Beginner Artist Affirmations
Hello new & old friends! I took a bit of a longer break than I expected from this newsletter, as I’ve had some life things happening (like getting engaged!! 💍 )
I’ve also been heads down working on some illustrations for Girls’ Night In as their first Artist in Residence! You can check out the first spring-themed illustration in their newsletter here, and subscribe to see more of my work the next few Fridays to come.
Today I have some artist affirmations I wanted to share with you. I don’t have a daily daily affirmation practice, but I like to have post it notes of various affirmations around my workspace for encouragement. These four statements are the ones I need to remind myself over and over again, so that I can continue making and sharing my work without spiraling.
My art has worth even if I don’t have my style figured out. This is the #1 thing I struggle to believe! It’s really tough to be confident when your work feels like it’s all over the place, especially when you see artists you admire be very grounded in their style. But IT TAKES TIME, and plenty of artists change their style over time as well. Remember every single piece you make has value, whether it’s to hone in on your voice, learn a new technique, or lift someone’s spirits.
I give myself permission to share my imperfect work. Sure, the perfectionist in you wants to toil away refining your works in progress for eternity, but believe me—people are curious to see what you’ve made and chances are, they will not notice the minor things that bother you about your own work! Not every imperfection has to be solved and conquered in one masterpiece. You can always take notes on what to improve and have others look at it to give their input, and make better work next time.
I release myself of expectations to draw realistically*. As someone who didn’t really grow up drawing (my main reason for ~imposter syndrome~ as an illustrator), I sometimes stress myself out over the idea that I need to get better at drawing realism since this is what kids are taught to idealize. However I, like many others, find drawing realistically quite boring! Maybe it is a gift to not have taken many art classes growing up—I feel free to draw more like a child, in ways that please me and my drawing hand.
*Though I’m not a fan of realism as a style, drawing from life (both people and environment) is still hugely important for growth! You can use observational drawing to find out how your hand naturally translates how you see onto paper, which is hugely helpful in developing your voice.
I make the most of what gives me joy. When do you feel like you’re truly in the flow of art making? For me, it’s when I’m mark making or playing with color. By being conscious of what I enjoy, I can focus on and emphasize these aspects within my work. Do more of what you love, less of what you don’t!
Do you agree with these affirmations, or have any of your own to share?