We All Come From Humble Beginnings

Last weekend I went along to the event by Wacom called The Next Level. It was an exhibition which toured around Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney, showcasing the winners of The Next Level competition, alongside designs by six elite artists which were created using various Wacom tools. One artist who I was lucky enough to meet last year, Dale Bigeni, was one of three artists who were drawing live! He’s actually super awesome and you should check out his art.

One of the elite artists whose work was being shown is also local artist Sha’an d’Anthes, who’s absolutely lovely! So you should check her out as well. She’s also got a YouTube! 

I was even lucky enough to score a T Shirt!

I was even lucky enough to score a T Shirt!

In reflection of this, I thought I’d get out my old Wacom tablets, from since I first started drawing digitally.

The first Wacom I ever got was a Wacom Graphire 3 tablet… oh boy, when I got this it was like the heavens opened up and I basked within their glory - for I had a graphics tablet!!!!!! I remember I would get home from school on Friday nights in year 6 or 7 and just draw on the family computer for hours.


Unfortunately, after several years, my Graphire eventually died :( I can’t remember when exactly, but I ended up upgrading to my Intuos 3, which was JUST THE FLIPPIN BEST, TOO. I was even lucky enough to get a special edition one in BLACK, so I was extra extra stoked!

Then, in I think 2012, in a time when I was feeling quite unhappy and unworthy, I decided to cheer myself up by treating myself to a Cintiq 22HD :’)

My Wacom tablets have brought me so much joy. They have given me the ability to do what I love!


And so, in relation to this, I wanted to talk about an important message that we all need to remind ourselves sometimes.

It can get so easy to compare ourselves to others - people who are more successful, more skilled, more sure of themselves (at least from the outsiders perspective).

But what I want to remind you all of today, is that everyone comes from Humble Beginnings.

It may look to some like I’ve got some fancy Cintiq tablet (and I don’t say that out of being up myself, I say that because that’s how I used to feel!). But I’m here to remind you that, this is the tablet I started off with, 12 years ago!

There were several years in between my tablets, and to reflect on that - that’s many years of practise!

Now, I definitely didn’t spend 8 hours every day drawing to get to where I am now. I just drew every so often, when I could, or when I felt like it. And over the years, that amounts to a lot!

The process is a long slog; you don’t need to be making huge leaps and bounds all the time - taking constant, small steps is what’s important! It doesn’t matter what speed you’re going at - as long as you keep moving forward. Everyone has lives to lead outside of art - we aren’t defined JUST by our art. And you should never compare yourself to others “show reel”s, as they say with social media.

Try not to get anxious about how far you have to go. In those times of anxiety, instead of looking forwards, focus on how far you’ve already come, and the direction you’re heading in. Think about how much you would have wished to have been where you are now, when you started. Enjoy the process - enjoy learning new things, and making friends with mutual interests, supporting one another. Just enjoy life! Be thankful for every step.

I’m super happy at the moment because I’ve proud of the progress I’ve made. And that’s not progress through hours and hours of daily work - it’s from doing a little bit here and there, every day, or every week. And I know that if I keep working this way, I’ll eventually get where I want to go! Because, as long as you keep taking those small steps, you’ll get there.