For Day 21 of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Confident,” I sketched a proud peacock. At least they seem like a confident bird with all of their strutting about and fashionable display of colorful plumage. As humans, to be confident means that one is self-assured and appreciative of their own ability to do something. This made me think about when I feel truly confident. I appreciate my own ability to sketch stuff, but I’m not typically self-assured when doing so. Many times, in my head, it’s a cluster of frantic thoughts that translate into too-hesitant paint strokes or overly-bold scribbles. I don’t feel particularly confident in my ability to create something fantastic, I just don’t particularly worry about it one way or another. It’s the process itself that brings me back to my sketchbook each day. I’m generally confident, based on previous times, that I’ll always make something appear whenever I attempt to do so. And, that’s a rather fabulous thing! And, it’s more than enough to make me feel good about the whole experience.
I’ve often talked about having courage. To me, this is far more important than confidence. To be courageous means to simply do something in spite of fears. It’s not bravery, which requires not being afraid in the first place. Courage is just a mindset of doing it anyway, even if you think you might not be particularly talented or suited to do a particular something. After thousands of sketches and words, I’ve still failed to invest a fraction of the same time that other full-time illustrators and writers spend on their craft. At only an hour or two a day, when you add up all of the time I’ve spent to date, then I’ve only be doing this about a year and half. It’s really not that much time. I’ve so much more to learn and discover and one day, perhaps, I’ll be able to devote more time to practicing. But, if I had waited until that day arrived, it would be years from now, and I’d be even farther behind.
They say, “there’s no time like the present,” whomever they may be, and I think that’s definitely the case. I believe in simply going for what I’d like to do right now and never waiting until I feel like I’m good enough. I will always improve as I keep practicing, so there’s really no end state to be found. That’s why I boldly make sketches, books, podcasts, and more. I don’t have this overwhelming sense that I’m going to be particularly amazing at these things, but I know that if I show up to try with my whole heart, I’ll make something lovely happen. It might not change the world, but it will hopefully make quite a few folks smile, feel joy, and maybe even have a bit more hope. I approach life with tenacity and determination, but simply because it’s the only way to make all of those things happen. I’ve no strong sense of assurance that they’ll all turn out like I intended, but that doesn’t stop me. It’s that courage thing again. And it strikes me, that with it, there are some things in life that are more important than simply being confident.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Hansa Yellow Medium, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!