this want and need to be more involved in illustration. Though the most pressing question at the start of it all was “how on earth do I get better”. The answer is more simple then how the actions feel. But you just keep doing it.
Previously I’ve made updates and side by side as to how my drawings have improved in a more significant span of say four years. But even in the last four months, I’ve noticed a vast improvement, and that comes down to one main reason. I’ve been isolating what I’m improving on and specialising in one area of a skillset. Additionally, I’ve repeatedly been showing up and putting the time in. That’s how you get better; frequently showing up at something and pushing through all of the discomforts and uncertainty. You have to be willing to embarrass yourself. You have to be ready to make mistakes. You have to be willing to take chances.
All of these facets are very uncomfortable things. Our pride and ego don’t want to be embarrassed yet embracing these types of fears are very essential to thrive, and most of all enjoy any form of creativity.
It’s been a lot of hard work, but I feel I’ve finally come to accept what this journey is up ahead. I’m more concentrated on my work and output and am more thankful that I’ve found something I get so much enjoyment out of rather than wasting time worrying about forming it into say a “career”. Though a lot of that is due to the dedication and the repetition of showing up. There have been plenty of uncomfortable times where I've considered giving in the towel.
I was talking to a close friend of mine, and I was getting very “romantic” about my life at the moment. Before I would very arrogantly not accept that I was at the starting phase of a different area within my career. Trying to form that “work-life balance” I was walking to the gym the other night where I realised I get to live this life where I’m fortunate enough to explore what I want to study in my life and pursue the thing I want.
Whether or not I become “successful” at such a thing doesn’t matter. I live in a place where I have the opportunity to chase after something I love. And I feel this need to protect the love for it. Protect the enjoyment and fulfilment I get from it.
For so long in my creative career, I was trying to dictate where my career would end up and what I would “gain from it”. Yet what I’m building on right now is something as stupid as “memes” which are just so funny to me, and they completely light me up. Creating the pieces I’ve been making just give me so much warmth and happiness and help bring out some of the best parts of my personality which is my humour.
It’s taken a lot of hard work, pain and uncertainty but if it weren’t for persistence, I wouldn’t have eventually found a lot more love and passion for what I’m fortunate enough to do. Audience or no audience. Financially or not, I'm in a place where I'm thoroughly enjoying what I'm doing even if it is a "side hobby" presently.
Usually, this is the point where I tell a “solution” and help map out a formula to how it’s all done. But I have been trying to let go of those aspects. All I can say is thanks to never giving up in hard times has really aided in my discovery to something that has genuinely benefitted me. Though I really want to tell myself previously to not try and dictate too much of your career and let life unfold in front of you.
At times there is no concrete and simple resolutions. You have to be willing to weed through uncertainty. You can't let the hurdles push you down. You have to have a "fighting" and expansive headspace to continually want to move to the positive. That's how you survive in a world where the thing your chasing is uncertain. Don’t let the fragments of negativity bring you down. Be adaptive to the circumstances around you while doing everything you can to make a positive impact around you. Always strive to be the best version of yourself and do what you can to preserve your personality and personal culture.
Don’t let your amount of experience stop you from pursuing things you’re genuinely interested in. Whether you’re a beginner, or expert follow your own curiosities to live an exciting life that you’ll happily watch form in front of you.