|Finding out that DC would not look at my work.|
It was a hard pill to swallow. After all, I put in my time. Submitted my portfolio to the powers that be. Smoozed with editors. Worked on my craft. I should have been there by now. But, for some reason, I wasn’t. I saw friends and colleagues’ careers sail past me, while I stood still. When I was single, I had time to wait on that one break that SHOULD'VE happened. But with a wife and newborn, it was getting harder to justify the wait. I kept thinking, “Why am I doing this?”
This is a question that many of you will have to face in your illustration careers. To be truthful, the art industry is not one that you go into expecting to make a great deal of money. It’s a lot of work with little payoff. If you do get that comic book gig, be prepared to sacrifice a lot of your time to making the deadlines so the books can come out on schedule. Until you get that break, you will have to endure your fill of positive and (some times) very brutal critiques. In my case, I have had bosses that where so insensitive (That’s being very nice) that they have literally shoved my hands from my keyboard and mouse because I was not using key commands in photoshop. I’ve had designs and illustrations stolen, cheated out of finances, and (when things got good at the company) I got handed my walking papers. Things can be pretty bad when you are a working artist. So, why am I doing this?
While doing a tutorial panel on illustration, someone asked a question. “Why are you doing this?” The woman who asked me was a mother. Her son was a budding artist who was to shy to ask any questions himself. But she caught me off guard and I had to think for a moment. There was a second where I got really panicked. I couldn’t come up with an answer. Then it hit me.
Art is the first thing I remember doing that mattered to me. I told the woman of the first time I found art to be of value. I was in the second grade and I used to draw Batman and Robin all of the time. Classmates would point and sometimes crack on me. But there was this one kid who thought those drawings where the best things he’d seen. One day, out of appreciation for liking my “Batmans” (as I called them), I gave him a drawing. He was so excited, he gave me a quarter for it. No one had (up to that point) been so effected by anything I’d done. It excited me to draw more, share more, and I have been doing it ever since.
|Adam and I a our last San Diego Comic Con 2009.|
|Me and my son. This is what it's about.|
(Side note: These blogs are a way to make sure that the artist that read them don't make the same mistakes I did and capitalize on the things I did right. Being real about the hardships and achievements of this life is important to me. Be true to yourself and let all the rest slide.)
Until next blog, keep the pencils moving.
Illustrator, Designer, Father, Husband