State of the world/state of my mind

 
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It’s been a little while since my last blog post. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been so busy with a million exciting projects but that wouldn’t be entirely true.

I mean, I have been busy, partially with exciting projects and partially with shitty drudgery that pays the bills. But I’ve also had enough time to watch the entirety of Stranger Things 2 within the space of a couple of days, so. (V. important side note: how freakin’ GOOD is Erica, Lucas’ sassy little sister? Defs one of my fav things to come from this season).

The truth is, though, I’ve opened up countless Word docs and started writing about a bunch of stuff, like woes about my age, creative envy, the concept of home, self care and everything in between.

They’re all things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, which makes me think I should probably write about them. But when I try, it’s exhausting. It’s like I’m trying really hard to care about these things. I do care about these things. But it’s all been feeling kind of pointless and self-indulgent to devote 1,000 words to—and hijack the attention of (a mere few) readers—for some article about something as seemingly frivolous as art when the world is going down the toilet.

Like, for instance, the whole Weinstein thing and the ensuing #metoo campaign and how dudes finally are like ‘huh, ok, maybe women aren’t lying or exaggerating when they talk about being harassed/abused/raped/disrespected/creeped out by dudes EVERY SINGLE DAY EVER’ despite us telling them every single day ever.

And how Kevin Spacey’s deflecting from his gross predatory paedo behaviour by choosing this exact moment to come out, and how too many men are just plain predatory, and Dustin Hoffman and Brett Ratner and Bill Cosby and Jeremy Piven and even Nick fucking Xenophon and and and.

Or when ugly, nasty, outright homophobia has become an ‘opinion’ towards which we’re asked to show respect during this stupid plebiscite that by definition is disrespectful towards the LGBTIQ people in our community.

And when our pathetic excuse for a government just fucking abandons hundreds of refugees on Manus who are clearly worthless because they don’t hold a passport from a country populated predominantly by white people, and piece-of-shit Dutton is all like IT’S THE ADVOCATES WHO ARE MAKING THIS SITUATION SO BAD. (Actual important side note: there are things we can do to help).

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When white supremacists in Tennessee are all like ‘white lives matter’ with absolutely no fucking understanding of their loftiest of privilege or what the Black Lives Matter movement even stands for, and how the local paper in my parents’ Victorian country town just yesterday ran a classified ad placed by someone wanting to form a white pride alliance there.

When a brown man tragically kills eight and injures a dozen in NYC and Trump’s response is NOT IN THE USA EXTREME VETTING PROGRAM SCRAP THE VISA DIVERSITY PROGRAM WE MUST GET MUCH TOUGHER, but when a white dude kills 59 and wounds hundreds in Vegas it’s like warmest sympathies to those affected GOD BLESS AMERICA ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That’s just the stuff that gets reported widely. God knows there are terrible things that happen that barely get a couple of inches of column space in the paper, like the devastating bombing in Somalia a few weeks back, and the ongoing plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

So, I’m angry. And I’m even angrier after just writing all that out. It all feels so terribly futile sometimes, and in combination with a few weeks of extra crap mental health, lately it’s hard not to feel like everything I’m working towards is just plain fucking meaningless.

But while writing this post—admittedly, with no real ending in mind, it was just going to be a big ol’ rant—I’m reminded of some actually great things happening in the world. Like how the Queensland government has withdrawn their financial support for the Adani coalmine (small victories, y’all). Or the Twitter employee who, on his last day of working there yesterday, deactivated Trump’s account for an incredible 11 minutes. The biting sass of Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal and Chrissy Teigan’s glorious Twitter presence and the hard, relentless work of Clementine Ford. Steve Harrington’s hair (still in the Stranger Things 2 bubble, sorry). Patton Oswalt’s Annihilation (TEARS). Broad City always and forever (though season four is kinda missing the mark for me so far).

So many things, often simple things, that make you think the world actually has some good people in it. And that the good people are often creating things that help the rest of us get through the shit the bad people create, often using said shit as fodder for the good shit that makes us happy (hello, every single Kate McKinnon sketch on SNL).

So I guess I’m realising first-hand that there’s always room for beauty and art in the world. Even when things are dire. Or maybe especially when things are dire.

Four things I learned at Make Nice

So.

