The Start Of Something New...
So, how did I come to realise that drawing was what I wanted to do as a career?
Well, I knew I loved to draw, and everyone who knew me knew I loved to draw. But it took me a very long time to realise that this is what I truly wanted to do with my life.
Looking back at each stage of my life, art and drawing was a constant. Art was my favourite subject at school - I even loved the homework (I know, such a nerd right). At university, I was taking requests from my friends and drawing pictures for them. At work I was doodling and sketching on notepads in almost every meeting (helped me stay awake for a few of them). I would draw during my lunch breaks, on the train to work, at home after work. If there was a pen and paper in front of me, I would find myself drawing something - anything. Colleagues at work could see how much I loved it and my passion for it - some of them asked me to draw pictures for them as gifts for their friends and family. And that's where the commissions started. Not many, but a few here and there.
T-rex sketch done during work lunch break and coloured with coffee
Spider-Man biro sketch done during work lunch break and coloured with sharpie pens
A few years ago, I created an Instagram account to showcase my art (it's @bonniemarieart if you want to the check it out!). From the moment I started posting, I was encouraged to keep drawing. With every positive comment, like and follow, I believed in my talent more and more. It also pushed me to practice all the time, and I can see the result of all that practice when I look at the stuff I draw now and compare it to some I've done in the past.
It was also a window to see incredible art from other amazing artists. When I saw what some people were creating, it made me want to learn more about different artistic methods.
So I got myself a Mac and a Wacom tablet and started doing digital art. I won't lie, when I first started drawing on that tablet, it was so hard! It kind of felt like I had just grown another arm and I couldn't used it properly yet (I'm not good with analogies...). But like Bambi learned to walk, it was slow and bumpy at first, but I got the hang of it eventually. So if you have just started drawing digitally and are getting frustrated - don't give up, just keep practicing! Use the tools you have, watch youtube tutorials and ask other artists. There is always an opportunity to learn :)
One of my first digital drawings (pure coincidence that it's Bambi!)
During my time at work, I got involved in some external projects for charities which involved illustration work. Luckily, by the time these opportunities came around, I was somewhat comfortable with drawing digitally. It was working on these projects as well as doing my own stuff for my Instagram account that just made me think "I could really do this". Not just on the side of a full time job working in an office, but officially as a career.
After almost 6 years at my job, I decided it was time. So, I handed in my notice and told my manager that I am following my dreams. When I started telling people the news, I received a lot of "Congratulations!" and "Finally! You're doing something with your talent", and even "I never thought this day would come". Honestly, I was a little scared at first - I was losing the security of a regular income and the stability of a full time job. But, I was excited more than anything. Excited to do what I was good at, what I loved and what I believe I was made to do. I felt free. It was kind of like a revelation. I finally knew who I was - for those of you who have seen Moana, you know the scene that would go well with this moment!
So how did I make the decision to pursue the dream?
All of the above. My love and passion for it, receiving so much encouragement from people around me and most importantly, the belief in myself to try.
I would like to just thank everyone who has supported me so far in pursuing my dream - your positivity, kind words and encouragement has driven me to get this far, so thank you!