Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Starting Up Again

Whew! When I signed up to work on the Silent Book Contest (much luck and fun to all the finalists!), I had no idea what kind of a journey it would be for me as a visual storyteller. I have to say that I am proud of my work.

After reviewing all of my pieces, I can really see how far I've come as an illustrator. Know what the cool part is? I can see how far I need to go. However, I do not think this is a bad thing at all. Instead of being sad that my work isn't the best it can be, I'm excited to push forward. It's been so long since I put pencil and brush to paper and the process was incredible for me. To take a moment and step away from the computer, the manuals, brochures, and annual reports, and just draw. That took me back to art school.

Which brings me to my current status. I did not make finals for this contest. I sort of knew that in my heart of hearts, but the amount of work needed to make this story happen exhausted me! I had started another manuscript earlier in the year before sending in the contest artwork.

Then all gears came to a squealing HALT.

I was just tired. Do you ever get creatively tired? If you say no, I know you're lying! Or you just started. Or you think you are not creative. Or you are a non-human member of a super-genius creative race. In which case, please contact me directly so we can get together and talk shop. No probes please.

Thankfully I have my amazing friend, Charla, and a pretty great critique group to get me started again. I also attended another writing conference here in Michigan to start my crusty brain back up again. Charla and I were excited to say that even though we go through creative valleys, at least we "show up" for things.

Showing up is important. You can be tired, drained, or just burnt out but you can show up! Show up to your computer to write (gaze at the flashing cursor for a while, perhaps make up a song to it's beat). You can show up in front of your sketchbook (maybe just write out your grocery list and draw some smiling produce). You can also show up to conferences, meet ups, and critique groups.

Just show up! Just try! It's so important to take that step. It will be messy. You may just make mistakes, but at least you're there and you're learning.

Stay on the path...