I’ve realized that I’ve been blogging for 5 years – with a total of about
1,300 1800 posts, and counting.
When I started the blog in 2008, it was because there wasn’t anyone out there who documented the type of art that I liked. And they certainly didn’t talk much about how artists made money – it was either art galleries, commissions, etc. It was all a big blur to me as I had never attended art school (I studied design instead). I already knew about the cool crafters and Etsy (where I found the artists that I first blogged about), but I didn’t really see much cool illustrators back then. So I made it a mission of mine to find these people and collect them in one place. And it’s how this blog began.
They say that you don’t connect the dots moving forward, only backwards.
I’ve reached a point in my life that made me realize that above all, the main reason why this blog began, was because I wanted to learn about art and illustration. I wanted to learn about techniques, about the process, and about how artists sustained themselves. I devoured lots of interviews online. I read about business. About illustration. And I saw lots and lots of portfolios and thousands of images.
I stopped illustrating for money when I realized that being a freelance illustrator didn’t feel quite right – I am still very much in love with illustration, of stories and concepts. It’s just that I felt out of place in the equation. I didn’t feel like my part as a freelance illustrator was contributing to my own personal growth. And so I now draw mainly for fun, and not so much for money.
Through different projects like the PikaPackage Project, the Good to Know project, Camp Pikaland, and now, as a guest lecturer at The One Academy (which spawned a whole blog series entitled “Dear Students“) – I’ve come to the realization that what I do these days: spreading ideas and new ways of thinking about art, illustration, creativity and entrepreneurship makes me feel like I am the luckiest (and happiest) girl alive.
When I taught last semester, I wasn’t teaching my students about techniques, or about software; instead I taught them about creativity, entrepreneurship, life after school, and about believing in themselves. We talked about fears and hopes, of dreams and things that they could do to set things in motion. And while I reminded them that they each had a gift, it was their responsibility to propel themselves forward. I wanted so much for them, more than I do for myself.
My constant blogging throughout the last 5 years has opened up my eyes to the many visual language that each artist adopt. I began to notice the many nuances and details, played and re-played the stories and memories of each artist – and I’ve learnt how to identify patterns in different artist’s work, and I’ve applied it constantly when I look at each new artwork or illustration; or when I start on one myself.
So this year, rather than just focusing on just curation and editing, I’m going to focus more on creating. And I’d like to share more than just links and artists that I’ve found. I want to share what I’ve learnt from the thousands of images I’ve seen, the many interviews I’ve read, and the books I’ve devoured.
I want to process it all. I want to learn.
And this is why I still blog – because I’m still learning.