This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The "ThankYou" note vexation...

And so I begin, with coffee in hand, to compose the perfect "thank you" letter. My pen takes to the glossy white card and smooths that black ink onto its paper like a paintbrush to canvas. Each stroke begins to form a letter and finishes that stroke while emanating complex and contradicting emotions  from that previous interview. All that anxiety and useless regret for the words conveyed begin to form an apology instead of gratitude. To the trash can it goes. Well, the last four cards have found their way to the trash in crumpled cardstock paper balls of exasperation. Uggh!
Like so many of my sketches, I erase those self deprecating marks and lines from that previous letter and begin again. Finally, after a multitude of embarrassing and yet necessary edits, this has the makings of a slightly less embarrassing email. Why not a note card? Well, I may have used them all up in my multiple attempts to create a well written note of gratitude.  Email was what I had left. That said, this "Thank you" note  may be the winner.
Dear Interviewer,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. (not too desperate, I hope?) I enjoyed the opportunity to converse with you and offer examples of my work in hopes that it would be compatible and compliment your marketing needs. Although my style leans towards the creative("leans"? My work screams "creative"), I believe that I could contribute the technical means you require if offered the resources to do so.
Although our styles vary, our visual aesthetic marries well in use of color and photographic perspective. I believe I would be bring perspective and support to this position. My illustrative background has enabled me to be very receptive to constructive criticism and work well in small and large group settings. (If you read my blog entry about Illustrator day, then you know I can rebound and learn with the best of them)
I am looking to work with someone in a low drama, teamwork setting. (I wanted to say NO drama, but I do need to be realistic) My work with Early Learning and Nursing background have cultivated my ability to anticipate my co worker's needs and carry them out with high expectations. As referenced from my previous employers, I have a high work ethic and prefer to work with those who see possibilities and apply the work to achieve them with preemptive planning and time managed execution.
Cassaundra Dunbridge.
It has only been within the recent years that I have identified myself as the "artistic" type. Unlike most artistic types, I enjoy and thrive on time lines, exceeding expectations, and critical thinking. Risk taking was never my forte', but I have come to embrace the possibilities that it affords. Of course, those risks apply to my art and not bungee jumping. The idea of the subjective is a vulnerable space allowing for judgement without the grounds of objective reasoning to support it. It is, therefore, opinion based and opinions can be had by anyone. No degree or professional background needed. The objective is to please the masses. My people pleasing personality plays well in this area.

Art Calls. Yes, the bullhorn sounds off with a reverberating tone heralding inspiration in forms of colors, shapes, and characters awaiting their creation in the form of a pencil sketch to paper. Soon, their existence will be unveiled as each paint stroke transforms their 2-D shape into a formed illustration full of hope and imagination. Yes, this will soon take place in my office of creativity and a brain full of endless visual inspiration. Artistic creation is about to unfold...And the coffee will begin to appear and disappear. These two go hand in hand as the warm brew of roasted coffee beans allows for relaxation and nostalgia.
With this email out in the the wondrous and sometimes mystical land of the internet, I wait. Soon, I will send the follow up email. Yes, there will be coffee.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The stagnant abyss of the unchanged...

Dramatic? Well, it might be. I awoke from a dream this morning and felt that unsettling tinge in my stomach take a hold of me. Was it the fear of the unknown and the ill aftertaste of regret lingering after an interview I had yesterday? Or was it just an internal cry for coffee? It may be safe to say that it is indeed a mixture of the two, or perhaps three. I love coffee and I am just terrible when my nerves get into a jumble. I make chatty Kathy look like she has laryngitis. Enthusiasm should really be my middle name. I have it in spades. My optimism for life can not be contained by common know how and the adventure it promises is just a bit much when verbalized in a squeaky, sensory stimulating tone that may makes your eardrums bleed unintentionally. One word for all of it: overcompensation. Yup. There it is. My interview was about me acting as if I am an overly eager 16 year old boy going out on his first date. My nerves were electrical. I was on fire! No, really...smoking so badly that the fire alarm should have rang and buzzed it's disorienting sound alerting immediate peril while giving my interviewer the perfect excuse needed to break free from this meeting and escape before she would be smoldered by the toxic neediness that my body language portrayed. Train wreck? Well, I could write a book on how NOT to interview. Perhaps I should illustrate it, too!

My illustrating career has been a little stagnant lately. My creativity is on point. I am constantly outsourcing resources and advice from  those in the industry to create my best work. What I really need is more of a technical background. This job would have allowed that. Working within parameters and challenging me to focus on those parameters could push my work further. As I like to say, "onward and upward. Learn from it and move forward with that knowledge."
Nerves really can destroy an impression. I spent my evening questioning myself on how or what I could bring to the job. What did I want from it? Why did I want this particular job? During that reflection period in between homework and the numerous requests for snack and dinner suggestions, I came to realize that the traits I would be able to contribute are not the technical, but the ability to obtain the technical background if provided the means to do so. So, perhaps enthusiasm isn't a wasted trait, but a trait that can be utilized and provides the promise of a happy team. A good team member identifies the deficits and provides support in those areas. In a way, this is indicative of the author/illustrator team. Often times, an author expects the illustrator to be their hand. Illustrating is its own story as writing is for the author. The two worlds come together producing a cohesive product while respecting each others' gifts that their individual work provides to the project. Perhaps I should write that book. I botched that interview pretty badly, but I was able to show my work and my potential.
Back to the application rodeo I go with a smile and rebounding optimism after recovering from that interview gut punch of exemplifying the art of verbal failure . Art is subjective. Not everyone will like your work, but listening to the needs and wants of the industry encourage one's marketability.
More coffee? Don't mind if I do!