You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
For the past few months, I’ve had the title of this article ready, numbered, and a full article written. Hell I have several articles written and ready to go that I have not posted. Despite being the MDW webmaster, I couldn’t pull myself to post my own article or the countless other articles I have completed. Week, after week passed as I looked at this article on my computer and stared. I’ve been in this positive uplifting point in my career and personal life, but something nagging inside me just would not let me post the article as it was written.
Mid July, I had the privilege of participating in ICON 6, the Illustration Conference, as a speaker. This illustrious conference happens every 2-3 years and draws top talent and art directors from all over the world. I had a chance to impart some knowledge about using social media to expand your brand and had very meaningful conversations with other creators. The excitement and synergy in the air was palatable.
As I talked to the my colleagues and some of my heroes, I felt like Popeye getting fueled up from a can of spinach. There was light in my eyes that I know hasn’t been around in some time. After listening to Tim Biskup, Kadir Nelson, and Thomas Blackshear give a retrospective on their careers and the struggles they faced, a common thread emerged in each of their reflections. For each artist there was a pivotal point in their career that was riddled with doubt and an internal search for truth. Their journey took them down very different paths, but the outcome was the same- a renewed interest and perspective on their art and their personal truth.
A week later on Michael Davis’ Black Panel during Comic Con, Bill Duke said something very powerful that also resonated with me. A young hopeful in the audience asked what advice outside of knowing the right people and studying could Mr. Duke provide to someone interested in “the business.” He replied that the entertainment industry is an industry of rejection, and you must have another outlet to revive your spirit.
Was I feeling rejected?
No, not really.
But I was feeling dejected. Not by any outside force, but because I’m an A-type personality with insane standards for myself and my work. It was at that moment that I realized why I haven’t been able to post. My column explores the ups and downs in my journey in my career as an artist with quite a bit of transparency. This deeper search for my own personal TRUTH placed me in an extreme place of vulnerability and rawness.
It was a place that I did not feel comfortable showing others. But what I’ve come to realize is that one of the hardest things about being an artist is showing the darkness and the light equally. Truly being a mirror of the human experience and showing your truth.
So here I am. Imperfect, flawed, and uniquely myself. I’m ready again to show the good, the bad and the ugly! Inspired to Stay Inspired…..