It has led me to meeting people that I would've never interacted with if I hadn't have taken the leap to talk to them. I wouldn't have started my blog that eventually led to my web comic that eventually led me to becoming a published cartoonist, writer, and photographer.
I do well at my full-time job because I face my fears head on. I interact with, make decisions for, and establish a repertoire with people every single day. I now help plan events. I can deliver bad news. I can make suggestions that help better my clients' ability to reach their audiences.
But fear can be a double-edged sword for me. When it comes to my design and illustration work, I'm always fearful that I'm not good enough. I've gotten a decent amount of freelance business for doing it part-time, but I often still feel like a hack. I worry that I'm floundering along with no real clue what I'm doing and I'll never be good enough to work at an ad agency or creative firm. This has held me back from reaching my full potential for the last couple years. Don't get me wrong, at 25 I've done much more than other people my age. I've been featured in local art galleries, I'm published in a magazine that reaches thousands of people, and I get hired to do work with local bands and businesses, but I've still feel subpar.
I know that a lot of it has to do with me seeing other, more experienced designers out there just making some amazing strides. And I also see people my age with a very specific style and just killing it. It's all kind of intimidating. For the longest time I was afraid that I'd never figure out my own style or what I was good at. I know, I know, a lot of people feel the same way, but I still felt alone.
In the last several months, I've been pushing to challenge myself. I've spent my free time focusing on building my portfolio, adding new skills, and establishing my style. I've learned that I'm very good at vector work. Illustrator works well for me and I love simplicity. Icons, logos, and vector art really come alive in my hands. When it comes to digital painting, I have a sketchier style that is not rendered to the full extent that others do. It is on that fine line of cartoon-like and realism. I've let go of the idea of being a comic book artist and found the line of the dream and what I'm actually good at.
Now that I know where my strengths lay, I can hone them and make an impression on potential employers. I am shifting into the mindset of getting into design and illustration full-time. I believe that it's time to leave the nest and tackle my dreams head on. Hopefully, I'll get where I want to be and I can show people that never giving up can result in major rewards.
Below is a design that I finished up earlier today. Last year, I would've never dreamed of making something like this. It's fairly simple, but it was something new for me. Let me know what you think.