Where do I start? I am delirious with my first cold in years rn, or more likely the flu, courtesy of a sick passenger (probably) on QF574 and my aversion to the idea of getting the flu shot. Add to that an intense weekend in Sydney for Make Nice: An Un-Conference for Creative Women and I really shouldn’t be surprised by my current state.

And while I’ve consumed more tea in the past 72 hours than in the whole year prior (I don’t really get tea?) and am running a white-hot fever, I would do it all over again. Make Nice was THE GOODS. I knew it would be.

There were, however, moments when I wondered why the hell I bought a ticket, particularly as the event drew nearer. Not because I had doubts about its value—not by a long shot. It was more that I’m a card-carrying introvert for whom spending a day in a room full of accomplished creative women—the premise behind the conference, or any conference for that matter—literally makes me quiver with fear. I am awkward and nervous and sometimes misunderstand social cues, and accidentally drink too much in social settings to deal, or just avoid those social settings altogether.

For that very reason, I lack a strong network of creative women. But since I stumbled upon Make Nice at the start of the year, probs while trawling Instagram one day (I don’t remember), I’ve managed to cobble together somewhat of an online network through its AMAZING Slack group. And the conference presented an opportunity to turn this into an IRL thing, at least for a day. So while I was terrified/excited as I bought my ticket, I knew I had to go—that if I let my fear take the reins in this decision, I would regret it.

And it’s like the Make Nice organisers KNOW THIS, because they’d been busting out Instagram nuggets like this in the lead-up to the event:

Uh, YES. Source:  @makenice_.

Uh, YES. Source: @makenice_.

The conference itself was literally heaving with little bits of wisdom and tips I’m eager to digest and put into action. That is, once I have the strength to get out of the PJs I’ve been living in for the past four days and can open my eyes in a lit room for longer than five minutes (don’t ask me how I wrote this; it was a labour of love to say the least).

But in the meantime, here’s my four favourite takeaways from Make Nice over the weekend:

1. The success of it is doing the thing, not making the perfect thing

Designer and illustrator Becky Simpson.

Designer and illustrator Becky Simpson.

So, OK. Becky Simpson. Or beckymsimps, as I tend to know her in my head (obv spend way too much time on Insta). Becky’s presence at Make Nice was definitely one of the big drawcards for me. She’s a Nashville-based designer and illustrator with her own online shop Chipper Things, and someone I’ve admired from afar for a while. And since I’m an emerging illustrator harbouring dreams of one day opening my own shop or space, I felt I had a lot to learn from Becky.

I was furiously trying to keep up in my notebook with what Becky had to say about her career and the lessons she learned along the way. She was also MEGA HILARIOUS and witty and sharp, which is always a lovely thing to learn about someone you admire.

But the one thing Becky said that resonated with me SO HARD was how her definition of success has shifted to just doing it rather than doing it perfectly.

Hello, lightbulb moment! For literal YEARS, aka my whole adult life up to around two years ago, the terror I felt around making things that weren’t perfect paralysed me from making anything at all. I’m not really sure how I managed to push past that deeply entrenched feeling when I launched my blog Outlier last year and started consistently putting things out into the world; I think I just became exhausted by it all, and decided I’d rather do something, even if it’s shit, than do nothing.

So maybe I’ve understood the sentiment behind Becky’s statement for a little while now, though not quite recognised it on a conscious level. New life motto, y’all.

Other truth bombs from the mouth of Becky:

  • Nobody’s going to pay you to do something you’ve never done before

  • Starting something now is better than starting something later

  • Allow baby steps

  • Slow progress is still progress

  • It takes discipline to design a life for ourselves. Settling is a decision

2. I’m usually the one sitting at the back pretending to text

Illustrator, designer and make Nice founder Ngaio Parr.

Illustrator, designer and make Nice founder Ngaio Parr.

This is something Make Nice founder and director Ngaio Parr (also: graphic designer, illustrator, curator, UTS teacher, superhero) said during the conference—one she conceived, propelled and built on her own steam (not forgetting her amazing team, though!).

I doubt Ngaio meant to say this as something to take home from the conference, but FUCK this resonated with me. I’m usually the one to sit at the back and pretend I’m texting! And hearing someone like Ngaio say they’re uncomfortable in these types of situations—and then not just putting herself in it but actually engineering it around her and for others—was kind of huge for me (see: intro where I talk about how awkward/antisocial I am).

It’s not a practical takeaway or anything I can put into action, but it’s a statement I’ll definitely refer back to when I feel like declining networking event invitations/leaving the house in general (jj).

