GUEST ARTIST: “Take That Step!” by Christina Yee

Christina Yee watercolor artist pet portrait dog barley-beerman painting

Hello from Boston, Massachusetts!  My name is Christina Yee. Wow, let me just start by saying how thrilled I was when Charlie from Doodlewash contacted me about being a featured guest artist. And how much my heart sank when I realized I have to write about myself.  All of a sudden, I am feeling mute. I’m at the beginning of my art journey and I really feel like I have nothing exciting to write about. And then I realized, this was exactly where I was one year ago.

After a few months of doodling around with my watercolors, my husband mentioned casually that my work is good, and maybe I should post it on social media.  I thought, what a great idea and maybe I can even make money doing what I am passionate about.  That would be amazing!  Then that feeling of dread dawned on me. I would need to let people know that I can draw and paint.  This would mean that I have to show other people what I do so they can see that I can actually draw and paint.  I was paralyzed.

Giraffe Mother And Baby Watercolor

I was so afraid of what others would think or say, when they see my art.  Or worse, I was afraid that if I posted online, it would be met with crickets. I procrastinated for months.  I know I’ve overcome difficult challenges before, but this one was especially hard to get past.  This was very, very personal.  Art has been my passion all my life.

Owl Drawing Christina Yee

I had turned to art for stress relief.  It was my little piece of heaven.  It was me.  If I showed my work off and the response was negative, I knew it would shatter me.  But I had bigger goals for my art, and for myself.  I needed to take this little step (albeit big in my mind) so I can then take the next step and move forward.  I needed to do this.

I’ve always said to my kids that anxiety is caused most often by a feeling of not being prepared. So I finally took a dose of my own medicine and worked on breaking down those barriers.  Over the next couple of months, I built up my network of supporters.  I shared my art with them, and asked for feedback. Little by little, my anxiety calmed and my confidence grew.

I also gave myself a due date: January 7, 2019. School vacation week would be over, the kids would be back in school and I would have time once again for myself.  When that time comes, I would share my art “to the world!”.  It does not need to be “perfect”, I just need to do it.

January 7, 2019 came.  I posted a quick sketch I did of a tiger along with the progress pictures to my Facebook page.  It was met with such an amazing response.  I would check it every hour (ok, maybe a few times more frequently than that) and there would always be more likes and more comments.  The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that I couldn’t even remember what I was stressing about.  I was already thinking about what to share next.

These days, I still fret over my content but I no longer have anxiety over my artwork.  I still have my network of supporters, but I’ve also started to work on building up a community of like-minded art friends and supporters online.  I do my best to do some sort of art everyday and I try to hold myself accountable by posting as often as I can.

Time is my biggest challenge as my family comes first, and oftentimes, that takes up the bulk of the day.  So I do what I can to squeeze in time for a quick sketch.  I usually pack a little travel kit with me so that should I find myself with a few extra minutes, I can take advantage of it.  I have two travel kits prepared: one for pencil drawing and one for watercolor painting.

For pencil drawing, I have:

For watercolor painting, I have:

I try to have a subject ready so I don’t sit there thinking about what to draw.  I usually reference the many photos on my phone that I’ve taken that I thought would make for a good drawing or painting.  For the past few months or so, I’ve chanced upon these art challenges that gives you a daily prompt and that helps tremendously when you have a mind block.  The Doodlewash monthly challenge is one that I had been following along with the longest and one that I find the community to be most engaging and supportive.

Pet Portrait Dog Watercolor Painting Christina Yee

For my bigger projects, like commission works, I reserve those mostly for work at night when the house is winding down for bed.  I would turn on my audiobooks or podcasts and put in some uninterrupted time.  My good old favorite supplies for these are Arches 140lb paper, Winsor & Newton 140lbs cold pressed watercolor paper, Silver Brush Limited – Susan Louise Moyer Basic, and Mijello Mission Gold Class.

And that’s it.  That’s my story.  I made it to the end!  And now I’m ready to take my next step. Thank you for reading.  And if you see yourself in my story, remember to jot down what it is that you’re afraid of and then come up with ideas on what you would need to do for you to overcome that fear.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.  You just need enough to take that step.

