My Journey into Finding my Illustrator Feet and How You Can too! Part 1

Updated: Jul 17

I have been developing a new membership idea for illustrators of all skill levels - including the ones who may be on the fence about learning the skills needed. So many illustrators start off strong but become discouraged by lack of support and understanding, self-criticism, imposter syndrome and many other things, including health.


It is through my health that I have started illustration fulltime and it has been a whirlwind of experience without an online presence. So now, I turn my attention to the first part of illustration. Finding your style.


As you may have read in my previous post about what style is and how to find it, you will have read about my opinion towards the subject. I truly believe that finding your style isn't to copy someone else's, this defeats the object of it being YOUR style. And so with this in mind, I present to you my membership idea - be gentle, it's new and still a baby but it is what I am passionate about.


Before we carry on with this story, how about I give you a little idea of where the idea started to become much clearer.


​The Big Idea Returns

​This idea sprang to mind when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia - in short, all over body pain, fatigue, and an imbalance of chemicals in the brain causing cognitive issues among other things and not all people with this condition have all the symptoms.

​Having been a Web Developer for over 15 years, this was a hard condition to come to terms with. I started to forget how to code, how to set up simple web forms, how to build apps and the simplest thing, for a web developer, building a simple HTML website. Every time I did something, it was like having to re-learn everything all over again.

I felt like an impostor every time I'd have to re-learn something, 'how did I even get here?', 'what were you thinking, you're no web developer!', 'told you, you didn't know how to code'. I gave up. For the first time in my life, I gave up something I was passionate about.


I became quite ill with migraines and a persistent ear infection and had to take time off from work to try and get my health back to normal. I spent about 4 months bed-bound and as a result, I had muscle weakness. From this, I had plenty of time to think.


The Realisation

I had a realisation that drawing was something I undoubtedly loved to do and could do quite easily. I had trained my mind to forgive accept mistakes and move one. I drew because I wanted to and not because I had to. There was something about it that was just so calming and peaceful that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible.


Illustration does not have to be hard to master or too complicated, or stressful. It is a process which can be used to heal and gain a mindset that not only helps with creative work, but it helps with live situations too.


The Membership

I consider myself a mindful illustrator as all my illustrations are drawn to create a specific mood within myself such as motivation, courage and happiness. The illustration succeeds because I start off with the right mindset before I begin and I'm yet to see it fail when done properly - basically, for me, it only fails if I haven't set the right mindset in the first place.


I also consider myself a successfully thriving illustrator since I have finally learnt to love the process so much that it doesn't matter what the subject is!


So the membership itself is a combination of mindful illustration and an abundantly successful mindset that will be the foundations for your future success - no matter how near or far it is.


Soon I will be opening up the doors for a small group of people so that we can shape the membership together into a place of safety, support and encouragement for illustrators.


For the Colourists

Illustration is both drawing and colour, so naturally, there will be colour involved. When learning colour, I have found that the same techniques can be applied to different types of illustration which make the skills learned in my membership adaptable.


However, if you are only interested in colouring than the Zen Garden of Colour(Join below) might be the place for you as it is a place for colourists specifically - of which I am too, I love to colour for the fun and the health benefits of it; not just for commission work.


Which one are you? Leave a comment :)

Illustrator, colourist or both?


Join the Zen Garden of Colour membership today!




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© Charmaine Bailey 2020