Saturday, December 30, 2023

No, You are "not" too old to be an illustrator

It's cliche, I get it. We see this type of title way too many times for just about any topic, but hear me out. I promise it's not as boring as it sounds. Society often imposes arbitrary age limits on many pursuits, but creativity knows no boundaries. I started thinking of ever becoming an illustrator a bit later in life (at 41 to be exact), with only passion and determination, I dived into the limitless resources online and offline for everything style and color theory. It would be a lie to say it wasn't overwhelming. Everyone draws so well and all of them have amazing styles. It was frustrating and so much fun at the same time I couldn't stop looking at them. That was when I knew I was on the right path. By then for me, age has to just be a number. There were no other options. I only focus on what I want and the dedication I can bring to the craft. 

Besides, I found out later on there are many perks to starting something a bit later. Here are some;

1. You Have Your Experience as an Advantage:

    Your wealth of life experiences can be translated onto the canvas. Your unique perspective and personal history can infuse your illustrations with depth and authenticity. Your art becomes a reflection of your viewpoints and the rich tapestry of your existence. By the time I started on the journey, I'd been doodling and painting with ink and watercolor for many years, been to several places, experienced different seasons, and met various types of people (and food). All of which help add "flavor" to my work. 

2. You can Learn at Your Own Pace:

   The beauty of being self-taught is the freedom to learn at your own pace. Online tutorials, books, and communities of fellow artists are abundant resources you can explore. Unlike a formal art education, you have the flexibility to choose what, when, and how you learn. This plays well into time management in your busy day-to-day life where you might already have some other responsibilities and chores laid out for you each day.

3. You Get to Overcoming Self-Doubt:

   Age can sometimes be accompanied by self-doubt, questioning whether it's worth starting something new. My very first tool in the digital drawing world was a mobile phone. I drew every day with just my fingers, didn't like what I saw completely but kept on drawing still. A full year went by before I upgraded to a low-spec 10-inch screen tablet. By that time, I have already developed my own style and color pallets. Wouldn't it be great to be able to overcome your self-doubt and be happy with your own creation every single day?

So, here we are at the end of this journey together contemplating the idea that age is just a number in the realm of creativity. As a 43-year-old self-taught illustrator, I can safely say for a fact that you are not too old to embark on this artistic adventure. It is so good to have something you love to do. To create beautiful artwork each and every day. Trust me. Just start. Everything else will fall into place.

Until next time..


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