3. It’s on you to show people what you want them to see

Journalist and podcaster Ann Friedman.

Journalist and podcaster Ann Friedman.

I was admittedly unfamiliar with Ann Friedman until I saw her name on the Make Nice line-up, at which point I immediately sought out and subscribed to her podcast Call Your Girlfriend (Ngaio said it was a winner, and LORD I trust Ngaio’s judgement).

Now I find myself low-key obsessed with the woman, particularly as a failed journalist (me, not her, CLEARLY), and I was really excited to hear what she had to say in the context of the conference. Ann is a super engaging speaker and, like with Becky, I struggled to keep up with all the enlightening things she said, including my fav li’l nugget about it being your responsibility to show people what you want them to see.

YESYESYESANNYES. For me, this echoes what Becky said about how no one’s going to pay you to do something you’ve never done before. You need to prove you’re capable of doing the things you want other people to trust you to do. You need to take initiative and create the things you want to create, regardless of who’s paying you (or, more likely, not) to do it.

This is a lesson that took me an embarrassingly long time to learn. It’s why I failed as a journalist (though, to be fair, I ultimately didn’t want to be one), wondering why editors and publications weren’t beating a path to my door despite having written not much of anything at all. I didn’t show anyone what I wanted them to see. And DAMMIT if I’m going to make that mistake with illustration.

Here’s a few other things Ann said that I liked:

  • Look for people who are frustrated by the same things as you

  • Asking questions is the best thing you can do for your work

  • When do you do your best work? Work out a rough schedule for when you work best and stick to it

  • Think about your work and what you like/dislike—what does that say about the conditions surrounding the creation of that work?

4. When you believe everyone thinks a certain thing about you or your work, question it—who is ‘everyone’?

Dancer, writer and activist Amrita Hepi.

Dancer, writer and activist Amrita Hepi.

I’ve been lucky enough to not have received much negative feedback in my career at all (the joys of being unsuccessful and unknown!), but I have experienced rejection from the likes of publications and potential collaborators, and THAT SHIT HURTS. My immediate response is that my work intrinsically sucks and if they’re rejecting me then of COURSE their opinion speaks for everyone and I should just fucking give up.

As an early-career illustrator, I think I’m yet to develop the thicker skin that comes with the experience of consistent rejection, though I’m sure it never gets to a point where a publication tells you your illustrations aren’t the style they're looking for and it just rolls off your back. Not for me, anyway (sensitive, no?).

Part of it comes down to questioning the ‘everyone’ portion of that internal monologue. Who the fuck is ‘everyone’? Answer: definitely not literally everyone. Not even close to most or many people. I need to hold tight to this advice, which came during the final session of Make Nice titled Imposter Syndrome and Pressures to be Perfect. I’m pretty sure it came from Amrita Hepi, a pretty amazing dancer, writer and activist, who also led us through the least lame energiser I’ve ever experienced at a conference.

There are SO many other things I picked up at Make Nice that I’d like to share but, truth be told, committing more time and energy to drawing more portraits while I cycle between sweating through my PJs and rugging up under piles of blankets just isn’t going to happen.

Either way, I am a Make Nice convert for life. Thanks for the good times, team!

 

Things that got me through this week

I recently marked six months of living in Perth.

When I last left Perth in 2013, I knew it was for good. I was born and raised here, and have come and gone a number of times as an adult, but this time was it.

Except it wasn’t. While I finally started to find my feet in Melbourne, my husband felt differently. Also: house prices. And so not long after we got married, almost exactly four years after we’d arrived, we left again.

While the decision to move back was mutual, let’s just say it’s not a decision I would have reached independently. Even though Perth is well and truly where I’m now settled, I don’t really feel at home. I knew I wouldn’t. I have some kind of subconscious sense that I’m just here temporarily, and that soon we’ll be back in our cold little Flemington Victorian where the Citylink cheesestick is visible from our porch and the local cafe owner shouts us to free coffees because we’re mates.

But the truth is someone else lives in our house now, admiring the cheesestick as they leave for work and grabbing coffee from our local. And we’ve since become home owners, too.

That knowledge of being settled in a place you know isn’t the right fit for you can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s hard. But I've been trying really hard to focus on all the good things I have going on in my life. You know, practising gratitude and shit.

