A growing confidence


Well... I opened my Instagram last Friday morning and found it had gone crazy overnight. My submission to the Draw a Dot Instagram Open Call had been picked as a favourite by Marcus Kan, the curator of the site.

I was absolutely amazed to have my work given such great endorsement, especially as it was my first submission. Some truly outstanding illustrators are featured and I felt honoured to be included amongst them.

When I started my blog and Instagram account in January I expected a long journey to any recognition or success. I began them as a way of getting myself back into work mode in the hope that by the time Little Bear goes to school I might have the beginnings of my future career as an illustrator. I wanted to see if I could keep up a regular flow of work, and I wanted to see what people thought of it. Also, as much as I love my role as a mother, after three years of the most intense relationship with another human being that I'll ever know, I really missed my art and having time just for me.

So, with this in mind, I began trying to fit all this extra work into my already full routine.

It wasn't easy and if you've followed my blog you'll know just how difficult it's been at times. I never at any point intended to quit, this was too important to me and I knew that quitting wasn't an option. If I couldn't cope with extra pressure then I'd never make it in a very competitive arena.

I also struggled with a lack of confidence. Since Little Bear was born I've been a full-time mother. I left my career in banking, where I knew my job inside out and was good at it and decided I wasn't going back to it. Even though I've been doing art since I was a child and have qualified as an illustrator, I'd never put my skills to the test publicly, to be judged against other illustrators who are already established and revered.

It was pretty scary, and it was only my love of creating beautiful things on paper with just a pencil, pens and brushes that kept me going. I'll always make art, but having to post things regularly on Instagram and on my blog made me really push myself to my limits.

The result has been a blossoming of my own style. Putting my recent work together for the photo that accompanies this post, I can see it emerging. There is a coherence that I hope people will recognise and associate with me.

Most of all, despite the extra hard work to keep this going, I have enjoyed sharing my work. I love seeing the wonderfully positive comments and the growing followers and likes that I have. My confidence is growing hand in hand with this encouragement, and now this success with Draw a Dot has really made me feel the struggle has all been worthwhile.

Yes, I think I can do this...

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