I drew this a couple of months ago. I really enjoyed the process, the experimenting and then playfully adding polka dots just for the fun of it. I never shared it because there was such a mixed reaction from a few people – it is something you either love or hate apparently and I started to feel embarrassed and self doubt set in. Then I saw the photo today and felt that hiding it was almost like turning my back on a faithful friend just because other people had laughed. And that just wouldn’t do, especially with what is going on in the world today, so here I am, proudly presenting my floral friend, polka dots and all 🙂

It’s a little reminder to myself that although I love it when people DO like my drawings (champagne corks start popping in my heart!), that isn’t why I make them, and changing my own response because of someone else’s is silly. I draw or paint for the sheer joy that it brings to me – the way it switches my brain into some whole other space where my worries disappear, colour flows across the page and scribbly little marks appear on my paper. My drawings, successful or not, are a reminder of a special moment in time, TO ME, and that is what is important.

I also have to be less sensitive to what other people say – which I’ll admit is easier to do on some days than others! We all have different tastes in what we like or don’t like, and that’s what fills our world and our lives with interest and excitement. Imagine how dull things would be if we agreed all the time and there was nothing to challenge us or make us think! The reality, when I slow down to think more logically, is that for every single artwork I do, whether or not I see it as successful or plan to gesso straight over it (yes, I do that sometimes), there is ALWAYS someone who says “I love that!” while another grunts and changes the subject. The whole point of creativity is that we see it as individuals, through different eyes and different experiences, that is different for each of us, and that may change over time depending on our mood or the way the light coming through the window hits the canvas. That is what makes it special 🙂

Long live creativity – and these dotty flowers!

What about you? Have you ever felt your confidence slip because of something you later realised was silly?


  1. Lynn Como

    Yes! Tonight in fact when I felt I’d made a real mess of a portrait, but kept working at it anyway! It had really glaring mistakes, some of which I fixed and some were muddy parts beyond repair. I decided to post it anyway, as an example of not giving up and letting it be what it was. And much to my surprise several people have told me they wouldn’t have noticed the mistakes if I hadn’t pointed them out. And as it turned out I even accepted it as a good enough piece after all! So I ended the day with my confidence still in tact even if it wasn’t the best portrait I’d ever done. I’d like to add that I’d stopped drawing portraits from photos a while back when another artist friend said it was a bad idea! I’m so glad I finally decided to do it again anyway because I get so much pleasure from drawing and coloring them, and many more people than not have told me they are good and they like them! I really do need to just keep pleasing me and not worry what others think! I so love drawing now!!! Oh, and I love your flowers and dots!

    • Helen Wilding

      I am so glad you shared anyway Lynn. I think we are often our own worst critics! So many people (myself included) have loved seeing all your drawings over the years. The joy it gives you is obvious and very contagious. It also makes me feel like I am hanging out in all those coffee shops with you. Sharing opens so many new worlds 🙂

      • Carla

        I look at most every “piece” i start to paint as a bit of an experiment … some of them turn out not so great and they go in my “chiller bin” its an old metal bin one of my kids got with beer in it and i guess you are to chill your beer but mine holds all those paintings that didnt make the cut …they just “chill” … and i cannot count how many times i haul one out and look at it maybe poke at it to see if a “fix” would work on a painting i don’t like so much and apply it to my current problem … and sometimes i resurrect that problem child … but in the end i learn something each painting i paint and I grow with each problem i solve and by the way I happen to love your circles and may just find a place for them in one of my backgrounds!

        • Helen Wilding

          Oh I love the idea of your chiller bin! I suppose that’s what happened with this one as I put it away for a rest. I find that things can grow on me over time, or I can finally work out the next step, or even use it as a collage piece for something else. Thanks Carla – and I’d love my circles to inspire one of your backgrounds!

    • Patricia L. Brooks

      Helen, your work is BRILLIANT 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻‼️‼️‼️You are right, when someone applauds your work “champagne corks 🍾🍾🍾should start popping in your heart”🤗🤗🤗‼️‼️‼️On the other side, CONSTRUCTIVE feedback allows us to grow👍👍👍‼️‼️‼️We just have to filter out the NONSENSE 😜😜😜‼️‼️‼️Thank you for sharing your thoughts and know that you are NOT alone in wanting everyone to feel and see what we create through our JOY🤗🤗🤗‼️‼️‼️Hope that you will continue to bless us with your MAD skills👍👍👍‼️‼️‼️

      • Helen Wilding

        Oh my goodness – all those happy emoticons make my day! Thanks for your lovely comment Patricia 😀😃😄😁😆

  2. Yabut

    Thanks for this. I often post my artwork on line but I’m currently taking a course and the assigned projects don’t often come out as something I’m particularly proud of. I’ve been debating whether to post this stuff at all. After reading this I have decided to celebrate this “where I’m at” artwork and subject at least my Instagram and Twitter followers to what I’m doing. Funny thing is, I’ve discovered in the past that some paintings I wasn’t very proud of often get a lot of Likes an coomments on Facebook. Go figure! I like your painting, by the way, and see no reason not to share it.

    • Helen Wilding

      I think we enjoy seeing the process, and also that everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. In fact perfection is pretty boring! It’s a reminder that we are all exploring and learning and trying new things, which helps us connect. I love to see people develop their atwork and personal styles over time. So interesting! Happy celebrating!

  3. Christine

    Thank you for sharing this, Helen. I often don’t share because I think it is not good enough. But when I do it anyway, I feel much better. It fells as if all the mistakes and imperfection is shrinking. I accept what it is.
    Sometimes I would like to see what others see in my little drawings…..

    • Helen Wilding

      Thanks Christine. I think it’s such a positive thing to share the artwork we do, finished or not, perfect or not, in a supportive environment like the one Sketchbook Skool provides. For me it helps me to feel connected to other people with the same interests, and, personally, I feel honoured that others share with me as well. I think that’s a pretty special thing. It is also REALLY nice to see that we are not all perfect all the time, and that it is about having fun and learning and practicing over a long, long time 🙂