What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
One office I worked in had a poster by the women’s network which said “If you’re here, you’re qualified”. This was just when I’d been promoted and started a new job; walking past that poster every morning helped me to put aside my imposter syndrome.
We tend to assume that others know something we don’t, or have some special skills that we don’t. It’s only when you actually go for it that you realise none of that is true. With my illustration, I haven’t had any formal training or qualifications but I create art and that’s all that matters.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar role?
Firstly, I would create an Instagram account to share your work. Start off small so that you can draw regularly and, importantly, you can experiment with different styles and subject matters.
Don’t worry at all about having a consistent style or account in the early period because otherwise you won’t get the chance to develop your artistic identity. Sometimes you’ll create works that you don’t particularly like but they’re just as important because you learn what you want to take forward and which aspects you want to disregard. Keep building on drawings and taking small things forward, and eventually you’ll converge on a style.
My other tip when trying out styles is to focus on which processes you actually enjoy. For example, I’ve always drawn with pencil and graphite, I’ve never been much of a painter. Digital illustration offered so many possibilities with all these cool paintbrushes, but as I created my pieces I realised I wasn’t enjoying the process, and I moved more towards pencils as that was much more natural to me. Never forget that the process also matters and your enjoyment can be a good sign of whether or not you should pursue something.