I've had this entry swimming in my head for a while now, mostly because I get the impression most of my watchers are younger then me (Which is wonderful! I love all 60+ of you, seriously, that's awesome). I just wanted to, as the title says, tell you all what no one told me.
During my last year in undergrad, I under took a thesis project about a particularly dark time in my life. It was, to date, the hardest thing I've ever accomplished. As a result, I was becoming close to obsessed with the concept of 'perfection'. I knew I wanted to pursue grad school, and was convinced everything I did had to eventually go into my portfolio. I fretted over every cut paper, every drop of ink, every screen. It got to the point I wouldn't work in fear of something coming out wrong. My mentor at the time told me the pieces I was producing, while good, were missing something. I couldn't understand it, and that with the added pressure of graduation and my final portfolio review, locked me into a stand still.
Our final review involved a fifteen minute presentation showcasing our body of work and what we hoped to move forward with. I sat back, and just wrote it all out, from my fears regarding my work, to my perfection complex, and my depression as a result. It was then I finally got it.
Every single piece you've ever produced, from the smallest thumbnail to the grandest painting, would never have existed had you not thought of it. Everything you produce is precious and sacred, if only to you. It is your mark, and your own perfection. Even if no one ever sees it, even if it becomes buried in a pile of paper. It exists because of you. It was a feeling of revelation and relief. I was no longer afraid.
It's cliche, but the best advice I can ever give you is never stop working. Every day make something. Even if it's just a scribble in your notes, or a quick five minute digital color test. It's important, and it's your own. No one will ever be able to take that from you. It's perfect.
If any of you ever need advice, help, critiques, anything. I can always make time. I struggled for too long without the guidance I needed and want to do my best to help those if only to avoid the wasted months I suffered when I was younger.