Hi everyone, I'm Pete

  • My name is Pete, I was a successful web designer/developer for over 15 years but became ill with depression and lost everything I had worked for. It took me two years for get better and decided I wanted to change my life. I invested in the original classes of Will's and it completely changed my perspective on art and made me realise that I wanted to become an illustrator.

    I started doodling which really helped with my depression. I was scared that I wouldn't be any good so kept all my work to myself. I built up a little bit of confidence to put my art out there and got some positive feedback for other artists. So decided to go to UNI, get out of the rat race and learn a new skill.

    I have got to say that, no disrepect to the uni, but I have learnt so much more from the classes on SVS and listening to Will/Jake talk on YouTube. I am loving meeting new people at UNI, it is helping me build confidence. But I am not there yet to submit to the 3rd Thursday competitions. My illness holds me back.

    Does anyone else have problems with confidence and/or illness? If so, how do you combat it? Does it hold you back?

    I am loving everyone's illustrations. You are all so talented.

    Have a great day


  • Hey Pete,
    Yeah, it does sound like we have had similar issues. Like you... I also lost everything... House, job, etc. But... when you're in the basement there is no where to go but up, right? So, Cheers to you and me, may we follow our dreams and may our dreams become our reality! 🙂

  • Exactly right Kris. And I have no doubt that we will achieve everything we deserve.
    I have put the past behind me and I'm just looking forward. I couldn't think of anything else I would like to do with my future than create children's picture books and leave a lasting legacy for my son and his children. 🙂
    Happy illustrating my friend.
    Have a great day.

  • Yes, I think university is not a great option for artists - tons of debt and not much useful training. I have also found the internet to be full of many much better options. I think the idea that a standard college education is the best training for employment is finally starting to break apart and there are many more effective solutions being offered on the market (for example svs 🙂 )

    Also, I can relate to your struggling with mental illness. I have severe PTSD and dissociative disorder which has been very destructive to my life and trying to build stability for myself. The first few years of college were spent in and out of the hospital and I felt like I would never be able to accomplish anything. Now that I have a much more stable living environment and good relationships rather than destructive ones, I have felt more capable of accomplishing long term goals. For me, I used to be very embarrassed of my illness and feel like it would stop me from ever accomplishing anything - but I have grown out of that over the years. I think self-knowledge is really important in dealing with mental illness. Trying to find out where the problems are coming from, what thinking patterns worsen it and retraining the brain. I have found journaling to be effective as well.

    As artists, I think our experiences (good or bad) also inform our art and give us a range of emotion to draw from and to hopefully create in our art and allow us to connect to those feelings in others. I have also found that I get lots of extra painting hours due to not sleeping well. 🙂 Not to great for my energy, but great for my art! lol

  • @Jeszika-Lee Hi Jeszike, thank you for you reply. I have just received my grades for the first year and I am so disappointed. I doubled up on the work and presented everything and still got grades comparable to students who did a lot less. It's soul destroying. Even the other students are surprised. It has just proved to me that it's all about numbers and not aptitude or ability. I may have to rethink my plans.

    It's just lovely to hear your story and how you have overcome your struggles. It's what books are written about. Very inspiring. I couldn't agree more about self-knowledge. As soon as I owned up to have depression instead of ignoring it and blaming everything else, I actually became a more centred person. It answered a lot of my personal questions and allowed my to concentrate and be grateful for what it important. It's taken a long time but, as you can probably relate to, it has made me a stronger person too.

    I completely empathise with your sleep situation. The two years it took me to see a light at the end of my depression tunnel, I discovered the wonders of napping. If my body/mind say sleep, I sleep and don't fight it. Like you, I am more productive and my art is so much more satisfying.

    Thank you for taking the time to write your story. I hope you've having a great day.

  • Hi Pete welcome here! Good to hear your optimism although life hasn't been kind to you. You're a fighter, and for sure I know that you will find your way as an artist. lets learn from life and grow together!

  • @Peter-Jarvis Sorry to hear about your experience at university! Yeah, I think a lot of it is just numbers, jump a bunch of people through the same apathetic hoops and get paid, rinse repeat. I think a large part of the problem is that there is no accountability for the quality of the education. The government hands out loans and subsidizes the school and by time you realize that you haven't learned anything useful, you're already thousands of dollars in debt and they have a whole new set of students. I think in art it is more obvious than in some other fields because it is really obvious if someone has a skill set or not. Does their art look like what they are trying to make it look like? You can't hide behind a degree or resume. So, there is more of a demand for education that actually teaches you what you are paying to learn, regardless of whether it gives you some certified 'degree' or not. I think you will find many more viable options outside of traditional school; esp if you struggle with depression - you want to be sure that you are making choices that leave you feeling fulfilled and accomplished, rather than drained and ignored. I wish you luck finding the right education tools!

    I'm glad you are seeing the light at the end of the struggle. As I think anyone with mental illness can relate to, being able to find solid ground to stand on, to see optimistically into the future and feel confident about your endeavors is so important to psychological well-being. Thanks for responding to me (I know I have a tendency to be long-winded so thanks for bearing with me!) And I look forward to seeing you around the forums!

  • @Leontine-Gaasenbeek Hi Leotine. Thank you for your lovely message. Yes, we should learn from life and from allow the unfortunate situations we encounter to make us stronger. Have a great day.

  • @Jeszika-Lee Please don't apologise about the length of your message. I am thoroughly enjoying chatting. You seem to have a true understanding of my situation and what I have been through. My depression definitely holds me back and if I am honest, UNI was a way of getting away from the confines of industry and giving myself breathing space to continue improving my mental health. It is working and If I am going to continue at UNI, I am going to make sure I have a book written/illustrated ready for the end of my course to kickstart my new career. To help keep my depression under control and to allow me to create my art and not have to worry about the financial side of things, I was thinking I may need an agent. What are your thoughts? I don't want to take up more of you time.

    But thank you for your kind and wonderful replies. Have a great day. Pete.

  • Hey Pete. I developed a illness a couple of years ago, that causes chronic pain, migraines and prevented me from working a normal job. I suffered total physical and mental shut down, depression and not even able to do anything passive like watching tv (which i don't do anyway.. Its took me two years to recover, the only thing I have been able to do is draw, and paint digitally, this seems to relax me. The only thing I can consider doing as a profession is illustration as I am not able to work very long except when I am painting. The best advice I can give is their is no point being negative as there is nothing you can change by being so. Being positive anything is possible, always have that in your mind, keep your art as a major focus in your life and make that your motivation and goal.

  • @Steve-Young Hi Steve, you sound like you've had a similar journey to myself. I love your advice, it's on point. If it wasn't for my new found passion for art and illustration, I don't know where I would be. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. We all seem to have had similar paths to where we are now. It's so comforting to know that we have all found a place where we can be happy and fulfilled in our choice of career. Not financially, but spiritually. Have a great day Steve.

  • I agree with everything you have said pete. One extra bit of advice / guidance is what ever our journey / problems can only fuel our creative urge and ability, use that as a strength.

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