I don’t know what to say. I am broke almost all the time. Projects that I am doing are fun and entertaining for me. I love doing them. I blog daily sometimes and often only weekly. I have Facebook friends and twitter followers-a decent blog following- and I am all alone for the most part. I watched some YouTube video about how artists rarely get the feedback they need; how they go through stages in their art. Basically, people either don’t know what to say or don’t know how to tell you you’re not good enough. Or perhaps the work just doesn’t have that one thing that is unique.
I’m learning. Getting better day by day. Experience and doing get that. But am I good enough? Apparently not yet. But I’m getting there. Practice and daily progress are what gets you “there.” It seems I have been at it for so long with little reward and lots of frustration, but I stick to it. I keep going. I want to. I’m persistent.
It helps when people support you, especially after complaining on your Facebook page. I’ve had some offers of support over the past few days. That is nice. It helps so much to know I’m not totally alone in my dreams. And reading over and watching YouTube videos from professional illustrators, I realize I am not alone in my dreams. There are literally millions of people chasing this dream.
That’s a little disheartening to say the least, but it makes me think I am not alone- that there are other people who are in the same canoe. And when I say canoe, I mean those single person canoes where you go out on your own and find your own way. Sometimes there are rapids and sometimes you go against the stream, but at the end you realize, hell, there are a lot of canoes in this river.
What I mean is- it’s the nature of the game in being an artist. Who is going to tell you how to be you? Who is going to do the work that only one person can do? Who is going to get better for you? It’s all about work and time at the easel. What can only be gained with doing and experience and by persistence cannot be done with dreaming and hoping and believing. That helps, but the drawing doesn’t draw itself. You don’t figure things out by thinking what can only be done through doing. How do you tell someone- I am here for you, when you hardly know them; when all you know about them is things they write or photos they post?
Blogging is fun, to a degree, but it can only be done over time. How do you create an experience to be enjoyed in one day, when the thing being created is meant to be enjoyed over time- months and years? It’s the same with an art education- you are meant to enjoy your own progress, you are meant to experience the joys and ecstasy of the long process of becoming something you are happy with. When it gets down to it, you need to be you to be what you want. You need to be you over years of time. Learning the skills needed to be a success at a career in being you takes a broader view- one seen in decades rather than days.
Books and media projects like illustration are honed and crafted over months. Even a simple twenty page book takes 3-4 months by the best sometimes. When you’re just starting out, this can be overwhelming, especially if you are broke the majority of the time and need food money and have a disability and have anxiety and life hands you leaky roofs and messed up floors and a host of house repairs and health issues. It’s tough to do what I do. But it’s nice to do what I love. It’s nice to see myself making progress even if it takes ten years to get off the ground. I love what I do, I just wish it pays some day.
Tim Edwin B.
Please check out my first comic book at Amazon