I've been doing watercolor since design school. The professors pushed us HARD to do everything digitally. Digital art is allegedly competitive, I wouldn't know. I never went into design (see previous post: spending more time with boys in design school than actually working). My first hustle out of undergrad was costume design. I got a lot of gigs because directors, old white men, like watercolor designs better than digital art. They want that old school, "its-still-the-seventies," "real" art feel that they could use in marketing. My second hustle was painting for other designers who want that "im going to upcharge for that traditional media "real" art feel." Because good sketches let them upcharge for their designs, and they came out ahead even after they paid my fee.
I didn't really start getting serious about watercolor until I left design. Its true what they say, most low-wage jobs police your time but high-pay jobs dont give a shit what you do. Around my fourth or fifth therapist job I realized I could bring my watercolor stuff to work and just improve on the company's time. So in the last two years I've been watching youtube videos trying to like, actually learn shit. I've let child clients color on my old sketches during sessions. Like sketches that I charged $200+ for and I got to keep, I'll be like "hey kid wanna paint on this? knock yourself out."
It's been really hard because design school trained me to evaluate worth based on comparing it to others. So like, if I'm not as good as the video I get really mad. a lot of toxic shit happened in design school. it was not a good school so nobody got jobs after they graduated. we took it out on each other. The nicest thing somebody said about my artwork in undergrad was something i overheard by accident. They didnt know I was in the room, within earshot because I was behind some stuff, and I heard this girl whisper to another girl "her sketches are really good." because like, compliments were not a THING. So this whispered compliment was like fistpump.
I know the "you're not good at all" slump. It's real. real real. But like, you are super good? Your art is fun and its got great movement and original concepts. You can't beat yourself up while you're trying to improve. It's not fair to the improvement you're making. Like, after you build your skills you'll see the progress you've made and be really proud. You're on a journey. also, i havent figured out how to embrace failure yet but if you figure it out, we can write a book together.