I come from a family of extremely strong women (and some men) who do not let the great tragedies and misfortunes of life stand in their path. Having seen their amazing fortitude all my life, I usually feel guilty when indulging in self pity…this is my way of dealing with difficult days:
It was early 2017 when I first started to use my drawing to deal with work stress.
I was still grumpily trying to understand what my role as a Design Manager should be, and the anteater, as usual, gave his sage advice:
Sometimes all you need is a different perspective on life, like The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman.
And I also finished reading M Train by Patti Smith around that time.
While all this helps momentarily, there’s actually larger causes for work stresses which need to be carefully resolved. But of course, I didn’t know that then…
The last two years have been incredible years of growing for me in my professional life. Challenging work, difficult situations, and always the need to build trust from bottom up.
These are some of the earliest drawings from those days:
What kept me going was the long game, and guiding myself with
Progress, not perfection
which I learnt from this 99u talk by Effie Brown.
I also draw myself out of stress, since drawing is nearly therapy for me. The 2017 and 2018 sketchbooks are filled with “stressy” drawings – as my friend Uli would say – like this one:
After a while though I got used to it, and learnt how to survive difficult days
Though our man, the brown boy, did have the last word:
“Ultimately, it’s all about having a good time. Later on if you feel you haven’t enjoyed yourself it’s not worth it.”
[Soo: Do you think I’ll ever achieve anything in my life?
Anteater: Hmm. Why don’t you? Why doesn’t everybody?]
If you’re like most creative people, you probably have a latent desire to do what you love for a living. The other day my friend Sumeet and I were talking about the very same thing –
The mistake that people make when they start to do something the love, is that they start equating that with success. But that’s not right – when you start doing something you love, your goals should be self-awareness, self esteem, the joy of work, and finally, creativity through play. Then, if success comes from that, very good. But if not, at least you enjoyed yourself and probably learned a little about yourself in the process.