I'm sure you're looking at this picture and thinking, "Wait a minute, that's not what happened in the story!" I'm very aware of that. This picture is a result of one of the pre-sleep ruminations I go through on an almost nightly basis. I think about a lot of things before I fall asleep. Mostly, I file away and work through thoughts I didn't have time to consider during the day. Lately my professional progress has been a source of consideration.
On the one hand, I know that my art's made a lot of progress and has grown tremendously over the last year. (At least, that's what I hear from my fellow Soupers.) I know that I have more confidence and a better grasp at what the children's publishing industry is about. I have a handle on just how much work is going to be required from me, and how hard the entire who-knows-how-long road to working as a freelance illustrator is going to be. That's why I have the tortoise up there; it's common sense telling me to take my time and do it the best I can.
On the other hand the more I think about it, the more I realize that as much as I've improved and strengthened my skills, I still have so far to go. It feels like the opportunity to be published (the ultimate finish line) keeps moving further and further away. The track is getting longer and longer, and ultimately I'm running in place. So my heart feels like the Hare- stuck on the starting line.
I know all artists go through periods of this: this doubting self-analysis. Sometimes I feel like it shows up to push me on to another track- to consider other choices open to me. Other times I try to ignore it and continue on with what I've been doing.
I'm not sure what purpose this Hare/Tortoise moment is trying to serve. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to stay on or leave the track. Maybe I'm supposed to try the unbeaten path leading me to who knows where. I just don't know.