Friday, 11 September 2015

Don't Let Being an Introvert Stop You From Living Your Creative Dreams

If somebody outlined what I do now to a younger me years ago I would have thought they were having me on. See, I have never been your little Miss Confident. I am getting much better with age but I have always been a very quiet person. I was quite shy as a child and painfully shy as a teenager. I barely spoke a word in my teens. 

Over the years I have overcome this by literally throwing myself at any challenges that come  my way. I try to embrace every ‘scary opportunity’ as an opportunity to gain a little bit more confidence.  I still get scared and hate hate hate public speaking. I don’t think I will ever overcome it fully, but I am much more comfortable in my own skin now. This blog is to reach out to all other introverts out there and say, look,  if I can do it…. anyone can!
As you can imagine being an introvert does not go hand in hand with splashing yourself all over social media and trying to market yourself. If you want to get your product in the hands of people you need to jump out of your comfort zone and get yourself out there. Easier said than done I know, but if you start taking baby steps now then you will start to see a difference and before you know it, you will be ready to embrace any challenge that comes your way, heck you might even enjoy them!
Do you know, most creatives I have spoken to over the years are actually quite shy. They would much rather sit in their studio and just paint, or stay in the comfort of their study writing, I would too! But that isn’t the way you will get your work noticed. You need to get out of your comfort zone and start connecting with other creatives and you will soon see many opportunities coming your way. I am not promising that these tips will make you the next Steven King or Andy Warhol, but what I can promise is that it will build your confidence. You will soon start meeting like minded folk who will want to include you in their brainstorming sesssions, and hopefully make some very special friendships along the way.

So how can you take control and combat those fears?

Found on
When I started out on my artistic rebirth journey one of the first things I did was to discover the wonderful world of social media. Now, this is a great way to connect with people in the comfort of your home and the more you do it the more comfortable you will feel with interacting with others.
The first page I set up was my facebook page and then from there I started signing up to all sorts of art sites and social media sites to get my work out there. I have found that it is best to stick with just a few rather than plastering yourself all over the internet. Try them all out to begin with, then find the ones that you connect with the most and stick to them. When I first started out my top sites were Facebook, Fanart, RedBubble and Deviantart.  was the site that pushed me down the illustrating path and was the most sociable and interactive site I found. You could post artwork on the site and had the option to promote this on their home page. To do this you would have to review other artists work in exchange for member dollars which you would then use to promote your own work. It was quite a time consuming site to be part of, but back then I had nothing else going on so I thoroughly enjoyed it. They even held competitions  and had chat forums, so it was a very social site.
They also had a sister site called Fan Story  where the artists had the option to share their work with the authors so that they could use them for the writing they posted. I will always be grateful for my time on this site, without it I might never have stumbled into the illustrating world.
When I first joined up I was very nervous about posting my work, I was incredibly insecure about what I produced, and I was intimidated by the other art that was clearly of a professional standard. I will never forget posting that first painting and thinking ”please be nice, please be nice”. Well long story short it was the best thing I did and I met some wonderful people through it.
These days my platforms of choice are Facebook and Twitter with Instagram and Pinterest in the background, I really must get back into them. Oh and a little nosey on Linkedin now and again.
I can’t advise which ones will suit you, all I can say is give them all a go and then stick with the ones you like the most, only you will know which feels right.
Twitter for me really opened up a  floodgate of opportunities and new connections. It’s a bit strange to begin with, but stick with it. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing on there at first and thought the whole thing was a ridiculous concept. Try it for a fortnight, follow people, retweet posts you like, look for groups to join and I can guarantee you will love it. Within a month I was meeting all sorts of people and have made some great friendships through it. As a start you can follow these groups which I highly recommend. All are a great way to meet other people with the same interests:
Twitter group for Illustrators:
Twitter group for Authors:

