This is a recent drawing. I finished it last week. But it’s taken me years to get here.
Years ago, before I started my music series, I was part of this little art group. Only a few people, very informal, none of us doing any showing. I had started working on a few drawings in a similar style to this one. I did a bunch of small ones in my sketchbook, and a couple at a larger size on watercolour paper. I took it in to show the group.
There was one artist in the group, and while she worked in a style drastically different to my own, she was very skilled and had excellent taste. I respected her opinion. So when she told me she really didn’t like these drawings, I took it to heart. And I stopped.
Fast forward a few years. I’ve been posting a #paintingoftheday to Instagram pretty much every day for a while now. I have a large inventory and have been painting regularly for years. But still… after a year of daily posting, I was running out of images. So I dug out these drawings. And you know what? They got a pretty decent reaction. I even got a commission out of it.
So why did I stop? I thought these drawings were pretty good. But I didn’t have the confidence to speak in my own voice. I was relying on other people to tell me my ideas were good enough. That I was good enough. But somewhere along the line I have figured out that I can trust my own instincts. If I think something is good, chances are there will be someone else around that agrees with me. Undoubtably there will be a few that don’t, but I know now that I don’t need to be everything to everyone. I’m ok with who I am. And I will speak in my own voice.