“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It ‘s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”  ~Ira Glass

“When I was young, I admired clever people.  Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”   ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

‘Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she’d say “In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart… I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.’ ~Jimmy Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey

“A very wise person once explained to me that it feels like we are all fighting for a piece of the pie. And there are only so many pieces of pie to go around. But that’s a myth! There isn’t just one pie! And guess what, you can MAKE YOUR OWN PIE.” ~Sara Schaefer

The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein  

Ring the bells
that still can ring,
forget your
perfect offering,
there’s a crack
in everything,

that’s how the
light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
Alice Walker


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity
and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann

“Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: ‘What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?’ You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

10 thoughts on “Illuminations

  1. Gay McKinnon

    Thank you, this is 100% helpful!
    Another problem is that we beginners compare our work with the mature work of our heroes. Their early work is often not so good.

  2. denise

    I just am learning copics markers and came across your site through another_ Illustration Fridays. I love your work and have a total fasination with how you do your work. I so much enjoyed your blog that i spent the 2+ hours reading the entire blog.
    Can you give more information on how you colour your so wonderful works. Just love your colours and how you use your sworls.
    now I am a follower to be sure

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Hi Denise! Wow, I don’t think anyone but me has read the whole thing (or half, for that matter). I’m glad you like it! I have only been using Copics for about 5 months, and I’ve tried to include what I know in my posts. I don’t think there are any secrets, other than tons of practice.

      I know there are many youtube videos about Copics, so you might try that. Also, take a look at the artists’ site the Copic company put together:
      Thank you so much for visiting!

  3. Linda

    thanks…after all these years, I still wake up to self-doubt, self-questioning…and I still keep going because…that’s what keeps me going!

  4. Pam Schoessow

    I really like your first quote. I’m sure it does take time to be happy with what you are doing. And I’m also sure I’m not there yet. I wonder if social media is helping or hurting us. Maybe we shouldn’t put our stuff “out there” too soon in the process. Your work is really great. And you make me want to check out copic markers! I also think you are brave to show your process. I’m afraid if I did, people might be even less impressed with my final result! I’ve really enjoyed following you during this 30 day challenge . Your imagination is wild!

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      I don’t think it can ever be too soon to show your work. Maybe it will lead to someone giving you great advice! Maybe it will make it easier for other people to share their things, too. :)

      I’ve been doing the progress pictures for ages. It’s a way to de-mystify the process and people really seem to like it! I think it’s great to show the middle parts that aren’t looking so great (it always goes that way!) because if you got to a finished thing you like, then it doesn’t matter if it didn’t look good when it was halfway done.

      Thank you so much for the nice note!

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