Holding On/Letting Go Illustration Meaning and Process

Welcome back to Bethanie’s Place! It’s finally time to take a look at a new illustration. Today I’m introducing my latest piece, Holding On/Letting Go. This piece has two names because it has two very different meanings and starting points for me.

When I have an idea for an illustration I start with a rough sketch, and sometimes these sketches sit untouched for a long time. The idea for this piece came to me when I was in a sad brain space. Initially this piece came to my mind as an image of desperation and hopelessness, holding onto something, a part of myself or someone I once was. The darkness that birthed the idea for this piece stopped me from drawing it for a long time, so it simply sat in Procreate as a rough idea sketch.

This meaning changed, however, after I finished reading Florence Given’s incredible book ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’. I recommend this book for everyone, all genders, ages, and sexualities. After I read the last line of the book I remembered this sketch and suddenly my mind saw the image differently. Instead of representing clinging onto who I used to be and waiting for someone to save me, it transformed into something positive and empowering. This piece morphed into representing the choice to let go. It reminds me that I am letting go because it is my choice to do so, to move on and grow, a gift of love to and for myself.

Here’s a little look at the process of this piece, a journey from sketch to print ready illustration.

We are all deserving of love and the chance to develop and grow as a person, even when it feels like that’s impossible. I hope that this illustration portrays this to others too, and that it can be there for them through whatever stage they’re on of their own journey.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, I’ll be back very soon with more illustrations and a final instalment of my small business series. Holding On/Letting Go is available as a print and sticker via my shop should you like a copy for yourself. Find me on Twitter or Instagram to see more of my illustrations and other fun bits and pieces.

I hope you’re all keeping safe and well, and I’ll see you in the next one.

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