Friday, September 18, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm Awake, I'm Awake! Sheesh!

"The feeling of accomplishment is more real and satisfying than finishing a good meal--or looking at one's accumulated wealth." - Jim Henson

Oh man, there's been quite the lapse in updates. I've got a chance to catch my breath after a crazy work marathon, which spanned the last 3 months or so, and will be resuming the crazy pace once again in a few weeks. I'm exhausted, I'm burnt out, but in all of that I am also... freakin' PROUD. I am satisfied, I am sated, and I feel like I've accomplished so much in such a short time. And that's because I have!

Remember my post from the beginning of the year? I was pretty exhausted and burnt out then, too. But it was different. It was more of a fatigue from anxiety, disappointments and financial strain. The kind of stuff that just wears you down at your core, as opposed to the joyful, almost delirious exhaustion that comes from completing a big project that you have thrown your full self into.

Blah, blah, blah, so what HAVE I been doing instead of making artwork for myself? I still can't go into details, but I can say that I just finished illustrating my first full-sized picture book, Prudence the Part-Time Cow, by Jody Jenson Shaffer. I have a Little Golden Book title on the way, 2 more picture books slated for early next year and a few book covers. I've also been kept busy with vis dev and character design for an animated feature, which is basically my dream come true.  Even better is that the teams I work with are incredibly talented and just fantastic people as a whole - weekly conference calls shouldn't be this fun...! The nature of the work I have been doing in all of these projects is very much in sync with my personal style and I feel so grateful and frankly, spoiled rotten.

I don't mean to come off as smug in sharing this... there are ups and downs in life, and frankly, I'm a born complainer and you've heard plenty of my whining. Beyond that, I think some people, particularly artists, tend to feel shame about sharing the good stuff, out of fear of being seen as cocky, aloof, what have you. Honestly? You gotta own it. Own the good with the bad. Share it, talk with other artists, swap stories, tricks of the trade and just, revel in the good times.

This chapter of my career has taken me to unexpected places, but they've all been places I was happy to visit, and I think I'd like to stay a while.  If I had told myself 2 years ago, when I had left the gaming industry, that this is where I would be landing, well, I probably could have saved myself a lot of tears and stomach problems. Even so, no regrets!

All of that said, don't write me off as a slacker with the personal artwork this year. Something's in the works that will make me just that extra bit crazy through early November. Hold tight for updates!