Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Response Fail

It was my intention to respond right away to all your considerate, helpful, supportive, encouraging comments on my last post. Since I was getting ready to leave on a mini vacation last week for Spring Break, I attempted to send personal responses by email. Unfortunately, in my hurry to get everything ready, I sent the replies before realizing some of you have no-reply email addresses.

Rather than try to figure out to whom I actually responded, I’m hoping you’ll forgive this considerably less personal mass thank-you, because you understand I’m still in a post-travel stupor and have about fourteen loads of laundry left to do.

Actually I’ve wondered how to adapt to the whole commenting thing, now that people seem to be spending more time on Facebook and less time blogging. I think responses to comments are nice, but on the other hand I don’t really expect people to have time to check back for one. I think somehow social networking keeps creating new ways to be socially clueless.

Anyway, between all your uplifting comments AND several days away from home with almost no responsibilities, I’m having trouble getting back to reality. I’m feeling like this big kitty we spotted at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert:

I could really go for a nap. Followed by a snack. Followed by another nap.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's Next?

First of all, I really appreciated the comments cheering me on. Second, I didn’t win. Not only didn’t I win, I also had the pleasure of paying a fortune to replace a busted water heater the same day the results were posted. So much for dreaming of little extras. This came after a week sprinkled with family disappointments, so…no point dwelling on it. You can see all the illustrations I’ve submitted so far to They Draw and Cook here. I also have a map posted on They Draw and Travel. I did really have fun working on them – I’m sure I’ll feel inspired to do more.

Now, on to other things. One thing I planned to focus on this year is trying to drum up some illustration work. At the beginning of the year I bought a copy of the Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market, and was all fired up to tear through it, highlighter at the ready. Unfortunately, I got a little discouraged going through the listings. Most wanted such specific things – one wants only wooden boats, another traditionally rendered vegetarian food…you get the picture. My highlighter barely got a workout on the first pass. It’ll take some digging to work up a decent mailing list.

Since one of my interests is illustrating book covers, plan B was to visit the bookstore in search of publishers that might be a match for my style. This plan produced a long list, but once I started researching individual publishers I noticed that as with writing, few houses accept unsolicited artwork. I'm caught in a familiar catch-22: you can’t get anyone to look at your work unless you’re already established, and you can’t get established because no one will look at your work. Or, you can manage to find time to produce work or to promote your work, but not both. Even though this is kind of a new start, I’m not a total newbie to the art and design world. I feel like I’ve at least paid some dues, but I'm back at square one.

If this sounds like whining, it isn’t meant to be. I’d just like to work! While I’m trying to figure out plan C (along with school, a tiny amount of freelance work and the usual abundance of other craziness), here’s a promotional postcard I started working on:

Where and how to send it, that’s another matter. It helps me to remember we’re always in transition – a thought summed up by a phrase I just heard in an Understanding Buddhism class: we are always practicing for what we will become next.