Although I’ve been preparing to be an artist my whole life, I’m still new to this. For those of you who are new followers, I’ll give you the quick version (if you read regularly, skip down after the break). I graduated college May of 2013 and I was certain I was going into advertising, I couldn’t get hired so I decided I would nanny and draw for awhile and see what I stumbled upon. Looking back, this is the best decision I could’ve possibly made. I started doing commission work for close friends and family and posting my sketches on Instagram. I was getting good feedback so I starting drawing bloggers and tagging them and eventually my drawings started to be reposted by the blogging world. All of the sudden, I had a business and I was drawing whether I felt like it or not. That is the extremely shortened version and in the past six months there have been more challenges to figure out than I could’ve ever imagined. Along with each of those challenges has come an equally exciting victory for me. Along with my business, I work two other jobs to help pay for expenses, while my business gets off the ground and it isn’t pretty at some moments (like I haven’t showered in three days because I literally couldn’t find the time moments).
So now I’m here (wherever that is…I don’t know). Today I posted a tiny little blurb on my Instagram about a critique I received on my work. I didn’t expect people to react as strongly as they did, but I’m glad they did because it really made me think about a few things. First of all, I’ve always been nervous about what people think about my art. Art is such a personal experience for me when I’m creating it because I put so much of myself into it. My mind, feelings and spirit are on that creation in so many ways. Second, I have never been an artist for the money (because let’s be honest, that would be dumb), but now that people are paying me to create drawings for them, I get even more nervous about revealing a project. Third, I would like to clarify that I am overly sensitive about anything that is said about my art, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think it shouldn’t ever be critiqued. Art is subjective and people can have their own opinions. Lastly, my art is RARELY critiqued. This is the first time I have ever heard a critique about my art, which is why it probably struck me as it did and stuck with me. I never went to art school and I am well aware that is something they have you do all the time is critique your own work and critique others’ work. I definitely critique my own work. I have learned how to fix a lot of mistakes that I make in pieces through different shading techniques but if there is a mistake in a piece, I will be the first person to point it out to you because every time I look at the piece that is what I see. It’s an artist thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating and I will develop thicker skin, but in the mean time, I feel the need to defend and protect my work.
Thank you for listening to some artist thought’s that have been weighing heavily on my mind as my work continues to pop up more and more places, I find myself getting more nervous about these things. I am thankful that you are on this journey with me and I would love to hear any thoughts you have about this post.
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I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.