Thursday, January 05, 2006

Indulge me a moment.

I can tell you right now that the majority of the posts for the month of January are going to have a common theme: Self-Doubt and Endless Questioning.

As excited as I am about going to New York and attending the SCBWI conference, the upcoming trip has sent me into a tailspin.

Reason #1:
I have to finish adding pieces to my portfolio, which of course means I go back to the beginning and I'm evaluating ALL of my pieces. Is this good enough? Is this "quality" work? Is it my best?

Reason #2:
As I have a pile of sketches waiting to become finalized pieces, I am questioning my whole technique. The joy of creating some of these pieces has been sucked out from me by the pressure to have it be an example of my "best work." The fun I have in creating the basic sketch is definitely not translating to the final piece!

I have to send postcards to the printers to be copied and mailed back to me in time for the conference- which piece do I use? One of my older pieces, one of the brand-spanking new pieces I 've just finished?

Reason #4:
What's my style again? I've been in search of this for over a year, and I still haven't figured it out! How am I going to sell myself to a prospective art buyer when I don't know what I'm selling? AAHH!

And most confusing of all: I've been working on a piece for over 5 hours. I can't figure out what it is about the piece that I don't like, but it's bugging me. I've started over twice, tried three different color palettes...nothing. BUT for distraction, I just threw a doodle on watercolor paper, and said, "I wonder what it would look like if I went like this?" and threw random colors on it. I love it! I love it a heck of a lot more than the other piece I've been working on! What is the deal? The piece I've been so meticulous about trying to "get just right" is crap, and this "I wonder if" has more personality? argh!

Umm, I think I just answered my own question. Maybe I need to be more carefree about the process. Throw some color up there. Don't worry about value. Don't worry about palette choices. Don't worry about fore-, middle- and background. Don't worry about perspective and balance and line quality. Just do what feels right.


Back to the drawing board.


  1. Good, you know the rules, now go back to having fun and draw from the heart. I know how stressful this is getting ready for your conference but try to focus in on drawing for your inner child or your favorite 4 yr old. =O)It is amazing to me how it shines through.
    I can tell you from experience that the pieces that have appealed to editors the most were the pieces I did totally from the heart and the pieces I struggled and struggled over fell flat.

  2. Yeah, it's the relaxing and remembering that this drawing/painting stuff is fun that is the easiest thing to forget. And the most important, I do it all the time. Hang in there girly, take breaks and try and look at what inspires you often.

  3. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Hi Dee,
    we all go through those same questions. find the joy in creating and that will attract others to your work.
    And don't feel like this is your one and only shot. This is a step in the process. You'll learn so much at the conference you'll want to come home and redo your whole portfolio anyway! Think of the conference more like going to college than a job interview.
    and for your postcard, pick your most favorite illustration to-date. The one you love the most. You can do this, I know you can!!!


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