Thursday, January 26, 2006

Finding the joy.

lots of watercolor, in about an hour or so, last night.

I've been feeling lately like nothing I do matters to anyone. Like nobody cares about my artwork and I'm basically unnoticeable, unremarkable. I got a very strange rejection for an illustration job that made me question my work. I've also been feeling REALLY jealous about creative successes good friends are having - I'm thrilled for them and at the same time, thinking, "Hello! What about me? When will it be my turn?" I didn't doubt I was good enough, I wondered how long I wanted to keep throwing things out there and hearing nothing in return.

But you know what? I'm truly okay with it now.

One night after crying about it to Paul, I went upstairs to my studio and started messing around with my digital version of the Owl and the Pussycat picture. I changed the drop shadows on the owl's wing - and saw a setting I'd never touched before that made the wing look like I'd outlined it in charcoal, which was exactly what I wanted to do. And then I got such a rush of what can only be described as creative joy that totally eclipsed the feeling of invisibility I'd been battling. The feeling was so strong that I had to run downstairs to tell Paul what I'd realized: That it honestly didn't matter if I never got another comment, email, request for work/whatever again, because they will not change how I work or what I do. That I was painting and illustrating for myself. I'm painting to be better at it, to learn new things. To explore. Not to seek approval. Don't get me wrong, approval is nice, but in the end, I will paint because I need to, because it's a hunger inside me. And the successes will come in time, if they're meant to.

And... along those lines, I have to question how much pushing of myself I really do. Not just pushing artwise, but pushing marketing-wise. Charlie Brown looked into an empty mailbox and was depressed nobody invited him to anything, but how many cards did he send out? I think I've been (sort of) content to wait and see what came my way.

I think it's time to get off my butt.

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