Finding A Bit Of Pride

Peacock Feathers Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Feathers” today, I realized I’d never really attempted to sketch the exotic plumage of a peacock. I’ve sketched the head of a peacock, and even one in flight, but never the full showy presentation. Indeed, this version is far more complex, so I simply avoided it. I think that’s something that happens quite often to me. I’ll think of something I’d love to sketch, but then think it’s a bit too difficult and opt for something a bit easier instead. In truth, regardless of the seeming complexity, it’s all just my same scribble, doodle, color, approach so other than a bit more ink, it’s really not that tough at all. And it was quite fun to see a peacock appear out of all of those scribbles. I’m always telling others to share whatever they make and be proud, and so, today I’m proud for jumping outside of my comfort zone. While it’s good to focus on what you know, there’s sometimes lots more to learn from what you don’t know. It’s a good reminder to myself to keep pushing myself to try new things and then yes, happily share whatever happens from that adventure with all of you!

This afternoon, Philippe and I went to see a musical with friends and had a wonderful time. Each time I see a show, it reminds me of my previous life when I once performed onstage as well. I had performed in every show in high school and then went on to perform professionally while I was in college. I loved musical theatre and worked hard at my craft, but always felt that I wasn’t quite as good as the other performers I’d see. I was amazed at their skill and ability and felt like my own skill was good, but nothing exceptional. Ironically, musical theatre helped pay my way through college, but I started as an English major. I wanted to write books, but as I went through my first year of writing classes, I began to doubt my ability to write like an author. I then moved to the communications department and began working on films and videos. It was fun, but again, I didn’t feel that my talent was particularly amazing. After changing my major twice, I made the decision to take a drawing class. By my third year of college, I was suddenly in the Art department and started doing, of all things, 3D computer graphics and animation as my focus.

This, I decided would be my “thing” when I left college and attempted to start my own animation business. But, I ended up just doing mostly traditional graphic design work instead, and thankfully, still had jobs in theatre to pay the bills and keep the lights on. I envied all of my friends who managed to make clearer decisions in life. I had friends in every industry I dabbled in, and was always so impressed by their focus and indeed, their success. I wanted that sort of focus so badly. What a gift to actually know what you really want to be when you grow up. And today? I’d love to say this story has an ending, but it’s still being written in much the same fashion. There’s still not something I want to be when I grow up, other than to simply be happy being me. I’ve learned that when it comes to me, there’s no comparison to be made. I’m the only me there is, after all. I may not be the best at whatever I attempt, but I attempt it in the best way that I can. This isn’t so much a goal as a simple outlook on life. I figure as long as I show up as the best me I can be in the moment, I’ll always have that wonderful feeling that comes from finding a bit of pride.

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Peacock Feathers Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Great peacock Charlie! Yes, pushing outside our comfort zone generally leads to great thinks once you get over the panic attacks. Thanks for always sharing your story. I am taking what looks like baby steps but feels like great leaping bounds as I push myself forward with my art.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yay to baby steps! It’s true… they are actually leaps and bounds, but often, only our inner child can remind us of that. 😉

  2. Walter F Pierluissi 3 years ago

    Charlie, we have saying in Puerto Rico that say: “the worst action is the one that is not done”… you try it and that’s good, good for you…. And taking steps that through us out of our comfort zone, is what makes life interesting… Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Walt! 😃💕That’s a very wise saying! I too believe that… our regrets come most often from the things we didn’t DO! Here’s to DOing all we can as we go along this journey!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    I love the feathers! Beautiful composition and design.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, this one was a bit challenging, but so much fun to doodle!

  4. Robert J. Coleman 3 years ago

    Super peacock, Charlie, a showstopper. And isn’t it amazing when we take that odd moment to look back at the trail of our lives: our schooling and training, our first dreams and plans, all the steps and missteps we take, and where we finally end up. Who woulda “thunk” it?? I’d say you landed right where you were meant to be!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 I really appreciate that! I DO think I finally landed where I should be. And it feels really good. After all of those missteps, it’s nice to no I’m on a path meant for me!

  5. Lisa 3 years ago

    Well done! I’m exhausted today, so just popped in to see what you were playing at today. He’s super!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 And I hope you know I’m sending you hugs, love, and SO much positive energy. Love you much, my friend!

  6. Amelia walters 3 years ago

    Lovely peacock Charlie… Wish you lived near me in Uk I reckon many giggles would be had plus the what ifs and wish I had ! Etc etc. You are doing so much for so many…keep it up X

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Amelia! 😃💕 I SO wish I lived near you! I’m convinced we would get on brilliantly! I’m actually just a train ride away each year, but my family commitments keep me in France. If you ever visit Paris, however, definitely let me know! 😉

  7. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Well done! Wow! Your peacock is beautiful. Yes, we need to keep pushing ourselves. I feel that is how we discover our true passion. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve been realizing that more and more lately. So, I’m setting out on trying things I normally avoid. hehe… tougher subject matter and such.

  8. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, ” There’s still not something I want to be when I grow up, other than to simply be happy being me.”

    You are a one of a kind masterpiece! Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      You are so amazing and affirmative, Sarah! 😃💕I’m sending you so much love and hugs! Hope you’re a hugger, because I totally am. hehe… I’m so thrilled you enjoy my words. Coming from a wonderful writer… that means the world to me.

      • smzang 3 years ago

        Definitely a hugger! Thank you!!

  9. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Wonderful peacock, Charlie!!

  10. Loan Anh Pham 3 years ago

    I love your beautiful sketch and your profound writing. I’m glad for you when reading that you simply be happy being you. The words are really simple but we’re hard to do without experiencing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this as well as my writing. I write what comes to mind, much like my sketches… so it makes me happy to know that what I made is enjoyed!

  11. Susan Cuss 3 years ago

    Love your peacock, Charlie! Being the best you can be at any one moment is all that can be asked, and much better than being too afraid to try for fear of “not being good enough.” Living every moment to its fullest potential is a wonderful thing. Enjoying what you do and being oneself and happy….well….is there anything better? I’ve had countless jobs and enjoyed aspects of them all, but I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up……and at 66, I think I may be running out of time! lol! Actually, I think our job on this earth is to learn and do as much as we can in making ourselves the best person that we can possibly be, and being happy and being ourselves while we travel this path. Have a great day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe! We’e SO not running out of time, Susan! 😃💕 Sometimes I think that I’ll figure out what I want to be when I’m breathing my last breathe. And I’ll be incredibly happy! You’re right, our job is to learn and do as much as we can. Whatever that amounts to is indeed what we wanted to be when we grew up.

  12. Jodi 3 years ago

    Love the Charlie that you are!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Aww thanks, Jodi! 😃💕 I love the Jodi that YOU are my friend! Never change!

  13. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    You did a fabulous job!!! It’s gorgeous!!!! 🙂

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