There is definitely something empowering about transforming words that were used to try to hurt or degrade you and putting them on a tote bag to wear proudly in public. Calling me a whale is just going to result in me drawing an adorable whale with the words "Fat and Okay With It". If I get some long winded email about my obese lifestyle, then I make a nice cross stitch inspired drawing that says "I Didn't Choose the Obese Lifestyle, the Obese Lifestyle Chose Me". It's great cheap therapy and sort of a middle finger to the haters. I like making pretty things and I like being fat. I'm happy being a fat person. Nobody is obligated to be in love with their body but we all deserve a chance to be confident and treated fairly in this world, regardless of our health or size.
I've been drawing digitally for a long time. It's pretty rad having endless possibilities of the medium I want to use on my tiny iPad. Lately, I have been using Autodesk Sketchbook and acrylic paint brushes with Copic pen colors. I start and finish each piece in one sitting. Beginning with a phrase and combining it with things I like - cacti, kitsch, cats and vibrant colors and lettering. Also flowers. Lots of flowers. My workspace always involves the dog on my lap and a crime drama playing in the background.
I feel like I am forever evolving. Which is maddening as a perfectionist sometimes! I actually felt like I just figured out what I want my art to look like this year. It took a lot of experimenting, inspiration from other artists and fiddling. Even the tiniest technique or trick changes what your art will look like and it should feel original and true to who you are. It was a revelation to get there and I am really looking forward to doing more illustration. My pre-growth work also has a special place in heart and has been shared all over, which is amazing.
I am at the top of my creative game if I give myself a couple days off here and there and work for a couple hours at a time. Since I work a full-time job, I usually squeeze in my drawing time in the evenings and on the weekend. I would love to be just an artist one day but that has it's own set of challenges. At least when I am at work I can let ideas brew and then I am busting to draw them out when I get home. I have a routine that revolves around work, pets, the husband and Shonda Rimes.
Finding your unique style isn't easy but once you've made the discovery, you create more easily and are far less critical of your own work. It's worth it to keep going even if you feel like everything you make is crap. I would tell myself these things 3 years ago, for sure. No guarantee I would actually listen to myself though. I would probably end up in a Back to the Future situation and prevent my own birth. Time travel seems like a bad idea based on what I've seen on TV and in movies.