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.

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Peacock Head and Yellow Orange Flowers Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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18 thoughts on “Being Confident

  1. You mention that you’ve only been doing these watercolors for a year and a half, which is little compared to full-time artists, but you’re doing something that many of them don’t. Many artists learn a set of skills, and then they just phone things in. They become very good at repeating what they’ve done before. Your work has evolved and continues to evolve because you keep learning new things and adding to your skill set. Your year and half tips the scale mightily in your favor, when compared to many others because you have the courage to experiment!

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 It has been so fun experimenting and continuing to evolve. I agree… a lot of what seems so skilled becomes just doing the same thing over and over again. I don’t think I could ever really do that. hehe

  2. What a gorgeous peacock! Un pavo real! So beautiful, Charlie! After all that I have been through, being severely injured, I don’t want to live the rest of my life afraid. Not afraid of just living. Afraid of injury and pain again. To clarify, I have been injured and in horribly bad pain for about 9 years now. Pain meds don’t work on me even the hard stuff. So,yes, I suffered and endured brutal pain with no relief. It was a very dark and painful time for me. So, you can understand my fear and panic at getting injured again and facing pain once more. It’s terrifying especially since I am not 100% yet. I don’t want to live like that. So, I try one step at a time. Slowly. In calculated steps. I hope one day this will all be a distant and faded memory and I can step securely and confidently into my future….literally and figuratively. 💜💜💜

    1. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 And yes! You definitely will step confidently into the future. Even small steps count. Life is never really a race forward, but just a little bit of change over time. It will all come for you as well! Hugs to you my friend!

  3. Hello Charlie,

    That’s a very very beautiful peacock! I would’ve loved to see the whole bird because I know you would’ve done justice to the plumage. And I’ve been having a tug of war inside me about whether or not to go ahead with a certain something. Today, you my friend gave me the answer. Thank you very very much for it. I will loop you in on it soon. A big Thank You hug coming your way across the seven seas Charlie! You have me breathing easy again. 🙂 Tons of love and gratitude!


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 These days I’m moving so fast I didn’t have time for a whole bird! hehe… but I have sketched those before if ya search the site. And yay for going forward with something! I can’t wait to see what it it! That’s awesome!! Big hug to you!! Much love!

  4. I suspect that many creatives lack confidence in their skills, that it’s this very quality that pushes us to face the struggles of our craft. I’m not sure what this gorgeous peacock feels, but I know how much delight you bring at Doodlewash when you courageously post your paintings, even if you’re unsure about your skills. But I’ve watched your art and writing skills ascend, and remain charmed by both.

    1. Aww thanks so much, Shari! 😃💕 I’m so happy you’re seeing improvements. It feels a bit up and down on my end, but I do feel like it comes a bit easier now. Not quite confidence, but it’s still nice! 😉

  5. Charlie I’m new to your food leash but besides your wonderful creative art…I appreciate your positive outgoing comments. I didn’t start my art journey until 75…but it was always my dream. And yes I try all kinds of styles, combinations, colors…and then give the paintings, postcards, stationary as gifts freebies. I don’t have to be the best but I must keep learning! Bent your ear enough…

  6. Oh Charlie thanks! Pressed for time and creativity this Summer, I’ve been jamming along but feeling less confident of what I turn out, so you’ve talked me off the ledge!

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