Always learning and always improving

Today's post (as suggested by the title) is about learning. On Friday I had a fantastic chat with an illustrator/book designer/ art director, Julie Robine. It was organised through Owen Davey's brilliant 30 minute portfolio chat initiative. These meetings offer aspiring and emerging illustrators an opportunity to talk to industry experts and I am SO grateful to Owen for setting these up. I never buy posters because I'm 22 and I'm constantly moving, but I think I am going to buy one of his gorgeous posters (for someone else) as a small way of showing my appreciation.

My chat with Julie was so productive and inspiring. She really took the time to give me feedback and answer my questions . I know deep down that hard work is essential and that if you are actively working towards something, you will be getting better and learning things- although the speed that this happens varies greatly. It was evident when I worked really hard to be able to listen to and speak Spanish and, although I have a long way to go, I know my illustration has improved hugely since I started using my iPad in October 2019. That said, it was really good to be reminded during our chat that we are always learning. Sometimes you just need to hear people say it out loud and meet people that have put in the work, continue to put in the work and learn and are now doing the work they want to do- and still learning!

Sometimes it can be frustrating feeling like my composition and perspective skills restrict me from creating the images I want to, the sorts of illustrations I see in my favourite children's books, but whenever I feel this way I try and say to myself "not yet". It's one of those cheesy bits of advice I've heard in loads of podcasts but hey, it works and it gives me hope and the motivation to keep working. Often I want to create final pieces, but I'm trying to get into the habit of just practicing. Drawing, not with the intention that my practice will translate directly into a portfolio piece, but that it will improve my overall skill as an aspiring illustrator. Growth mindset- look it up if you haven't heard of it before.

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