As some of you might have noticed, I’ve been in a bad place recently. My thoughts were drifting towards more negative thoughts and I’ve been feeling extremely anxious all the time.
I feel like I’m getting better now. It’s always the same. Every month there is a time when I feel like everything is negative. It’s related to my menstrual cycle and it’s extremely frustrating because it doesn’t matter how my life is going, I always feel horrible.
Now I finally feel like I’m back to normal, thank goodness.
The thing is that when I’m feeling down I can’t draw at all. All the insecurities I’ve been fighting come rushing back and I don’t feel strong enough to push them back into the small box I keep them in and stash away in the back of my mind.
All the fears come crawling back to the front. Fear of the blank page. Fear that if I start a drawing it won’t be as good as others I’ve made. Fear that I’ll never be as good as the artists I admire. Fear that this will never amount to anything more than a hobby. Fear that I’m just kidding myself.
When all those feelings disappeared and I felt like myself again, I started to feel frustrated because, even though I felt more confident, I still couldn’t bring myself to draw.
Then one day, as I was scrolling down my Pinterest homepage, I came across a picture of an obi belt. The pattern was beautiful and an image immediately popped into my head.
I rushed to my room and sketched it out.
I inked it in and decided it would make a great birthday present for my mum (it’s her birthday tomorrow) if it turned out OK.
I decided to change the colours so it would better suit my mother’s taste, so I grabbed the Japanese colour dictionary I bought while in Japan and looked for a colour scheme that I liked.
I slowly coloured it in, being extra patient and letting each layer of colour dry before I added the next one (I mostly use watercolours, and I didn’t want the colour to bleed).I got scared sometimes, especially because I was choosing colours and making decisions on the spot, but I soldiered on. I kept asking my boyfriend to give me his opinion because he’s an artist and has a good eye for colour.
When I finished, I was so incredibly happy with the end result that I almost ran and showed it to my parents. I can’t wait to see my mother’s face when I give it to her. She always gets a bit emotional when I show her a drawing because she knows what I went through after university.
I’ll only post it online after she gets her gift, just so there’s no risk she’ll somehow stumble upon it. But let me tell you this: when inspiration comes, don’t wait until later. I honestly think that if I had waited, those fears would’ve come back and stopped me.
Inspiration is something fleeting.
I’m not saying you should wait for it, either. I know that doesn’t work. You’ll end up waiting forever. Keep drawing, something will come out. But if you do have an idea, don’t wait. Do it.
Here’s a sketch. No. A finished drawing, that I’m quite proud of.