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.

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!

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