Mermay 2022 Didn’t Go To Plan

I really enjoy Mermay and have taken part many times but this year did not go to plan at all. I had assumed that I would not be able to do 31 illustrations due to other commitments but I had hoped to do at least a few. I started strong with my day one Mermaid who I thought was very cute and could potentially be a character that would see me through the month but alas it was not to be!

Day 1 – This little mermaid was shocked that it was May already! Where is the year going?

Then I didn’t manage to draw another until May 4th which I could not resist, I am late to the Star Wars party since I didn’t watch any until last year but I have fallen head over heels in love with Ewoks, who wouldn’t?

May The Fourth Be With You!

And then it all went quiet … I was caught up in other endeavours and I didn’t get chance to create more images. I have also limited my use of social media somewhat and do not want to get back into the frenzied frame of mind, that I have to create something new every day to post on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter because that lead me to feeling very insecure and unsure about my artwork last year and is something that I have worked hard to avoid since.

With my own mental health in mind I decided to scratch the creative itch in a more fun way that didn’t involve posting the images.

My fun night of colour!

I sat and watched a movie with my Webblings and created the image above. I really let go and just had fun with it. I used my art crayons and coloured pencils. I did not have any end goal in mind when I created the full page of colour and I had a great time.

Mermaid Tails

I flipped the page and drew in as many mermaid tails as I could fit on it. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to use them and I did it on the reverse so that the patterns would be completely random. I then cut them out which took forever. The hoarder in me wanted to save all of the scraps because there must be something I can do with loads of colourful bits of paper, right? I was well behaved and put them in the recycling though. One of the hardest lessons to learn (and abide by) with traditional art is that you only have so much space and the more you fill with scraps the harder it is to find what you actually need! Are all artists hoarders? I am pretty sure all the ones I have met in my life have been so far.

It hurt to throw away such colourful scraps.

I was really happy with the tails, I think they came out really cute. I photographed them all individually, I am not the greatest photographer but I wasn’t aiming for perfection, I was aiming for fun! At this point I still did not have an end goal just a lot of little mermaid tails.

I was tempted to just post tails, they are bright and colourful but maybe a bit too macabre, maybe I could of added a bone like the little ‘Among Us’ characters that Harrison Webbling loves so much but that isn’t really my style and so after a few days of deliberation I decided to turn the colourful tails into digital collages. I wanted the colourful tails to stand out the most so I kept the face and bodies sketchlike, with a little colour in the cheeks. I didn’t manage to do one for every day of Mermay but I did as many as I liked until I felt happy that I had created enough, which is 16.

Some are better than others but I enjoyed making each and every one. I have a lot of tails that were not used, I have put them all in a draw, maybe they will come in handy in the future? I feel like I really bought the fun back into Mermay for myself by taking all of the pressure off. I wasn’t focused on completing 31 days, I wasn’t focused on creating a final piece and probably most importantly I wasn’t focused on social media interaction.

For some artists social media is a great way to get seen, I know I love to look at other people’s artwork and Instagram is probably my favourite place to do that but I am aware that you don’t see the stress and anxiety behind those posts or the need for validation. I am prone to bouts of imposter syndrome and feeling like a complete failure (career wise) and that is exasperated by low performance on social media. Which is why I am so happy with how I have tackled Mermay this year. It did not go to plan, I had hoped to post every day originally and to create every day but honestly May just crept up on me so fast and has sped by, I never stood a chance. I took the pressure off and had a lot of fun with my mermaids. I really do hope you like them but at the end of the day (and the month) I like them and I am learning that liking my work and the process behind it is the most important thing!

Happy Mermay Everyone!

Anyone doing Junicorn? (Haha!)

Samantha Webb.

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