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.
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!
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.