When I say, “I want to be a writer and/or illustrator,”
the advice I often hear is to:
A. “Write/draw what you know about.” B. “Write/draw what you’re passionate about.” C. “Write/draw what you want to learn about.” D. “Write/draw to please yourself first.” E. “Follow the Markets”/”Don’t follow the markets.”
What to do?
Attending writer’s conferences and taking classes in the craft of writing and illustrating have played a large part in my creative development. Having a strong group of creatives around me who critique my work and can give constructive suggestions for improvement has been priceless. I will remain forever grateful for lessons I have learned, even the ones which were difficult to accept. Thank you especially for those.
Here are a few thoughts I’ll pass along if you might be on your road to creative discovery:
Be Still. Listen. Ask questions. Try. Stop. Try again. Don’t Stop. Believe in and be honest with yourself. Take chances. Repeat as often as necessary. Make choices. Surround yourself with like-minded creative individuals. Somewhere during all that time you might discover what you really want to do as well as what you’re good at doing. You could also discover things that you don’t do as well as you thought, and that’s important to learn, too.
The illustration pictured above is called “Flower For A Friend,” and over the spread of many years has been published in two different magazine/newsletters. This drawing was originally done in colored pencil, then in b/w line art, then as a pencil sketch. It’s a simple little drawing, really, and what I see in it tells me something different about my work than it did when I first made the illustration.
It’s good to take a look at where you are in your journey every once in a while. You can see where you’ve been and where you might want to go.