Christina Yee
Instagram (Daily Art)
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65 Comments
  1. Jennifer L Bates 1 month ago

    These pictures are amazing. I am at the beginning of my journal which i enjoy. I have a long way to go.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks Jennifer, I really appreciate it. Hope we can catch up on IG and give each other the support! Good luck on your journey! 🙂

      • Sachi L 1 month ago

        You are so talented and amazing Christina! I love your work as well as your strong spirit to challenge yourself. It’s really fortunate and special that you found something you like that can admire others at the same time. Got to search something like that for myself now 🙂

        • Christina Yee 1 month ago

          Thanks so much Sachi! I really appreciate your support! 😊

  2. Purnima Manjunath 1 month ago

    Loved your write up,Christina! I ve been following your work on instagram’s doodlewash and I’m a fan of your work.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks Purnima! I’m a fan of your work too! So glad to have connected with you on IG. 🙂

  3. Marianne C. 1 month ago

    I’m so at AWE and proud of you for taking the leap to pursue your passion. Thank you for overcoming the anxiety, otherwise we’ll not be able to see such beautiful art!

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      The feeling can still creep up sometimes but it gets easier with each post. Thanks so much for your support, Marianne!! 🙂

  4. Zertab Quaderi 1 month ago

    Awesome work!

  5. CYNTHIA SOOHOO 1 month ago

    WOW, what an amazing story! Love your art! Have always been a fan and will probably always be! The anxiety and fear of failure is something we all face, but SO glad you were able to overcome it so you can now share your talent with the world! So incredibly proud of you!

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      One step at a time! 🙂 Thanks so much for your support, Cynthia!

  6. lifeinkarolingston 1 month ago

    Your art work is beautiful! And I have enjoyed reading your writing Christina!

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Aaaahhh, thank you so much for the support! I really appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Michelle Soohoo 1 month ago

    So proud of you! Your artwork is amazing! You are an inspiration to anyone who is going through anxiety! What a great message and story to share! Always looking forward to your IG post for artwork!

  8. Placid Painting 1 month ago

    Wonderful work! This was almost like reading about myself, but with me being at a novice level. I have both a site and an instagram account where I share all my work. But I’ve never shared it or shown it to people I know or most of my family.

    I guess it’s like you say, it just feels so personal to show off. How will I react if people don’t like it..

    Anyway, I almost feel ready to put it out there now, and you have inspired me even more.

    Why should we care if someone don’t like it? That wouldn’t be the end of the world. And there is so much support to get out there. The most important thing is how you feel about it yourself ☺

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Your artwork is really great!! I’ll be following on IG and can’t wait to see what you’ll be sharing next. 🙂

      • Placid Painting 1 month ago

        Thank you very much, Christina 🙂 I’m honored by the kind words. Looking forward to seeing more of your brilliant work 🙂

  9. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I do see myself in your journey, Christina and I so admire the way you face your challenges head on. Your work is beyond amazing and desires every bit of attention it gets. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks so much Sandra! I’m not exactly sure who said it first, but “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” Mark Twain, Will Rogers … my grandma? 🙂 In any case, I try to keep that focus in mind. Good luck with you on your journey!

  10. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Christina. I can totally relate to your story as at 64, having been retired for a year I am about to have my second exhibit and just got excepted to an artist market in May. My art is very much for me and I’m trying to keep it happy for me. I hope you can as well. I’m very glad that you are here sharing your gorgeous work with us!

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thank you for sharing that, and wow, that is amazing and so inspiring!!! Congratulations on your achievements! 🙂

  11. G-Money 1 month ago

    Can’t believe how beautiful the drawings are and how true to life they look. It’s all in the details! Good work. Draw koi fish in a pond next 😃

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Haha, I will keep the koi fish in a pond next! Thank you G-Money for your ongoing support! 🙂

  12. Leana Chan 1 month ago

    Amazing!! I have always been so incredibly impressed with your artwork. Thank you for sharing your pieces and your journey with everyone. You have such talent that it has to be shared! Your writing, discipline and beautiful artwork are an inspiration for all. Please keep posting!! ❤

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks so much for your beautiful words and your ongoing support for me on my journey, Leana! 💕

  13. Hninn Hninn 1 month ago

    Really excellent. I love all these paintings 😍

  14. Christina Sam 1 month ago

    What an eye, what talent!…modest too. Congratulations on your your featured art and write-up.

  15. Well done! So glad you decided to share your incredible talent with the wider world!

  16. Mindy 1 month ago

    Beautiful artwork! I’m so proud of you for overcoming your fear and anxiety to show the world what you have to offer. Great story and inspiration.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks so much Mindy! I really appreciate all of your support! 🙂

  17. Linda Calverley 1 month ago

    Love your work. I have posted things I’ve done on line that I have not liked and have been surprised by getting good comments about them. You shouldn’t worry about your work, it’s gorgeous.

