Back in my element

When I returned from my brief trip home in June, I felt very uninspired for some reason. Demotivated. I didn’t feel like applying to jobs because I wasn’t feeling confident about my skills. I didn’t feel like doing anything at all. It was very unsettling – I knew I was not myself, but I just couldn’t shake off the grey cloud that seemed to follow me wherever I went.

I was ‘stuck’ in this limbo for an entire week. Then I snagged an unexpected two-week internship in central London, thanks to a family friend, and an even more unexpected paid weekend gig as a freelance web reporter, thanks to a classmate.

The internship and weekend work gave me something to do, but didn’t completely take me out of my funk. They were fulfilling, but also tiring. Dear me, I’m no longer used to a five-day work week!

Anyway, after 14 consecutive days of working (the weekend job takes up all of my Saturdays and Sundays), I took last Monday off to just veg out. It was pretty nice, I must admit! But I had work to do, because I’d started feeling like my real self was finally peeking out from the behind the grey cloud. So on Tuesday, I went to Knights Park, a.k.a. Kingston University’s arts campus, to experiment with digitising my lettering. I followed this tutorial and was chuffed to discover how simple digitising is, at least for flat, black and white artwork! The “Friday” vector below is the second thing I ever digitised. I’m super excited to keep going!

Friday

Since Tuesday, I’ve been back in my element and back at work on my big year-end goal. Work – which, to be honest, feels more like play – means dreaming up products, creating drafts and prototypes, and soaking up inspiration from my favourite blogs. Stay tuned, folks!

I’d also like to share a couple more things that helped me get back on the creative track:

1. This article on getting out of funk town by writer Leo Babauta. It’s definitely worth reading and won’t even take five minutes, but here’s an excerpt:

When you’re in Funk Town, don’t believe what your mind thinks about yourself and your work. It will say, “I don’t want to do that!” or “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t care about that anymore.” None of that is believable, simply because the mind that’s saying these things is in a state of panic and fear and extreme discomfort. That’s not a believable mind.

I don’t know about you, but this insight was pretty mind-blowing to me. I’ll definitely remember it the next time my mind is suffering and tries to lie to me.

2. This interview with writer and artist Austin Kleon (Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!) was very inspiring and practically sent me off on my merry way to Knights Park. It’s rather lengthy but you can listen to it during a solo meal or on your commute.

Thanks for reading my update, and do something fabulous this weekend!

Mia

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