Okay, I'm quite done with Sister Depresso. Such a poisonous, insidious vibe, this depression is. Though it helped me really examine my drive (or lack thereof), my motivations, and what's best for me, my fam, and my life.
It's a complicated thing, being an artist. You're constantly torn between the desire to follow your muse, make money, give the client what he wants, be a critical success with your peers...man, it's nearly impossible to juggle all those things with any fair balance! I listen to all the art-related podcasts I can get my hands on, in a vain attempt to make sense of it all. But it doesn't help. Everyone has their own idea of what works, what doesn't. Each artist's goal is different. I've come to the conclusion I really have to shove all that crap aside and fabricate my own path to happiness. And it begins with establishing a hierarchy of importance for myself.
I turned 46 this year...egads. Solidly into middle-age. (And I don't act a day over 16!) If I don't shoot for my dreams NOW, they're never going to happen. I always thought I wanted to join the ranks of Todd Lockwood, Donato Giancola, Dan Dos Santos...those incredibly talented scifi/fantasy cover artists who make us all look like hacks. But no matter how fast I run, I feel like a hamster on a wheel, getting no where. The schools are spitting out kids with incredible digital acumen and skills, photography is still threatening the power of hand-drawn illustration, I can't afford to attend the conventions and workshops where I might network with art directors and the aforementioned artists, we're hella broke (which eliminates SO many opportunities), and between my life demands as a mother and the creative demands of a working artist, it's all getting partial attention and therefore, meager success. Something's gotta give.
So this year, I'm dedicating the remainder of 2010 to reassessing my goals, reassigning weight, and attaining a better work/life balance. I'm really such a social creature, the solitary life of a freelance illustrator is making me a tad nutty. But just a tad, mind you. And internet relationships just don't cut it, even though I have to acknowledge they're an incredible resource to add to your repertoire. So with this in mind, here's ya olde Bucket List:
~Maintain pocket change via my few favorite clients.
~PAINT, dammit! Make stuff to flash at local galleries!
~Write every day, whether I want to or not. I've got a story to tell...
~Respect the (new) non-art-related dayjob. It puts food on the table, provides health insurance, and gives my muse a break. Clearly, she's running on fumes.
~Focus, focus, focus. Weed out those things that don't support the Bucket List, but allow for time to get exercise and recharge the battery.
~Travel. See new things, even if it's just down the road an hour. Get out of the effin' house.
Sounds easy, huh? *COUGH COUGH* But now it's in print. It's real. And I hope you guys will help me keep on task. Love y'all. *le smooooch*
PS...OH! Before I sign off, I've included a little art teaser of one of the covers I'm supplying to one of my "few favorite clients", Loose Id Publishers (www.loose-id.com). I really dig the way the face turned out. Have a great weekend, gang.