  18. Claire Randall 1 month ago

    Gosh, I needed to read that. I started painting in may last year and I’m terrified of posting my paintings, there not much but they are so personnel that I’m quite scared of posting. I just joined doodlewash and posted a splotchy butterfly for the colour month thing, my 2020 goals is to paint more and make some arty friends and post my paintings. This article really resonated with me, thankyou so much x

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      oh I’m so glad! And Doodlewash really is an awesome community of like minded people – like us! There are many who are just finding it and there are many who are seasoned and have been doing it for a long time. The best thing is that there is no pressure – you do what you can to post everyday. Me – I’m very behind this past week because of deadlines, but that’s ok, because no one is apply pressure on me but me and I gave myself a nice permission. I will catch up when my deadlines are done! I look forward to seeing your work on IG soon! 😊

      • Claire Randall 1 month ago

        Thankyou christina I found you in instagram, goodluck in getting your work done 🙂

  19. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Thank you for sharing your story! Your paintings are beautiful!!

  20. Judy Jones 1 month ago

    hi Christina i love your art and i’m glad you were brave enough to share your art and your story with the world when charlie asked me i too was worried about writing about myself, but you did a fantastic job i am a big fan of your work over on Instagram don’t stop sharing i’m sure you make a lot of people happy 🙂

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks so much for your kind words and ongoing support Judy! Your art is ahhh-mazing and I’m so glad to have met you on IG. Your work and your drive to deliver every day is an inspiration to me. I’m so happy to have met you on IG!! 🙂

  21. Laura Hale 1 month ago

    Wow! Beautiful art. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I’m looking forward to following you on IG and seeing what is to come.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thanks so much Laura! I look forward to seeing your on IG also! 🙂

  22. JA Wilson 1 month ago

    Oh I love your work! Beautiful attention to detail!

  23. Linda Chin 1 month ago

    I LOVE your artwork Christina! You are gifted with an amazing talent. Seeing your art somehow puts me in a happy place. Its like I can feel the emotions captured in your art. You are an inspiration in so many ways. Stay positive and keep posting. Your fans await.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thank you SO MUCH for your ongoing support! I really appreciate it! Hearing everything you just said puts me in a happy place too. 💖

  24. Alice Lee 1 month ago

    Your drawings are all perfect and I am glad that you took that step!!! So cute that you are so talented and you didn’t believe it at first. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your daily challenge, looking forward to see more and more!

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      It’s funny how we can be strong in so many things and then completely falter and be full of self doubt in the thing closest to your heart. Thank you so much for your ongoing support!! I really appreciate it! 😊

  25. mjmarmo 1 month ago

    You have certainly taken the right step! LOVE that giraffe. Your works are wonderful and your story inspiring!

  26. Christina Yee 1 month ago

    Thank you so much for your support! The giraffe is my son’s favorite also 🙂

  27. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 month ago

    Christina, you’ve identified the dread that many creative people feel – being exposed to the public with the risk of being judged. Charlie has made so many painters feel comfortable with their art, and I’m delighted he invited you to share your work and your story. Your art is sometimes fun, sometimes endearing, and always a delight to see.

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      That is so sweet of you to say! Yes, you’re right! Charlie’s personal engagement on everybody’s post everyday has been instrumental in making every post and every exposure easier. This is probably why I’ve been with Doodlewash’s art challenge the longest and find everybody so supportive and engaging – because he leads by example! ❤ Thank you so much for your support also! 🙂

  28. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Lovely work, Christina! Thanks for sharing it and your story.

  29. Jill Kuhn 1 month ago

    Wow!! Your art is amazing!! I especially like your giraffes as they are special to me. Your dog is super adorable but ALL your art is spectacular!! Bravo for sharing your heART and doing what you love! ❤️🎨 It isn’t easy to show the world your artwork but I am glad you did. 😍 I will follow you on IG. 😃

    • Christina Yee 1 month ago

      Thank you so much Jill! I love your artwork too. They are soooo fun! I followed you back on IG and can’t to see what you’ll have everyday. I know I will look forward to your Wierd Bird Wednesdays. 🙂

  30. Fan 3 days ago

    WOW. Just WOW. I knew you’re very talented, but not until lately did I realize just how AMAZINGLY talented you are!! The texture in the lion’s fur, the reflection and light and color in the balloons, the moods you capture in the people’s faces, the ocean breeze the dog is facing, I can feel them all. That’s just pure talent. I’m so proud of and happy for you for pursuing your dream. Keep it up!

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