Have you ever wanted to try out a new hobby but fear you’ll be no good? We sometimes go to social media, be it Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration, but the plethora of information can instead leave us overwhelmed and in the end reluctant to even think of starting. Far too often we find ourselves too intimidated to share our work, because others have done it better. However, we forget to realise that everybody started somewhere, and that those beginning stages may not be as pretty as we thought.
I started watercolour in 2017, at the time I just had a very basic set of watercolour set — the cheapest I could find. I also had a watercolour paper pad and some brushes I bought from a local stationery store. I didn’t even know there were different grades of paint, brushes and papers! I wasn’t even very familiar with instagram then. I didn’t know the trends or how to even work with the paints other than I know to add water! My first watercolour painting was this silhouette of two birds, and I immediately fell in love with this new medium. I quickly got obsessed, and did a lot of research (well, my day job is a researcher after all!). I started to follow artists on Instagram that I loved, learned about different styles of painting with watercolour, and the different grades and quality of watercolour materials out there.
Fast forward to a few months, I found myself painting more and investing in better quality materials, but I struggled with finding my own style. I saw people talk about how important it was to find a unique style, and I honestly couldn’t find my style and that actually led me to have a mental block. I felt like every painting I shared should be perfect and should all be the same style. What I finally came to realise was that creating something shouldn’t be a burden. And we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves to a particular style, we should be open to trying out new styles and different things because that’s how we evolve. We shouldn’t be too concerned about putting up our best work all the time, in fact some of the work I didn’t really like ended up to be one that was most liked on my Instagram!
I recently decided to recreate my old paintings to see how much (if any) my style has changed. I recreated a landscape and a seahorse painting, I was really happy that I indeed had made some progress. It goes to show that with patience, practice and perseverance we can achieve what set out to do. We are constantly changing and evolving and I think that’s important to acknowledge. No artist is ever done with their progress, no artist is ever finished getting better, knowing that is what’s going to make us better and it makes our lives so much more fun and worth living!
So, if you are ever in doubt about not being good enough, don’t stop! Truth is, your “not good enough” is someone else’s amazing work. Keep going and enjoy the journey you are embarking upon.
In the next posts, I will give you recommendations on materials and basic techniques to start your watercolour journey!