Firstly, one youtube video changed what it was that I wanted to become 'when I grew up.' I went from not knowing, to realising that I could have a career involving books, if I wanted. I do want. Still working on it.
Secondly, the one that I haven't written much about here so I thought I would tell you.
About three years ago I trained as a makeup artist. That was never a goal for me. I liked the idea of being able to do makeup but doing beauty looks was only fun for a while, I enjoyed it but my heart was set on doing extreme body painting. Which I loved. However there is not much of a market for it over here in Ireland.
Once my training ended I was left in a void. I had the skills of a makeup artist, but no dream of becoming one. I decided to set my sights on becoming an artist. An animator, illustrator, fine art artist.
To put it bluntly, it didn't work. I wish I could say I tried and failed but I didn't even try. I took a year to work and put together a portfolio to enter into art college. I never made it that far. I think I did a total of three maybe four sketches, total, that entire year.
Two years before that I had only really drawn in school, that was my favourite class, exams were rough and I got a B (which was devastating as it was the only subject I was hoping to get an A in). Toppled on that the entire exam experience, in this subject at least, had left me shattered and wanting to take a break from it for a while. It was a mix of jealousy of other talented school mates and self doubt that made me scared to pick up a pencil again. I ended up putting it off for so long that I didn't want to pick it up again because I was terrified to see how out of practice I had become.
One thing changed that. A friend of mine asked if I would face paint at her twenty first which would be Disney themed. Which sounded amazing to me. The only problem was that I hadn't practiced drawing for a long time. I decided that if I wanted to do a good job at the party that I had better practice. So I did. It was difficult at first because I had never really tried to draw someone else's character before. It had always just been life drawing or my own random doodles. The first few attempts were really pathetic.
Even looking back through them now makes me cringe a little bit. But drawing is something that you can improve on. So I kept at it.
And kept at it.
To be honest I was a bit surprised at how fast I progressed. It was literally like there was no middle ground. One day I was drawing pencil outlines of characters that took hours, the next day I was drawing full colour versions. It was a bit strange to see them so dramatically different and so quickly.
The more effort that I put in the easier it became to make myself draw more. I was suddenly willing to because I had spent so long avoiding drawing that now that I was no longer scared stupid at the thought of marking a page I wanted to spend all my time doing it.
I know now that I probably needed that time to realise what type of drawing that I enjoy. Also, if I had gone to art college that year I never would have discovered BookTube and learned that I really ultimately wanted to work with books.
Still the dream is there to write and draw, hopefully in the same book!
If you want to see more of my drawings come and check me out on instagram!
Don't be scared to do what you love, no matter how long it has been or how bad you think you are at it. You can improve. You can try.
Until next time, Emma.