Hopes, Fears & Opportunities

Hopes, Fears & Opportunities

As the end of my university career looms nearer and nearer, I begin to worry and wish about many things. Where will I be in seven months time? Will I be an illustrator or will I end up not using my degree?

I hope that I’ll have developed as an artist, honing my skills and developing my creative side. I know I’m capable of fulfilling the briefs I receive, but I do find I put a lot of pressure on myself which stifles my creative process as I am unable to step back from my work and see it from different angles. Before university I was much more creative but I wasn’t neccessarily working towards anything or for someone else who’s vision I was meant to reproduce. Infact, I was the opposite of what I am now, creative but unwilling to create work for others. I need to return to the point where I open myself up to more idea whilst also fulfilling the desires of the clients, I need to find the happy medium.

I hope to have the confidence in my work to attract clients, to approach agents/art directors and just to basically push myself to where I want to be. I hope I can get over my distinct lack of self confidence and have more faith in my self, my talents and my abilities. I hope to take criticism less to heart and not let it destroy me like I do but instead to take it in my stride and learn from it. I appear to others as someone who is confident in themselves and their work, but I am not. No one doubts themselves more or takes criticism more to heart than I do. I place so much pressure on myself, for no one but myself, and when I fail to get what I want, I berate myself and crush any semblance of wellbeing I may have. This is definitely one of my biggest failings in life and I definitely to work on getting over it.

I fear my work won’t be strong enough or desirable for the industry. I find that when I am happy with a particular piece it is never well received by others, whilst when I do a piece just to fulfill the brief it’s the favourtite. I don’t want to end up as an illustrator purely going through the motions of pleasing others. If I’m not happy doing my work, I might as well not be doing it. I want pleasure out of my career. This is where my lack of self-confidence comes into play again; if I haven’t got the confidence to sell myself, no one’s going to buy.

I fear that I will end up working in retail rather than illustration or another creative field. I know I am meant to be working doing something creative and I feel illustration is it. I need to push myself to get out there and meet people, get work and share my work with others so I am able to make a living out of what I love.

I fear my fear of networking and my shyness will let me down and stop me from taking the bull by the horns. I am rubbish and nervous in situations where I am meeting new people and have always been happy in my own company. I am my own worst enemy and can talk myself out of doing anything, even days before it’s meant to happen. I fear rejection and find keeping to myself is the easiest way to avoid it, but obviously, in an industry where I’ll be working for others, this just won’t do. I have a lot of ambition but lack the drive due to thee fears. I am working on overcoming this and I feel the portfolio visits we’ve been asked to arrange are definitely helping. I need to listen to the positives and see others as warm, helping beings rather than something to be wary of.

I need to take advantage of the opportunities offered to be in this day and age, whilst in university and that the times in general offer. The internet is a great tool and should be used to promote oneself. I have a website, which by the grace of some being has gotten me paid work opportunities. If I hadn’t taken the chance to build my website when I did, I’d be a lot further behind than I am now. Of course, the internet also offers the chance to network without the stress of the face to face encounter. I feel much more comfortable meeting someone in the flesh if I’ve had the opportunity to sniff them out digitally. I feel like I already know them and am much more at ease with the situation.

There is also the opportunities university offers, such as the visiting lectures from other illustrators. It’s a chance to learn from them, to listen to their advice and get an understanding of how they approached life after graduation. I have met some wonderfully kind people through these events and I hope that they remain contacts well into my working future. Our tutors ask us to do a lot of things, some things a lot of us think futile or a waste of time, but I believe every opportunity offered has it’s value and want to take advantage of it whilst I still have someone there offering them up. Obviously, not everything will be of a help to me, but if I don’t take that chance, I will never know what I could have learned from each event/person/lecture. Of course, there is also the opportunity for placements and the portfolio viewings our tutors suggest, which not only look good on the CV but help us grow, witness the industry first hand and the all important chance to network.

This is just the beginning of my hopes and fears, some are much deeper down and harder to admit and realise. If I find myself digging them out from the depths of Megan, I will continue to share them here.