Am I really cut out for this?



  • Hi Marsha!

    I absolutely think you are cut our for this. However, I think one of the reason you are running into so many problems with your illustrations might be that your projects at this time are exceeding your technical abilities. You end up doing the same thing many times almost in a "trial and error" way to get it right - which is VERY time consuming and frustrating.

    What I would suggest is to take at least a 6 - 9 months break from your book projects and work on your technical skills. I think this would then improve your productivity and make your illustration journey much more enjoyable!

    During that time I would watch as many SVS classes as possible especially the ones on perspective, character design and illustrating children's book and do the exercises (and share them here yo we can critique them). I would also draw from life and from reference as much as possible to increase your "creative library" as @Jake-Parker often say. I would also pick your favorite illustrators and copy their work. I think another very important think, as pointed out by @TessW would be to learn the basics of "technology" and image editing which will save you SO much time in the end.

    I think right now you are putting a LOT of pressure on your shoulders to finish these 4 books, but I really think if you take a break from them and come back better equipped you'll be able to finish them a lot faster!

    I hope this helps! Don't discourage yourself! You're in the right path 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @TessW Thank you, Tess. All true points! I think they do have a class or more than one on improving your website, business, and all of that. I really don't think of doing my illustration as a career. I'm not trying to get business from others but just want to do my own books well. I also realize that, for me, 30 day challenges are not inspiring-especially with watercolor painting 🙂 As Lee has told me, I just do it to get somethign on paper....I'm too STUBBORN to quit but I won't start another one. It takes me away from other things I could be working on that would be more productive. Thanks for the reminders. I need a break. I will play around for the next two days and paint just for fun and just to finish my 30 days since I'm so close but, after that....I'm taking a break!


  • SVS OG

    @DOTTYP Thanks, Dotty, I am definitely taking a break (after my last two days of watercolor which I am going to do just for fun). Putting all other projects aside for a week or so.


  • SVS OG

    @Eric-Castleman Love your brother's comment! Ha! That's a good attitude. Who cares anyway. When I have taught art to kids or just done it with them, and they ask me what I think, I say, what do YOU think. That's what matters. I am so tired today and that makes me a bit more negative anyway...I need some sleep. I'm actually paintiing dolls with some girls tonight at church......I'll be glad to have that done and g t bed! I might take a short nap. 🙂 Thanks for your reply, Eric. I'm glad your wife pushes you forward when you get low. I think you have come along way if you couldn't finish in the beginning!


  • SVS OG

    @NoWayMe Good points! I guess I'm afraid I might die before I can finish them all! 🙂 I'm taking a watercolor class and a 2D design class at the local CC in the fall (gets m eout of the house and interacting with others a bit) so hopefully I will get more skills there too. I think I am an impatient person and tend to beat my head against the wall instead of taking the time I need to learn things. In some cases, maybe that might be useful but in very many cases, it just gets me in a mess. Thank you for your words. Feel free to remind me if I start getting crazy again. I have several workbooks partially done from SVS classes that I can finish and put up for critiquing. That's a good idea. (I'll try not to do them all in one day 🙂 ) Ha! Honestly, I was staying with my friends family once and they had a piano. I wanted to learn so I sat ther all day trying to get through the book until the mom finally asked me to PLEASE stop! Ha!



  • Hi, i also feel the same! Each time i post sth, iam embarassed with it, but i do it anyway. And yet i was on a charity book project this year and helped to create a book for children in hospitals etc. and you know what? I feel like i dont want my name under illustrations in this book;) Concerning your art, i think you have a skill to create happy and funny things and that is smth you canot learn:) i also like your lettering a lot. So keep up the good work, while trying to continue your tehcnical education.



  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen said in Am I really cut out for this?:

    I look at all your great art on here and I feel like I'm so far behind sometimes. I have such a different style than everyone else-it's old and unprecise and hard for me to come up with ideas. The harder I try, the more I see my flaws. My current dummy looks imperfect and if I don't finish it I will never get it done because I will never be happy with it. When I illustrated a book fo rmy friend in 2014, I had no idea what I was doing and it was an ABC book so I didn't have to follow a story line-just do a lot of animals. I enjoyed doing it and thought it looked pretty good (except for the cover and the "designers" lettering which I thought looked like a kids lettering). The next one I did was challenging but I liked it (until I got it printed and found my mistakes, etc. It looked very primitive but that's what I was going for since I didn't know how to plug in lettering so I did it myself -fortunately it was very short. This one coming up.....I have worked very hard to get to the point I am- and made tons of changes but I still feel a bit discouraged. I'm going to redraw it one more time....I think only one more time 🙂 I want it to be "finished not perfect ". I hope to enjoy doign the rest of it! How does a person keep there interest up with a project that isn't necessarily bringing them joy anymore 🙂 I have about 4 others in the works but I feel overwhelmed with the thought of illustrating them Does anyone else ever have those feelings? Is it just growing pains or should I quit while I'm ahead? Thanks for listening.