One of those good things is that I’m flying out to Sydney this weekend to attend Make Nice, a creative women’s conference founded and organised by the amazing Ngaio Parr. I am SO FREAKING EXCITED, not only to hear some amazing women speak, meet some online buddies IRL and Learn Important Career Shit™, but, admittedly, to get out of Perth and experience a bustling city again (sry Perth, maybe one day I’ll stop shitting on you). Also: NSW heatwave, sister catch-ups and flights with QantasnotTiger. It should be good.

Anyway, in that spirit of gratitude, here’s four things that got me through this week:

1. Amy @ Pikaland’s five-day style course

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If you read my last blog post, you’ll be familiar with the gripping anxiety I've been experiencing around my illustration style. It’s still there, of course, and I can’t see it abating any time soon. But I feel like I stumbled upon this five-day course at literally the perfect time. I’ve been visiting illustration blog Pikaland by Amy Ng consistently for at least a couple of years and didn’t notice the sign-up link to this course until the exact week my style anxiety (and probably general anxiety) hit a peak. Maybe because it’s new? I don’t know. In any case, thanks, universe!

Or more to the point: thanks, Amy! Seriously, if anything I wrote resonated with you, sign up for this email course NOW. It’s free, and it not only provides practical exercises to help you hone your style, but it’s so super reassuring. It literally spoke straight to my anxieties:

“When you find yourself still torn by the different directions your work can take, ask yourself this: what kind of work will I be happiest doing a few months down the line? A year maybe? Or even a few years? Maybe you’re certain you want to pursue one thing, or maybe you’re not sure at all.”

“A combination of [your history, interests, experiences and more], including the technicalities of how you create your work, is what will make you stand out as an artist.”

“There is no one way of working and if you like working in a variety of styles, so be it! If you want to focus the way you create by nailing that one style that you'd be happy with, then go that route.”

Amy also links to this excellent article by illustrator Kyle T. Webster about why you don’t need to pick one style. Like I said: it spoke to me, you guys.

I’m still pushing my way through the practical components of Amy’s course, but it’s already making me feel a little more hopeful that I can develop a cohesive style I’m happy with—and that if I don’t, that’s still OK.

 

2. Sweet potatoes

My husband’s CrossFit place started a six-week paleo challenge last week for their members. It’s entirely opt-in, but he signed up, and I decided to do it with him. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while to see how it might affect my shitty fatigue and shitty moods born of my shitty thyroid, but it always seemed kind of an impossible idea to stop eating pizza and all the cheese. But here we are.

At the start of the challenge, I put all our non-paleo pantry foods into a big Aldi bag to stash in the laundry for six weeks (we’ll meet again soon, tortilla chips!). I reluctantly threw away the few non-paleo items we had in the fridge, except for three different cheeses I just couldn’t bring myself to dispose of, so I just pushed them to the back of the fridge behind a big jar of pickles.

Needless to say, planning meals sans grains (and cheese) is hard! That is, until you factor in sweet potato. What do I eat instead of bread? Sweet potato. A good sub for pasta? Sweet potato. No tortillas? Sweet potato. Can't eat rice? Sweet potato.

We have been eating a LOT of sweet potato. And it’s kind of been getting me through the week. Don’t get me wrong: while I am a little more headachey than usual this week, I am enjoying eating this way (I think?). I already don’t eat sugar, so I think that has, mercifully, made the transition to paleo much easier.

 

3. Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba

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I ordered Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women from Book Depository (are we still allowed to use BD? I always feel bad for ordering from there but it’s just so damn convenient) and it arrived last week and I’ve been turning to it at least a few times a day ever since.

Little Black Book is the work of Otegha Uwagba, the brains behind Women Who, a “URL and IRL community for creative working women”. And fuck, this book is small but it packs a punch. It cuts through the bullshit to give tips on everything you’d want to know about being a woman in the creative industries, like overcoming creative blocks, building your brand, getting paid what you deserve and public speaking.

The book also finishes on an excellent Q&A chapter that shares advice from prominent and successful women like writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Refinery 29 co-founder Piera Gelardi and editor-in-chief of the wonderful Riposte Magazine Danielle Pender. Some quotes that really resonated with me:

“Take up space. Don’t be apologetic about your ideas and opinions. Men aren’t.”

“You have to be your own cheerleader, even if it makes you cringe at first.”

“Don’t be swayed by how other people define success. It’s not one size fits all.”

