There have been a few things I’ve wanted to address in regards to my work lately. For the longest time, I feel like my work hasn’t been up to par or at a standard I’ve been happy with. Over the next bunch of posts (which feature this doggo) I’m going to address some of the changes I’m making and the things I want to achieve via my illustrations.
From listening to the #creativepeptalk podcast on the #creativecareerpath , I realised a lot of fundamental mistakes I was making in my actions about the goals I wanted to achieve for myself.
One of the biggest ones was; I was trying to create demand and was so focused on “originality” that I wasn’t producing any work that I feel was of decent enough quality. Additionally, the direction I wanted to head in I really had no formal or proper experience in. I had no track record proving that I had strong enough abilities to move forward in the avenue I now wanted to base myself in.
Looking back on a lot of the illustrations I’ve made this year honestly make me cringe and make me very embarrassed that my name is attached to them. Through my own ego and being a critique of creative work I always felt like I had this “know how” of how to create great work. Yet I had no track record to prove this or to hold as evidence.
My approach previously had been “conserve your creative energy as you don’t want to overwork yourself and be at a point where you have no creative energy”. Which is such a stupid, lazy and arrogant mindset to be in, in regards to creative work. It was almost in this sense of “I’m so good I don’t need to prove myself” mentality. Yet when it came time to prove myself, the task was tough because I had no basis or experience in creating the work I truly wanted to make.
What I’ve learnt over this year is you do need to continually prove yourself, and you need to consistently “perform” in doing great work to have tangible evidence to back that you are as “good” as you either say or think you are. The way I’ve been “taught “ to learn new skill sets in design and illustration is to hop in and get your hands dirty and keep going until you “get good”.
Which as much as I had this tunnel vision to focus on the end goal and to stay persistent, I look back at a lot of my work and am extremely embarrassed and wish I could “erase” it from my backlog. As I've learnt first hand there is really no other way to learn how to create great work, is by this constant process of failure and iterating in the public eye.
Most of the previous posts relating to my new journey have been me being quite hard and harsh on myself. Though there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the work I’ve been creating over the last couple of weeks I’ve been quite pleased with and can’t wait to showcase and reveal more of it. My ego wishes that “I could have been creating quality work I’ve been happy with, from the beginning”.
But in a creative field, this fairytale story doesn't really exist. Sadly or fortunately you need to drag yourself through mud to reach the other side. There’s no way around this. It’s harsh, gruelling and at times crushing. The amount of uncertainty I’ve felt throughout my career has been overbearing and the goal of creatively creating decent work at times has felt “impossible”. But by staying dedicated the rewards have slowly started to reveal themselves in recent times.
Previously in my journey, I’ve been more focused on being an “artist” and expressing my personal viewpoint onto the world. Though as I’ve grown older and have learnt more about myself, I’ve realised that I function better as a person and get more fulfilment out of aiding others. I feel like I tapped the well dry of weird illustrations that only I care about and feel like I had been making little to no impact on anyone with the work I had been creating.
I’ve made the decision to focus more of my work to being a service for other people and helping their vision to come to life. Rather than being selfish in creating work only to please me and my narrow perspective on the world. A couple of my previous posts (like the illustration of The Rock and Bono) have been leaning towards creating pieces that will benefit a wider set of people. And this illustration has been another step towards the direction of me tailoring my work to a position of being a service rather than a selfish means of “creating art”.
Here's to the future and for those that have stuck with reading the story behind these posts, I greatly appreciate it!