If you are visiting for the first time I am a Seattle fine art calligrapher that specialized in weddings. Quick words about me before you get too far. I am a loud, probably rude, honest person. I consider myself a tomboy with a hint of romance. I love oldies rock, sparkly things, cats and pictures of skulls. I am (to me) the unconventional romantic calligrapher. Oh, and I should mention I use the word "fuck" a fuck-ton.
I started brush calligraphy at the beginning of 2016 and fell in love with the medium and the challenge which was the start of my journey. My mother-in-law actually is the one you got my on pointed pen. She bought me a set that she found at an antique store and mailed it to me. I opened it and literally said "there's no fucking way I can do that"... the competitive spirit in me decided to take on the challenge and as you see today I can indeed, write pointed pen. Fast forward to 2017 and I have completed 12 styled shoots and a few logos ON TOP of my full time production designer job in Seattle. Hooray for me bla bla bla, you get the picture.
This is the real shit. Yes, I have a curated IG account and its full of pretty pictures from fabulous photographers (which I LOVE them dearly), but what you don't see posted is the constant self doubt and struggle. Literally, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. I need to make my own shirt with that on it, naturally it would be a black t-shirt with white block writing...side track sorry.
Let's talk about comparison. There is some stupid-ass quote about "comparison is the thief of joy" AND IT'S TOTALLY RIGHT. Being a beginner in a very saturated market of creatives, who are all great and amazing, it's hard to get your footing and your style. I struggle with it every.damn.day. I find I am constantly comparing myself to people I have deemed more creative than I, more successful and overall just better. Yeah yeah, they have been doing it longer bla bla bla but the millennial in me doesn't care that they worked tireless hours on their business and I've been half assing it for one single year. How do you NOT compare yourself to your idols in the same industry? I don't know, I'm seriously asking. When you start comparing yourself to others it spirals into the whole "why the fuck do I even try to do this?" which really isn't great. This post isn't about me giving you the answer because honestly I don't have it, it's more just validation that this shit happens to all of us — don't let anyone fool you.
Your creative style — it's great and all, but what if you are a jack of all trades? What if you are a master DIY-er and can do most all-the-things? I was once given candid advice about my IG that I should do away with black and white brush lettering and stick to just wedding-pretty-pictures and I would get more business and followers. Although, this individual was not being menacing and is probably right, I simply couldn't do it. IT'S WHAT MAKES ME, ME. I plaster my personality all over IG and I'm okay that it doesn't match because if you met me, you wouldn't have guess I have a soft spot for romantic fine art calligraphy and love classical music, you'd probably think I was an asshole. So how do you find "your style"? My guess is repetition. Over time and with each project I found my creative eye drawn to the same whimsical messy-but-modern style, which really translates to what you love most. If it's more than one calligraphy or lettering style then own it! I LOVE brush and I LOVE pointed pen, hence I will not be stopping my brush lettering.
The VERY Ugly:
Probably this post HA HA. The very ugly part is the sadness and self doubt that comes with both comparison and creative style. But HOW do you get rid of that? I think the truth is, you can't. It will always be there and you will always have self doubt that you aren't good enough or creative enough or you're doing the wrong things and no one will tell you the answer. BUT what you can do if surround yourself with people who encourage you and focus on things you CAN do. I have a notebook full of ideas and plans and reasons why I think I am not good enough, and sometimes I put it down, take a nap, and come back to it. I try to give myself solutions, whether its making my own shit and taking pictures, or practice practice practice or NOTHING AT ALL. Everyone has a limit and when you run your battery down, sometimes you just need to STOP. It's kind of like PMS — everything is always WAYYY worse during PMS. Am I right??!
All in all, this blog post wasn't a motivational speech on how to conduct your life and how to fix it or how to get more business or followers. It was a truthful, from my perspective, honest, whiney post about the struggles of a creative in the creative world. We all have bad times and I won't pretend I don't, so here is my validation that shit happens. If you got this far in this post, you're probably a saint.