One of the biggest things I have learned over the years is that there are some wonderful people out there who are all willing to share their knowledge with you. I have learned the majority of what I know today through my connections with other like minded peeps. If I get stuck with any technical issues or even get stuck with a drawing or concept there has always been someone there to give me some advice.
Most people love to chat to others and offer advice so don’t feel afraid to reach out to people.  My approach is very much a bull in a china shop, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t he he. You have absolutely nothing to lose so make the first move, say hi, compliment them on their work and show an interest, before you know it friendships will be formed and great connections made. Also don’t take it personally if you don’t get a reply, these things happen and it really is no reflection on you as a person, the creative bunch are ridiculously busy! So the odd snub here and there is perfectly normal. Don’t be intimidated to reach out to the high profile creatives either, from my experience they have all been interactive and have answered any questions I have had. Don’t forget we all had to start somewhere once so don’t be intimidated with reaching out to the pros, they are more than happy to help with any questions you have.

Another thing I did at the beginning was join my local art club. Now I was a bag of nerves as you can imagine, walking into a room full of people I didn’t know was incredibly daunting. I won’t lie, it was scary but at the same time I knew that it would really help me out. Not only to meet other people but also to improve my skills. There are usually local clubs for artists and writers, if there isn’t then why not start one?
I have been involved in all sorts of little events over the year that has lead to social occasions with other artists and meeting new people. Once you start getting yourself out there and start connecting with people who have the same interest, you will soon find a whole new world open up. I can’t comment on the author side of things as this area is very new to me, but I know for artists, there are loads of opportunities out there. Art clubs, local art oganizations, art trails and tours. Have a google and see what’s near you then sign up!

As Richard Branson quoted “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” This is very much how I do things, what harm can it do after all.  So I have got involved in all sorts of different ventures the last few years and this year is no exception. I was asked to read to my children’s school earlier this year…. Aaaaarrrggh! Me and public speaking are not best friends! But I did it, and you know what….. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had absolutely nothing to worry about.  Ask me again when I have to do it again in October he he. 
The biggest challenge so far was an hr long live interview on The Ron Shaw Show on the 17th of August. I really put my poor little body through the paces with that one. I was in what one can only be described as a “state” on the day itself and the butterflies started a week before. Yes I didn’t want to do it, I was petrified but I kept telling  myself “What is the worse that can happen?” Life moves on and if it really was terrible people would soon forget about it. If it was truly awful then it could probably even work in my favour as it might attract more listeners he he. Anyway I did it…. and you know what?.... I absolutely loved it! Even though everybody kept telling me I would be fine, I really didn’t feel that way on the day, but they were right.
So as the good old saying goes, “There is no such thing as can’t” Yes you will be scared and yes sometimes things don’t go as well as you would have hoped for, but at least you are trying. You can’t control what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow so try to live for the now. Keep telling yourself that you can do this!
I hope this blog inspires other introverts, it is a horrible trait to have at times but it doesn’t need to control you. Baby steps in the right direction is all it needs.

Have you had to overcome the dreaded introvert curse? What techniques did you use to overcome a fear on a particular situation? I would love to know, so please do leave a comment below.

And if you fancy a giggle here is my interview with Ron Shaw:


  1. Corrina, Love the way you are so authentic and open in chronicling your journey as an artist and an introvert. Though not an introvert, I also find social media daunting at times because there is just so much of it. Thanks for offering bite-sized tips for tackling and taming it.

    1. Thanks so much for the comments Cat. I am surprised with the reaction the post has had, it's comforting to know that others out there go through the same thing. It's a funny old trait to have at times.

  2. Great post! I'm the same. I'm better at writing than talking. Getting better at talking. As you pointed out, I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

    1. Oh me too!! So much better at explaining myself through writing. Rubbish at verbal communication lol lots of trailing off and never getting my point across the way I want to, most annoying. It is comforting to know that there are others that go through it to. Thank you so much for taking the time out to leave a comment and I am so pleased you enjoyed the read.