I created my first poorly drawn dino in 2007 on MS Paint on my work computer at my first job. It was an homage to my then boss, and still best friend, Melissa. It was a slow day and we were being silly.
If you had told me on that day in 2007 that creating dinos on MS Paint would not only become a fourteen year hobby, but also lay the groundwork for the best job I have had to date and a (not-so) poorly drawn dino would be part of my grad school portfolio, I would have called you a lunatic.
I have never considered myself a content creator, but here I am, creating content. For most of my life I have struggled with perfectionism. Poorly drawn dinos were a way for me to throw perfection to the wind and just create for the fun of it. People loved my poorly drawn dinosaurs. I loved the support I received from friends, family, and my bosses to create these silly drawings (as long as it didn’t take away from doing my menial customer service job, of course.)
To combat my neurotic sense of perfectionism, I created an alter-ego as the artíste – Bubble Von Colorsaurus Rex. I couldn’t even say “here – I drew these ridiculous things. I hope you like them” so I filed them away on a facebook group for Ms. Von Colorsaurus Rex under the label “It’s art. Clearly.”
If I don’t try, I can’t fail. That fear of failure as been an albatross around my neck for as long as I can remember. But creating a form of art that I didn’t take seriously helped me realize that not everyone is going to be a Van Gogh, and furthermore, plenty of people would rather look at MS Paint dinos than at a Van Gogh in the first place. Perhaps I would never be a Duccio, but I could certainly rip off his style and make it better. If you consider crudely drawn digital dinosaurs better than Duccio, that is.
I have a love/hate relationship with creating content. On one hand, I continue to struggle with my own legitimacy as a creator. Everything I have learned is self taught and often I take the longest possible route from point a to point b. Can I do something quickly in InDesign? Probably. But I have taught myself how to do it using a combination of three free internet programs. On the other hand, there is nothing else for me in the world except to create content. I tried managing budgets. I tried being the people person. None of those things fit as well as when I get dig in to writing, or creating a logo or designing an email. So I must continue to evolve, and learn, and cut myself a little slack because as it turns out, I’m pretty good at drawing dinosaurs.