After half my life spent chasing my illustration dreams I’ve decided to leave this career behind. There are so many reasons which I tried to write out numerous times, but I was failing to put the words together. The reason being so difficult is the way I’ve associated my identity with my career so long. It is difficult to write the reasons for leaving without it coming out like a diary entry.
The things I create are so deeply personal to me, that mixing them together under capitalism for so long diluted my creative voice. Being conflict avoidant, I just made whatever I was paid to make. Many illustrators cope with this balance fine, but I have come to realise that I am not one of them. My artwork was always a form of self expression, to release moods and emotions. Mixing this with paying my bills was a mistake sometimes.
This career has been a blessing. Took me to cities I never imagined living in, London, Melbourne, Berlin. Winning competitions, flying to Sydney, Singapore. Working with amazing clients I never could have dreamed of, Facebook, Nike,
I’m on the precipice of becoming myself, of realising dreams that for so long felt distant and impossible. To do this I need a break from the title of ‘illustrator’, a break from the abyss of social media. A break from the link between creating for others to pay my bills. I lost myself by putting the opinions of those who paid me above my own.
I want to give thanks to all the people who supported my artwork over the years. To all the clients who believed in me. All my lovely agents who took care of business for me, rallied for better pay. Most of all I want to thank those of you who wrote me kind comments, emails, supported me by purchasing artworks or attending shows. Your comments were invaluable to me, I read every last one. As a teenager growing up on the internet and going through dark times, your comments were the light that kept me going. At that time your comments might have saved my life so I thank you for that. Thankyou to anyone who’s been there since the deviantart days.
I want to thank any one who wrote to me directly for their school projects.
I want to apologise directly to anyone who I didn’t reply to over the years. I struggled a lot with anxiety
Times have changed so much since I was that struggling teenager to who my drawings preserved my life. Thank you for being here on the journey.
These last 15 years of my life will now serve as a practic run for the next. A trial run of what to do, and what to not.
I am going back to creating things just for myself, and by proxy, you. Times have changed so much since I first started drawing, since I first started pursuing my goals of becoming an illustrator. I never once forsaw quitting this career but here I am.
thanks for exchanging your energy with me over the years.
i will always be creating things.
i’ll be back in another form,
i hope you recognise me.
i hope to see you there.
With love & gratitude,