Illustration – A Guide to Keeping the Passion Alive


For someone who lives, or wishes to live off of their art, getting your work noticed is extremely important.

Bottom line: If no one sees your art, no one buys your art.

Being present and active in social media, where everything happens nowadays, is crucial to spread your work.

You can find thousands of articles online, describing a hundred ways of making it in the immensity of the world wide web, all of them offering great advice for the newcomers.

However, I’m not here to repeat what you can read in all these helpful articles. There is something else that I’d like to talk to you about, that in my opinion, is not mentioned enough.

It is a reality that we all need money to survive and there’s no better way to earn it than by doing what we love the most. Nonetheless, in my so far short journey, I’ve come to realise, turning your passion into a job is somewhat tricky. For any passion to subsist it has to be nurtured, and when you make it your job, there is a small risk it won’t get the nourishment it needs to endure.

Painting all day long won’t keep the passion alive if you aren’t doing it for the right reasons and if you aren’t being kind and true to yourself.

It is crucial to, above all, keep permanently in mind what made you start in the first place. Why did you start painting? I’m sure it wasn’t for the recognition and glamour. In the base of it all, what made you start painting, was YOU. You did it because you loved bringing to life all the images and storylines rolling around in your head, or because of that movie that wasn’t long enough and so you had to keep the imagery alive or simply because you wanted to bring more of the world around you into your personal bubble. Even more than that, you did it, because it was fun.

In your odyssey to amass a following, you end up setting traps for yourselves, not painting what you love and doing it for the wrong reasons, getting stuck in a rut, comparing your work to other people’s work, but you have to remember, as a child, as you drew your stick figures, and triangular suns on the corner of printer pages, you didn’t care if your friend’s drawing was better than yours or if it was exposed to a thousand eyes, you were simply content in your creation, an extension of your inner world. I’m of course not telling you to completely ditch your critical eye or not to strive for success, simply to not let it go overboard and ruin your enjoyment.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey.