Friday, March 7, 2014

BIG Opportunity and Perseverance

I have something BIG going on! Looks like I'm going to Italy. My art that is! I've been selected to be featured in the SCBWI 2014 "Bologna Illustrators’ Gallery." My piece "Time to Wish" will be displayed on the showcase booth walls at The Bologna book Fair.

This leads me to thinking about perseverance in this business and the art of never giving up. That's a hard thing to do when you've spent years chasing a dream. Sometimes receiving encouragement, other times rejection. Then more rejection. Then the rejection turns into a no response, because the business practices have changed, and a no response means rejection. (But in the back of your mind you think there still might be hope - maybe they just haven't gotten back to you yet?) Then you get a good critique, a featured spot, or even a rejection letter with a positive note. And you think just maybe you can make this dream happen.

Someone recently gave me some very sound advice. We were discussing the need to look for a paying job or to continue putting everything you've got into following this dream. She asked me "Which one would leave you with regrets?" Years from now would I regret most not taking a menial job or giving up on publishing?

And that leads me to Bologna. I'm not going to give up. I just got a kick in the butt to remind me of what I want and what this particular piece means to me. This piece is from my heart. It's from a story I started a long time ago and "cut my teeth on" in this business. It not the same story it was when I first wrote it (or for that matter first illustrated it.) It has grown along with me. It's been written many times, revised many times, and sent out many times. Then shelved.

I've worked on other things since then. I started new picture book projects, I've illustrated books for other writers, I even started writing a novel of my own. Recently an Art Directer reviewed my portfolio and told me this piece showed how much I loved working on it. So I pulled it out from the dark drawer again, made more revisions and decided it's good. The writing is good. The concept is good. I think I got this. I think it's time to start shopping this story...again.

Please Note: This month's Friday Studio Links has been delayed. Check back next Friday for more information.