Word to the wise: Women Who also has a great weekly newsletter full of interesting links and resources that you should definitely sign up to if you’re a woman and if you’re creative.

 

4. The return of Broad City

I’ve been hanging for season four of Broad City since, like, early last year and am SO VERY VERY EXCITED IT’S BACK.

I immediately fell in in love with Broad City when I first watched it a few years ago, which is pretty unusual for me. It takes me a long time to warm up to things. Case in point: I abandoned Master of None two eps deep into the first season and didn’t return to it until about a year later, something that still shocks me because MON is a masterpiece and I heart Aziz Ansari 4eva.

I can’t really explain what it is I love so much about Broad City. I mean, obviously, it’s freaking hilarious. The celebrity cameos are genius (Mara Wilson in the Mrs Doubtfire-inspired episode zomg). It’s worth it just for Bevvers alone. And it has an endearing and inspiring back story.

I was struggling to put my feelings about this show into words until I read this Junkee article today that basically managed to sum it up: it’s the best love story on TV, hands down. I can’t really say anything more astute than the article without plagiarising it, so just go read it to understand where I’m coming from.

But I also have to admit to seeing a lot of myself in Abbi. I once worked as a cleaner (or, as they dubbed it, ‘membercare assistant’) at a high-end gym where, honestly, people did throw towels at you on their way out and pubes did always clog the showers; I’m pretty awkward and say awkward things and mumble to myself a lot; and I’m hustling to make something of my illustration career while frustrating and sometimes comical roadblocks seem to pop up.

It’s not a perfect show, as the author of the Junkee article points out, but damn it if it doesn’t have the most heart and provide the most lols. Go watch it if you haven’t already.

Style paralysis

 
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I’ve been experiencing a bit of a crisis of confidence lately.

I’m a newcomer to illustration. With zero education in the field (I have a degree in science that I’ve never used and a degree in journalism I’ve semi-used), I’ve fallen hard and fast for illustration in the past year. As evidenced on my interview project Outlier, I’m obsessed with learning as much as I can about other illustrators. I can happily spend all day at my desk making illustrations. Illustration is my happy place, and I’m glad I finally found it after always feeling my writing career wasn’t quite ‘it’.

When I started taking illustration a bit more seriously about a year ago, I kind of just picked up where I left off in high school and uni, stylistically speaking. I never really experimented or anything before launching Outlier—I just drew and painted the way I knew then.

Until I realised I was kind of hating both the process and the result. So I slowly started testing different approaches and styles a few months ago. I started opening my eyes a bit more to other illustrators and their styles.

And I started to feel a little overwhelmed at all the possibilities.

I’m impatient. I also have very high expectations of myself. And I’m prone to mental health issues. This has created a perfect storm of hating myself as I struggle to forge a clear, consistent illustration style.

I know it sounds totally self-indulgent and just, like, unimportant. Homeless women struggle to access tampons during their periods and so many countries are currently dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change and the High Court head-scratchingly allowed this farcical postal survey and, just, Trump. I know.

But my building anxiety around developing and refining my style refuses to budge. In my hurry to propel my half-baked career forward, I’ve been putting pressure on myself to nail my style, like, yesterday.

Instagram, unsurprisingly, is stoking that fire of uncertainty. On the whole, I find Instagram crazy-inspiring. But lately it’s been making me feel so bad about myself and where I’m at with both my style and career. I know it’s a rookie mistake (I’m a rookie, so), but I can’t help but compare my work to that of other illustrators.

The problem is those illustrators are established, often formally trained in the arts, and have been making work for many years. I’m comparing my insides to their outsides, as the saying goes. It’s dangerous territory.

I think some of my anxiety also stems from the fact that my work already has an audience via Outlier—a small one, but an audience nonetheless. It’s really painful to think about having to go through my trial and error phase on a semi-public stage. It would be nice to have been able to make the shitty work I have to make in order to get to the good work behind closed doors; to have been able to practice and hone in anonymity.

Which, sure, I can definitely do. But there’s never enough time to work on Outlier, which means I expect myself to nail my illustrations the first time, and quickly. There’s no room for error lest I delay my publication schedule, which means no room for experimentation or play. Which means my work stays the same. I feel I’ve stagnated, and I’m too afraid to shake things up.

Hence the paralysis.

