ART | About me as a creative

I am a part of GESSO, a small online community for bloggers who create, and as a member I have chosen to take part in the Gesso: Primed Creatives Blogging Challenge. This year-long challenge requires you to complete a list of blog prompts of your choosing and I’m aiming for the Silver Award which requires one contribution per week. This week’s topic?

52: About. Tell us about why you do what you do, what drives you, your passion and how you got to where you are now.

What do you do?

Well first off, I feel like we should discuss what it is I do. I illustrate as a hobby. Using pens and markers or my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, I create cartoonish illustrations of what I’m watching, what I’m reading, and the things that are happening in my life. Most of those illustrations can be found here on the blog, but occasionally I do throw one up on Twitter or Instagram without devoting a post towards it.

I have dabbled in other creative hobbies in the past. I played bass guitar as a teen, tried my hand at DSLR photography as a young adult, and have taken many art classes during school including ceramics and printmaking. Illustration has always been my favourite creative activity though and is the one I have never been able to completely shake.

Why do you do it?

I do it because it makes me happy. It’s really as simple as that.

I find that illustration is one of the few hobbies that I can do no matter what my mood. While I love to read and have been a casual reader most of my life, I find it hard to really get into books when struggling with my depression. It’s easy for my thoughts to overwhelm my mind while attempting to read and sometimes I find myself just going through pages without really taking anything in.

With art though, I find the opposite thing happens. While I draw I rarely think about anything other than what I’m drawing. I’m consumed by the creative process and, especially now since I’m creating so many things that make me happy, I find it always gives me a good laugh. I also like that because I choose to focus on drawing things I love, moments that make me laugh, and memories I cherish that it’s a great way to help me focus on the positives in my life. Sometimes shit can really bother me (like that damn UK heat wave), but I can learn to laugh about it through my illustrations.

I just find it to be a really great outlet for me, both creatively and mentally.

atypicalnarrative illustration: Drawing in bed on my iPad Pro

What drives you and your passion?

Obviously part of what drives me to illustrate is just my selfish desire to do the thing that makes me happy. But I do think there’s more to it than that.

I’m driven to draw because I want to tell my story. Mine is not always a very exciting story, but everything I share is a piece of me. And I think, especially as someone who has been split between two countries over the past five years, I really value having a way of sharing my story with my friends and family beyond just random text conversations or ten-minute long video calls.

I also want to make others happy. Each time I post a piece that has made me smile, I am just waiting for someone to tell me that they enjoyed it too. Not out of some need for validation about the quality of my work, I know there’s always room for improvement there, but just out of a desire to make others happy. I’d love for people to associate my work with humour and happiness.

And, lastly, I’m driven by a desire to learn and improve. Do me a favour and look at the archives page on this blog. My art has changed constantly since I launched this blog back in March 2017 and, in my opinion, it just keeps getting better. And there’s nothing more exciting to me than to be able to visibly see that progress. It’s fun having a hobby that challenges you and leads you to learn new things. Illustrating will never be boring.

How did you get to where you are now?

Well, I’m still mostly where I was at the beginning: I draw cartoonish images of myself for fun and post it on my blog. But I do hope to someday progress this hobby into something a bit more. Creating a comic and/or graphic novel has been suggested to me many times, the thought of which both excites and terrifies me. I’ve also thought about opening slots for commissions or setting up prints for people to buy… The possibilities are endless, but who knows when I’ll start considering any of them seriously. I’m just having too much fun creating casually for now.

That being said, if you are interested in any of that stuff please let me know!

Let’s Chat

What do you think about my art and the things that drive me? What would you be interested in seeing me do next with my artwork? And I’d love to hear what your favourite hobby is and what drives you to keep doing it! Let me know in the comments below. 

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10 thoughts on “ART | About me as a creative

  1. I love seeing the way people’s art changes over time, both in technique and style. And I recognise that focused feeling when creating – sometimes my brain gets in the way of me starting work on something, but if I can overcome that then the process of creating takes over.

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    1. Yes, I think just getting started is often the hardest part! Once you get going it’s so easy to get lost in creation, and oftentimes I’m surprised by just how long I’ve spent working on a piece without realising it.

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  2. I just went and checked out GESSO because of this post – not sure whether it will apply to me (being a poet & writer rather an artist in the creative sense…), but we shall see! 🙂

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    1. I’m not sure if it’s limited to a certain type of creatives or not! It has slowed down a lot since it’s launch though, so if you haven’t heard anything it might just be becasue the person in charge has been preoccupied with other things. Thanks for stopping by though, I’m off to check out your blog! 🙂

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  3. When I first saw your art, I honestly thought you were a professional illustrator, it’s so good Asti! I just had a scroll through your archives and wowzers your art just keeps getting better and better! I totally relate to the comment about art allowing you to zone out and just focus on the activity. I’m exactly the same whenever I play guitar, colour, scrapbook, edit photos, anything creative is so therapeutic and relaxing for me. I can well imagine your fabulous drawings being in a comic or graphic novel, keep up the great work lovely. Excited to follow your creative journey! ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Aw, thanks Bexa, that means a lot! I would love to become a professional illustrator someday but haven’t fully grown confidence-wise to that point just yet. It was only just this past week that I decided to update my bio to say “illustrator” instead of “doodler”, haha. It will come though!

      And yes, I love how creative your blog. It makes me want to branch out with my creativity again and stop being so limited to illustrations. I think I might go back to experimenting with traditional media soon. It’ll still be illustrating, but I haven’t used paper and pen in months now so I’m sure it’ll feel like a whole new experience.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 x

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  4. I’d say you’re definitely achieving your goal of making people happy. I do associate your drawings with humor and happiness. Even if you’re talking about a topic that’s stressful or making you unhappy, you always portray it in a humorous light that shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s one of my favorite parts about your artwork! I also love that you have a way to share your life with everyone, despite being far away. I wish I had a better way to do that. Maybe I should try to be better about posting on my personal IG account, haha.

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    1. Aw, thanks Maraia! I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who finds my work to be funny and uplifting. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right.

      And I know what you mean about wanting to be able to share your life with people back home while far away but having trouble doing so. I’m pretty sure a week hasn’t gone by since this post in which my mom hasn’t said something along the lines of “What happened to your blog? There’s been no new blog posts this week.” lol. It’s like I go through phases of doing good and sharing stuff here or on Instagram or Facebook, and then I disappear. It’s just all seems to take so much more effort than it should, right?

      Surely someday we’ll find the right balance. 🤦🏻‍♀️

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  5. Oh I love this post SO much.💛I totally adore your art style and I looove your reasons for doing it. That’s what drives me a lot too, I think?! Like I just adore making people feel something through my art (like whether it’s laughing at my jokes or crying over my book…hehhe *catches halo as it slips*) but I also love creating because it’s fun and fulfilling and just such a great way of expressing myself. I tend to be uber quiet IRL so writing is my way to actually speak up. 😂 Anyway this post is SO INSPIRING and I love it immensely! I definitely want to see more of your art always!

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    1. Yes Cait, I love that even though we use our creativity in different ways we both feel similarly about our motivations behind it. Of COURSE making people cry is also fun too, I just haven’t quite figured out how to quite slip my evilness into my artwork in that way just yet. I’m sure it’ll come though 😈

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