tackling the self-doubt demon

self-doubt-demonThis time last week I was battling with the self-doubt demon who was determined I shouldn’t submit my illustration assignment. You know the drill: “This is rubbish… you can’t draw at all… call that a picture? Pah, a child or a lamb could do better!” The nasty creature. I couldn’t let it win could I?

Or could I?

No, I couldn’t! I drowned him out with loud music, finished the pieces off and hit the submit button. And yesterday my super-speedy, very lovely tutor, Spencer Hill sent me feedback on my work. And it was really positive!

Admittedly, Spencer is the sort to be very supportive – despite having never met him, I can just tell through the emails he sends all his students and in the way he’s interacted with me online that he is good at encouragement. But still, he clearly knows his onions so I’m going to take his positive remarks to heart. Best of all, the depth of the feedback he sent (nearly 4 A4 sides, typed) was massively useful – it’s given me lots to think about and build on and I’m really keen to get my teeth into the next section of the course now.

Take that self-doubt demon!

Last week I shared a few little snippets of my three assignment pieces. I really appreciated each and every comment I received – they helped me hit that button. Since sharing last time had a positive outcome I’m going to take an additional leap now and share one of the final pieces. The assignment was to illustrate song lyrics – here’s my illustration of a line from “Somewhere over the rainbow”somewhere-over-the-rainbow-blog-picAs you can see, the illustration is very literal, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but my (self-imposed) challenge for my next assignment (illustrating poems) is to think differently and come up with some more surprising interpretations.

And I will get back to some writing soon, honestly. Maybe I’ll even have a go at writing and illustrating something of my own. Who knows – it’s exciting to think of the possibilities!

Writing Bubble


18 thoughts on “tackling the self-doubt demon

  1. Kamsin

    Your self-doubt demon is brilliant! “Small enough to worm its way into your head, large enough to fill an entire room”. Mine stops me from beginning in the first place, then it stops me finishing if I manage to get passed that then submitting is the easy bit. Lol.

    I read a book called “Playing Big” recently. She has some interesting things to say about getting free from criticism/ praise and just doing what we love. Then praise is the icing on the cake and criticism is just a way to learn what they people we want to reach with our work think and need from us, not a judgment on whether or not we are good or not. If that makes sense.

    And those blue birds are great. I am very jealous of anyone who can draw. My toddler asks me “draw Thomas” then when I try he says “No, no, no” and scribbles over my attempt. ;-(
    Kamsin recently posted…What is in a name?My Profile

  2. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    I love how you have managed to put your doubt into a drawing, and the descriptors are brilliant. I always think if you manage to define what is bothering you it helps to overcome it. I’m very glad for you that you have received some positive feedback on your assignments, another thing that helps to shrink the monster! I’m quite literal too, but don’t forget your storyspheres – they are thinking outside the box so I’m sure you can do it. Xx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Gratitude Journal SeptemberMy Profile

  3. Pingback: An Intention and Meet Starry-You « Marija Smits

  4. Rachael

    I thought I had commented on this but it seems I haven’t! I also just realised today that although I tweeted it, I didn’t tag you, sorry…

    Well done on crushing the self-doubt demon! And I have to say, that it a brilliant representation of him (or her?)… I love the lightness of the second illustration, and lovely use of colour. I look forward to seeing more alternative interpretations too! :) x
    Rachael recently posted…5 lessons from my 5 year oldMy Profile

  5. Marija Smits

    Hey Maddy! I’m loving your drawing of your nasty little ‘self-doubt demon’ (though not what he represents obviously!) and the contrast of the colourful rainbow and bluer-than-blue bluebirds and sky alongside the grey rooftops works really well. Well done! And… your ‘self-doubt demon’ inspired my own ‘something’ – Starry-You. So… you really are an inspiration to me this week. Thank you so much! :-)

  6. Cara

    This is going to sound mean, and I don’t intend to, but I’m so glad you’ve got a self doubt demon too. Mine has been giving me a whupping lately, but I’m still standing! Also, I heard about this poetry call which is wanting artistic input, and I wondered if you’d heard about it? I know you’re mainly arting, and less poeming at the mo, but maybe a mash up? AND, I really wish I could draw, and I know that I could (to some extent) if I tried, but where to start?! Any ideas? Here’s the link for that poetry call: http://sidekickbooks.com/booklab/call-for-submissions/
    Cara recently posted…Messengers: A poetry post for National Poetry DayMy Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks for this Cara, I’ve just taken a look at that poetry call and it’s really intriguing! Will have to have a good peer at it again and see if I can come up with anything although the deadline is really soon! As for where to begin with drawing – I love #ShapeChallenge on Twitter – I did it loads earlier in the year, it got me playing around with different shapes and ideas and into a daily drawing practice and not taking it too seriously (which would have freaked me out and caused me to hit a brick wall I think – much better to have fun). And also tweeting my work (which is part of the whole #shapechallenge thing) got me past the ‘oh god what if anyone ever sees my work, like ever and thinks it’s crap’ type feelings. Give it a go. #Portraitchallenge on thursdays is fab too. Actually there are loads of interesting creative challenges on twitter! xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week ninety-twoMy Profile

  7. Sophie Lovett

    Your drawing of your self-doubt demon is so awesome. He is oh so scarily familiar… Congratulations for whipping his ass and getting your illustrations submitted. Brilliant to get such positive and useful feedback too – I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes you next! xx
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…41/52My Profile


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