Have you ever created something and just couldn’t see the success in your creation? Or maybe you’ve worked on something for so long you that you’ve lost all perspective and are now tired of looking at it? I feel like I go through that a lot. Part of it may be that ingrained self-doubt that all creatives are born with and part of it may be just not having a group of other creatives to give you feedback.
But an opportunity arose for me to show my work in an open illustration critique at SCBWI-MI Shine 2 in Lansing. I decided I was going to put myself out there once and for all. Though nervous, I was excited about getting some feedback from three well established illustrators: Wendy Anderson Halperin, Aaron Zenz, and Cyd Moore.
On the day of the event, I was continually impressed with how great the other illustrator’s work looked and my persistent self-doubt resurfaced. The advice the judges gave to everyone was invaluable. That alone was worth showing up, but I was uncertain of my work. I continued to tell myself that this is a first big step that must be taken. To my great relief, my work was well received. It was such a huge boost to my self confidence! When all was said and done, I had won the incredible award of a one year mentorship with Wendy Anderson Halperin! What an enriching day and SCBWI-MI organizers did a wonderful job of putting together a very informative event.
But if I hadn’t won, which I am no stranger to, I would not only have absorbed the judges well thought out comments, but I would have been proud for just “putting myself out there.”