the beauty of simple things

First of all, I have a confession to make - I deleted my last post about why I love fashion illustration. It just felt all wrong, it didn't say nearly enough about why I do what I do, but most of all giving myself a label defined me in a way I wasn't comfortable with.

The whole thing about giving my art a label and defining myself in the context of that huge world that is fashion... well, it made me rather miserable, to be honest.

Deleting that post made me a lot happier and, as a result, I've been a lot more productive. My creative energy is flowing freely again, so I know it was the right thing to do.

It's all part of stepping away from the big things, deciding not to follow the crowd, waving bye-bye to that bandwagon everyone appears to follow. I know I might be shooting myself in the foot if I really want to succeed as an illustrator in a very, very competitive arena, but if it doesn't make me happy, all the success in the world just won't be any sort of compensation.

That's not to say I don't work hard at what I do. I put my heart and soul into my art, because I want to, because I love how it makes me feel to create something beautiful with the simplest of materials.

In fact, simplifying my working process is something I'm trying to develop. On one hand it's so that I can, hopefully, produce more work in the limited spare time I have. On the other hand it's because there's so much beauty in simple things.

When I'm working on a drawing and I'm at the first stages, just a few pencil lines on a pristine sheet of white paper, I often think it looks nicer than the finished, coloured work. I enjoy those first stages most of all - even though I love colour so much. So, my challenge at the moment is finding a way of colouring a work without losing the simplicity of the original drawing.

I'd like to be considered an accomplished artist and I'd very much like to earn my living as an artist. However, I can't compromise myself or the life I have in the process. In that case, success may elude me, but I'm prepared for that.

I don't want to be rich and I don't want to be famous. I love the life I have and I don't want it to change. I'm being careful what I wish for because I don't want the big things in life, I don't believe they make you happy.

Happiness isn't something that can be sought, and it can't be guaranteed as a reward for things we do in our attempts to gain it. It isn't a material thing we can own through hard work, fame or success.

Happiness, for me, is found in the simplest of things, like enjoying the wonderful aroma of a freshly made cup of real coffee, spending time with someone who makes you laugh, sharing a hug with Little Bear, waking up to the sound of birds singing merrily outside, or creating something, like a meal or a piece of art.

So, I'll keep doing my illustrations and hope that people like them. I'll write my blog when time allows and I have something to say that I feel is worth sharing.

But most of all I hope that my life stays just the way it is - simple and beautiful.

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