For the most part, I have shared every single piece of artwork I have created since I launched this blog in March. Whether it’s the silly little doodles I make for my life posts, the fan art I create to complement books, tv shows, and movies discussions in my stories posts, or the random illustrations I feature in my art posts – it’s pretty much all there and, generally speaking, I love and am proud of it all. That being said, every artist – whether illustrator or poet or author or photographer – has moments where the work they create causes cringe and there has been one set of illustrations I have hid from you all since I launched this blog because… yikes.
You see, when my blog launched in March, I got really excited about creating and sort of became obsessed with the desire to doodle all the time. I almost want to say in a way it became more about creating a certain quantity of illustrations for me rather than a certain quality because I knew my work would never be as good as anyone else’s and I just wanted to have a lot of it done so that I would never run out of things to share here. And that’s fine, this is my blog and I can do what I want. But the same thing happened as I mentioned in my thoughts on participating in an Instagram challenge: I realized I don’t want to create just for the sake of creating because my enjoyment wavers and the end results can sometimes be a bit scary.
So today, in the sake of transparency and to encourage any creatives out there that they are not alone in their bad days, I thought I would share a collection of illustrations that I originally refused to post on the blog because I disliked them so much.
If you’ve been involved in Instagram communities, you’ll know that there are usually multiple challenges running that you can participate in. For bookstagrammers there’s #grimdragon, for those with art journals there’s #ohjournaletc, for the art and lettering types there #dndchallenge – the list goes on and on.
These challenges are great for inspiring content and getting involved in communities, but they are what they claim to be: a challenge. And you know what I’ve decided? It’s not failing if you don’t finish these challenges. You can only post on certain days or give up after a week, it’s totally up to you. But as long as you gave it a go and took something away from the attempt, it’s not failing. You’re just succeeding in an unexpected way.
During the week of my birthday, I noticed a couple of posts popping up around the blogosphere that revolved around setting goals for milestone birthdays. (The two in particular that crossed my path were Vee’s 25 before 25 and Amanda’s 30 before 30, but they are definitely not the only ones to create posts like this.) While I was hesitant to come up with my own list at first, worrying that if I were to not reach these goals by 30 I’d end up being disappointed in myself, I ultimately decided it was worth a go. Not only did I want to see what thirty items I would come up with, but I decided that even if I didn’t do them all just making a conscious effort towards making them happen would make me a happier , better-functioning person (and really, these days that’s all I really want).
It’s actually funny when I think about what I thought life would be like a decade ago vs now. It just felt like once high school was over I would figure everything out and by 30 I’d have this whole list of accomplishments I could rattle off: a family, a home, a good job. It all just seemed so much simpler then… and of course it was, everything was before my brain introduced depression into my life.
But now? Well, I would just like to figure out how to be a functional adult. I’d like to be able to make and maintain friendships without having a meltdown or letting my insecurities rule me. I’d like to find a job and actually stick to it without having a breakdown in front of everyone and ultimately quitting once I hit the lowest of lows. I’d like to learn how to accept the bad days and not let them consume me to the point that months pass by. I’d just like to do a lot of the everyday things that I think some people take for granted.