At least I know my fear of looking back at old work as crap isn’t novel. Harking back to an interview I had with illustrator Evie Cahir late last year, I recall what she said about the terror of knowing your current work might (read: probably definitely will) one day embarrass you with how shitty it has become with the passage of time. She wasn’t necessarily talking about it from the same perspective as me, but I still find it comforting:

“The fear of knowing that in a year or two months or a week the work will be really stale: it’s scary shit!” Cahir said.

Preach.

And while I was revisiting an interview with illustrator Ping Zhu on the Great Discontent the other day, I noticed something interesting. This illustration is one of Zhu’s early works:

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In fact, the caption says it’s the first illustration Zhu had published, in the New York Times back in 2009. But if you’re familiar with Zhu, you know her work now looks different. Like, really different. Like this:

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And this:

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That is a pretty huge shift in style over eight years. I love all the pieces, but I think it’s fair to say you’d barely recognise them as coming from the same person.

And as I was researching my recent feature on Melbourne illustrator Carla McRae for Outlier, I discovered a pretty noticeable progression between McRae’s older work and her current style. Exhibit A is from around four or so years ago:

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And here’s some work McRae created more recently:

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Obviously, the fact that Zhu and McRae’s style has evolved isn’t a revelation. That’s par for the course.

What heartens me is just how much the illustrators’ respective style has changed over the years—and even more so, that they were professional illustrators at both point A and point B. They had to start at point A in order to get to point B. They would never be creating work in their own distinctive, beautiful styles if they hadn’t begun and then continued to make work.

When it comes to my own style, I can definitely see a marked shift over the short time I’ve been illustrating. This was the first ever portrait I posted on Outlier, of illustrator Dawn Tan:

 
 

And here’s one that’s just a few weeks old, of illustrator (I told you I'm obsessed) Lisa Congdon:

 
 

I mean, I like the first one. I think it’s proportional and true to life and ... nice? Some people might even prefer it to my current work. But it doesn’t light me on fire. And, like I said, I never enjoyed painting in this style, which is why I started pushing myself to explore different techniques in the first instance.

Like Zhu and McRae’s early work, it’s not necessarily worse. It’s different. It’s point A.

The more recent portrait I like a lot more. When I look at it I feel excited—which is how I felt when I was painting it.

I think that’s a good sign that I’m on the right track. But sometimes it feels like I’m drowning under the self-imposed pressure of getting it right right now. Of having a fully honed style that I can smash out without thinking about it too much. Of having my work immediately recognisable as mine. Of being confident in approaching publications and art directors with my work. Of knowing the work I’ll create in three months’ time or in a year will more or less be of the same style I work in today.

When I interviewed Congdon (see: portrait above) for Outlier, I asked her about how she developed her style.

“Finding your own style as an artist takes so many years, lots of experimentation, trial and failure, and working on making your style distinctive,” she said.

“In many ways, finding your style is really just years and years of drawing and painting.”

Which is a sentiment echoed by Cahir, that li’l go-getter:

“I think it comes down to practising; trying really hard at getting better. What I tell myself is that there’s no retrograde with skillset or work. If you create more, it’s not as scary.”

I guess I know what I need to do.

Outlier update: new interview with Carla McRae

 
 

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting young Melbourne illustrator Carla McRae. She invited me into her home—a pretty incredible apartment in North Melbourne that she shares with a bunch of other talented young’uns including fellow illustrator Evie Cahir—and I took her photo as she worked in her sun-drenched home studio. She was busy trying to finish a commission for Pentagram (the Pentagram—goals AF, right?), which she has since completed. It’s pretty amazing.

It was really inspiring to see Carla at work. I’ve been a long-time fan of her beautifully distinctive minimal illustrations, and I was really happy to learn that she’s not just majorly talented but also an A+ human.

Here’s some my favourite things Carla had to say in our interview:

“Over the last few years, some of the companies I didn't hear back from [when I cold-emailed them at the start of my career] have now hired me for work and I’m represented by one of them! I think it’s a common story that once you stop over-thinking and start working, that’s when things slowly happen.”

“Sometimes it does feel a bit pointless! There is so much amazing work, so many talented people, and it takes so long and so much practice to level up and get better.”

“I find to get past self-doubt you actually just have to get down and do the work; get a self-confidence boost by impressing yourself first.”

“My brain can always make me feel like the next job I get will be my last.”

And here’s a selection illustrations and analogue photographs from the interview:

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Read the post in its entirety here.