Drawing from a photograph

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This has been one of my biggest insecurities as a struggling artist.  For the longest time, I did not quite know what is it that I have.  Is it real talent?  a skill?  a good eye for detail?

Ever since I started this hobby, I often get praises from my family and friends, telling me how good I was in this and not to go back to IT anymore and just turn it into a business.  Well, to that I say, you are my family and friends so I’m not really surprised you would say that.  The truth is, I cannot muster the confidence to turn this into a business.  You see, I cannot draw without a reference.  Let me say that again, I cannot draw without a reference.  I need a photograph or a live model in order to draw.  I was in self-denial about it for a long time, and I forced myself to draw human figures from memory, telling myself it just takes practice.  Sadly, I just can’t.  And so for a long time, I have been struggling with the question “Am I really an artist, or a copyist?”

I am not really a trained artist by profession.  I am, or was, a network engineer (and I can say a really good one) before I embarked on this creative journey.  But formally trained or not, I always thought that real artists have that raw talent to create scenes and characters from imagination.  I don’t have that.  Maybe that’s the reason why I never pushed through with my dream to take up an art course in college.  I didn’t feel like I have the real thing.

Whenever I share this sentiment with people I know, they would respond with the usual “ano ka ba, ang ganda-ganda nga ng mga drawings mo no!”.  Although I am grateful for the compliment, I also feel sad that I cannot get the message across.  This is not me showing false modesty.  This is me being honest about my insecurity.

So I’m calling this blog “Unsettled”, because that’s what I am, that’s how I feel about all this.  Am I on the right track?  Should I carry on?  Am I the only one feeling this way?

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Author: seordonez

Amateur illustrator. In Tagalog, Feeling Illustrator.

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