My brain at the moment seems to be constantly consumed by work, if I’m not drawing peoples portraits I’m planning on how to create the next image for Instagram and how to keep people interested in what I do. It’s pretty tiring and does get to me the majority of the time but, its completely self inflicted.
I am often engulfed with mix emotions on what I do for a living my dad doesn’t consider it a living and highly doubt he ever will, he’s one of those worriers unless you’re in a 9-5 job you’ll never make ends meet. So often I have his voice in the back of my head probably reinforcing my fear of failure, but nevertheless I keep doing what I do. I did considered heading back to retail for a bit for a steady income and to squash the fears of the lack of money that might suddenly dry up forcing me to feel like a failure. But I physically can’t stop what I do and I have friends telling me off for evening thinking about bailing on what I do.
Often I’m seen on Instagram stories working, and people say to me how hard I work, it makes them feel bad, that I never stop. Its an odd thing because even the drawings I do for myself I guess I could consider them work. People around me always seem a million times more impressed with what I do to earn my way then I am with myself. I feel that that might be blamed on the good old imposter syndrome I seem to have harboured the last four years I’ve been doing this.
I’m never completely satisfied with the work I create and in a way I guess thats kinda good for me as I’m always researching, drawing and trying but it does take its toll on the hands, my joints aren’t what they use to be in my arms and in my hands, I’m only 29 but the stiffness and pains have settle back into my fingers joints and wrists, and something I think I need to look into in the new year, best ways to keep the arthritis that runs in my family at bay well at least long enough to give me a fair whack at my job. I find the winter months the hardest so hopefully it will soon subside.
My work is also my crutch whilst my beloved boyfriend is deployed I find it crazy to think how far away he as I type this, the drawing keeps my brain occupied during the dark evenings and slow weekends. So I am grateful to currently be inundated with pet portraits and requests for live illustrations. I get this odd fear each and every time I draw in front of people or even drawing a pet portrait its a constant fear that washes over me, that people will discover I’m a Fraud and I can’t really draw and no-one will want any work done by me again – its that pesky imposter syndrome.
I awoke this morning after a late night drawing, I didn’t crawl into bed till 3 am and I awoke at 6:46 am so really I barely slept, I’ve not been the best at sleeping since Mum died and for me thats one of the worst parts about losing her, its every night before I sleep and every morning just as I awake up, it comes sometimes as a fleeting memory or often before I fall asleep its pretty much a full blown flash back of the morning I found her dying. Those are the times I hate trying to sleep because I know at that point it wont come. So I seek comfort in drawing and I love the moment my brain switches off and I could genuinely lose hours in my own art therapy.
So really my work isn’t really work, it means more to me then making a few quid here and there, its part of who I am as a person. Don’t get me wrong I have client work that I have to slog through and beat myself up over time to time and I often have a good handful of clients who email me about 40 times a day but who doesn’t have parts of their job they aren’t overly keen on? I’m lucky my talent is being recognised and obviously I would love more publication work but that will happen in time I’m sure.
You’re probably wondering what is the point to this endless ramble, it triggered with me this morning after whilst working last night my best mate was messaging me stressed about repaying her mortgage and at times making me feel like my job wasn’t a real job, it just had an air of well now I have more responsibilities then you but guess we can all count our blessing indifferent ways people probably look at my job and see it as an easy ride. It is I guess compared to a nurse, doctor, builder or fireman. But also like other jobs its a hard slog meeting deadlines, chasing work, chasing money, constantly selling myself and often the grass looks Greener on this side of the fence but it take a shit ton of self belief, hard work and stubbornness for me to not admit defeat with it on a daily basis. I myself am also saving for a house on freelancers wage is tough sometimes and disheartening when a client at times goes with someone cheaper or cancels the project, and I am learning not to get excited with things until contracts are signed. Overall I am pretty lucky I wake up everyday set my own times and work on my own projects it could be a hell of a lot worst.