behind the scenes,  Illustration

The magic of letting go

Creativity sparks all the time but usually not when you sit down in front of a clean sheet of paper. Suddenly your brain is as blank as the paper you stare at. Pressure builds up. One would think that with over 20 years of drawing experience this won’t happen, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. It still happens all the time.

And when you finally lay down the lines they are somehow stiff and have no flow. Then you go into full force and draw like crazy because you have already drawn on this clean innocent piece of paper and you better make it worth it.

And then you draw, and draw and at long last,… you hate what you’ve drawn, hate the composition, hate the wasted time. Everything looks overworked and not really what you wanted it to look like.

It happened to me last week. I wanted to draw Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. I still have this image in my head which I still couldn’t put down onto a piece of paper. Everything looked so forced and stiff. It looked awful. Not even like Cobain in the slightest.

Then I skipped the thought of it and just drew without the pressure of producing this grand picture or without any expectation. Guess what happend?

It might not look 100% like Cobain, but it had everything I wanted. Style, coloration, and on top of all, the free spirit I was searching for. It looked unique.

It was like I had given myself a glimpse of what can happen, when you let got and just draw.

Just a reminder, to stop putting pressure onto yourself.

Monia Baillieu is a professional illustrator and sculptor from northern Germany. Her illustrations are mostly eerie or haunted themed. Occasionally she creates some funny comics as well or ventures out into graphic novels. Sculptures are created with polymer clay and fit into the overall theme of her works.  

For professionell requests or collaborations please check her portfolio and send an email to

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