I’m tired. I am used to being ignored, the underdog, disregarded etc when maybe I shouldn’t.
I spend ridiculous hours on a project of some sort, complete it to a level that I am eventually ‘okay’ with, post it on the internet somewhere with a hint of embarrassment and then wait. I don’t know why I feel like this but I struggle with wanting to hide but at the same time wanting my work to be recognized. I am rarely ever completely happy with my work so gaining satisfaction from others is not that important to me however when I see other things gaining popularity and recognition, I get slightly frustrated.
When looking at my resume and portfolio of work, I do a lot of things outside University that I do not talk about but if you’re not constantly updating people, they think you’re not doing anything at all. I constantly have people say to me ‘I would love to do what you do’ but they base this on seeing a few end projects or observing the fact that I am watching a film. Yes I love what I do but it has the potential to mess with my head so much. There was stage a couple years ago where I couldn’t draw for three months, was very ill and then left my Uni course… but of course a lot of people were oblivious.
So during the summer of 2015, I was in an exhibition called ‘Free Thinking’ alongside Cass Art who I was a student Ambassador for. It lasted a couple of weeks at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch London and was a great personal achievement for me but the excitement was clouded with other things going on in my life and I failed to truly acknowledge the situation.
The exhibition invited and hosted some industry professionals and networking with them was interesting. I personally feel that I am at an awkward stage of pretending to be an adult despite others seeing me as mature however it was intriguing talking to people that have been in the industry for many years – it was a nice new experience.
The work I decided to show for Free Thinking was a personal project called Salience (Phase One):
I created six illustrations in total, the one above being the first and my favourite. It took me many months to actually start this illustration because I knew what I wanted to illustrate but found it hard to execute. It was weird how one night I decided to just attack it, not too strictly and then was able to create one of my most characterized and stress-free illustrations. The other five were then done many months later and unfortunately rushed due to two MAJOR University deadlines whilst moving out of my house so I am surprised I still managed to finish them.
I was not happy with three of the illustrations and soon realised when I visualise something, I sometimes do not have the ability to execute it. There were other films that I wanted to be part of my project but I had to assess my time and be realistic – I just couldn’t produce them. What I have learnt is that there is a lack of development work/processes in my personal illustrations due to always feeling the need to have the final outcome sorted. This project really taught me how important it is not to work like this anymore and that sometimes, you may just not have the skillset to do everything you want to just yet.
So back to the exhibition.
I didn’t really tell/invite anyone and I don’t know why. There is support for you personally sometimes but probably not for your actual work. You have some friends say that your work is ‘nice’ but then it will be followed with requests of ‘when are you going to draw me?’ etc. Most of them are not serious but when some are, they are immediately amused when I mention pricing – but let’s not delve into that subject today …
I am gradually learning to be humbly proud (if that makes sense) of what I do but I still have a theory that no one really cares. I find promoting one’s self a weird concept for me personally so I always have this predicament of needing to be actually appreciated or not. It is weird how this gets me down sometimes because I like to stay hidden but I feel like I have to defend what i do, especially my course. I’ll see friends repost other stuff but not mine – when did i get so obssessed? I came off many of the social media platforms, came back when I thought I needed to but to be honest I hate it. People will tell you to follow them on this and that then not support you and it frustrates me. (You kind of expect this with the current culture and my industry in comparison to others.) I have used a lot of energy trying to support, help and please others but fail to help myself sometimes. I know everyone is busy, as am I, but yeah…
So yes I am on a few platforms right now because I now know I do not want to seek clients/be commissioned by individuals etc (I will address this issue in another post lol) I do not need to be so accessible BUT I do have to have my portfolio online in this day and age if I want to get hired.
I’m not being bitter, but this is my headspace right now and it’s interesting to analyse. I do not mind being an underdog but sometimes, as a human, it can be so tiring. I’m going to continue writing because an artistic diary is needed otherwise I would have a constant headache.
For the artists and creatives out there: It’s important to not get hung up on these things because the approval of most of the people you are showing your work to will not secure you a job. I am happy when I reach certain goals and executing a project the way I envisioned it so if no one really reads my posts, likes my pictures on my IG or appreciates my projects on Behance – I am okay with that and you should be too.
(The next post will be more positive ^_^)