    I know exactly how you feel, I'm having the exact same feelings myself. It's a bit different because I'm actually getting a lot of joy from working and drawing in my own way. I suspect nobody else draws the way I do. And while this makes me fulfilled, I feel like I will never be able to make a living of what I truly love, because I'm following a impossible dream.

    Even if I would stop and try to become a true professional, learning all the steps and acquiring the skills to do good art, I feel like I wouldn't see the appeal in my own work anymore. And that's because I realized my own inspirations were not artists in the traditional sense and would never be able to do what they used to in today's world. And taking a good look at what the art business looks like these days, I feel apathetic. I have no feelings towards it and thus no motivation to pursue it anymore.

    I know saying something like this might sounds like I'm just being lazy, but if I tried to achieve that kind of perfection, I know I would feel overwhelmed and have no desire to continue. It's not the kind of art that brought me to this world in the first place and I don't know if it has anything to do with not applying myself enough. I draw every day, I spend most of my free time drawing and I have been doing it non-stop for the past 2 years. But it amounted to nothing because if I don't do it the right way, it seems meaningless. Drawing in my own way doesn't make me cut out for this... So I need to ask myself, is it worth it?

    I still didn't found that answer myself, but I can assure you're not alone feeling like this. And I have sincere hopes you will overcome these feelings and find a way to achieve happiness doing what you love. From my own experience I can only suggest you to draw, draw in your own special way and without worrying too much about what others would think. This is what always bring me back after I'm discouraged. It's what brings that joy back, at least for me.



  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen my brother's comment really was to get me to stop trying so hard, and enjoy what I'm doing. He also was the one that got me to first share my work, because I felt it wasn't good enough and I didn't want to embarrass myself. He told me that everyone hates their work most of the time, and it is true.

    I have been watching you post your work for the last year, and you have gotten better. for me, traditional is much more time consuming and much more frustrating. I pretty much dropped it completely a couple months back due to cost and blowing it after doing all the prep work, and finally upgraded to an ipad pro.

    Just have fun. When we start trying to force things it becomes frustrating. If you are having a hard time painting, switch to making thumbnails for the time being (I do tons of them) if you can't think of any thumbnails, look at other artists pieces and make very simplistic thumbnails of their work, and stuff just starts popping out on your own. Lee White's work is very fun to thumbnail copy btw. I do it all the time when I'm in a funk, and it usually jump starts me a bit.

    As for a critique of your work, my main thought is that your line work is a bit too good for the style you are trying to accomplish. Youtube Quentin Blake and see how he just scratches his lines on. He calls it "free willing". I think it is also a very therapeutic style to borrow from, and it will breathe more life into your work imho. Hope this helps.


  • SVS OG

    @aska Thank you. I really love that you helped illustrate a charity book! It's nice to use our talents for the good of others. I appreciate your thoughtful words and your support. Thanks again.


  • SVS OG

    @felipeonodera Good thoughts. Thank you!


  • SVS OG

    @Eric-Castleman Eric, those are soem great ideas! I never really thought of thumbnailing other people's books! I coudl see that beng very useful for me! I actually do a lot of things loosely when I am just plang around. But when I am trying to do illustrations, everything tightens up to a more coloring book-type thing. I usually get tighter before i get looser and I think that is because i am not yet comfortable with the subject matter, or the perspective, etc. No Way Me also gave me some really good advice about that. I need to catch up with my skills to go forward. This forum is so helpful! Thank you fo rtakig time to share your ideas and thoughts with me. Very appreciated!


  • SVS OG

    @TessW So much good advice for me! Thank youfor taking the time to respond to this, I really appreciate it!

    Marsha


  • SVS OG

    @NoWayMe I can't remember if I thanked you or not. I am re-reading all my responses and feel so fortunate to be on these forums. You have given me great points and they make a lot of sense, Thanks again! (In case I didn't already thank you).


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