Screw it. To hell with the idea that there is something wrong with struggling. It’s okay to struggle. Being naturally good at things is overrated. Sometimes things that are easy for others are hard for us, and that’s okay. Plus, sometimes others are just pretending those things are easy for them, and deep down they’re struggling just as much as you are. Work hard. Study. Do your best at things that matter to you. Get to know what your skills and weaknesses are. Keep in mind that grades are just grades, and they will never be a reflection of your worth as a person, but if they matter to you, that’s okay. Accept that you will fail at many things in your life, and that’s okay. Failing will never make you a failure. Ask for help when you need it. Take breaks and relax. You’ll do great.
Always ask people just to make sure because different people are okay with different things, but I personally think it’s really cool when people customize art + contribute to it (as long as you aren’t stealing someone else’s work or damaging someone else’s copy). It becomes this collaborative effort as opposed to just one person’s take, and I like that. Other people have work that they feel is more personal to them and it might hurt them if you alter it, so again I really think you should always ask people first, but I don’t mind. Customize my drawings however you want. Just make sure people know that you customized it. I don’t want credit for words that I didn’t say or work that I didn’t do.
I’m sure I’ve been unknowingly influenced by everything I’ve ever seen. I love Lucy Knisley, Liz Prince and Kate Leth's stuff, so they've probably had a big influence on me solely due to how much time I've spent looking at their works. Also, I learned everything I know about the way lines add character to drawings by looking at Skottie Young's work, so him too.
My biggest artistic influence is my friend Domm. Her work isn’t online. She simply does it for herself because she likes it, but she has such a unique way of seeing the world, she’s always pushing herself to master new techniques and see how much she can do, and she makes truly amazing stuff. Our styles are very different, but she still inspired a lot of mine.
I think different people have different abilities, and it’s hard to guess in advance what people will be capable of. I’ve met some people who were capable of amazing levels of empathy, and they had the ability to understand situations they’d never lived through simply because they were willing to listen attentively to others and care very deeply. Then there are people who try, but fail, and there are others who don’t even bother trying before assuming they understand.
In my case, I don’t think it’s so much that people can’t relate to me. It’s more that I can’t relate to them. There is so much that I don’t know. Most days, I feel like I’ll never really fully understand anything. Even with my best friends, I don’t always understand how they feel or why they feel the way they feel. That’s okay though. It’s not my place to understand everything. My job as a friend is simply to try my best, to accept that their feelings are valid even when I don’t understand them, and love them anyway.
If you’ve ever wanted to make comics + doodles about your life, but don’t know where to start, you should check out this book called “Drawing Your Life” by Michael Nobbs. It’s cheap, fun + easy to use.
Doodling is great fun. You can use it to relax, to process your feelings in a more creative way, to learn to let go of perfectionism when it comes to art and allow yourself to make mistakes, to share little comics with your friends, etc. You obviously don’t need a book to tell you how to doodle, but sometimes we don’t know where to start and it’s nice to have inspiration, so yeah, check out the book if that’s a thing you’re into.