Searching For Your Passion
I’m the opposite of consistency.
A long time ago, letters were my leitmotiv, everything I made was related with them. Not much further, I started to be interested in calligraphy. I guess, it was the next logical step to understand the accurate structure of the letters, which is founded in the gestures of writing. And I loved it, and as soon as I loved it, I got bored too. My passion had wained, again.
What’s wrong with me? I used to ask myself with every change. Why my initial excitement goes down so quickly? Is this a bad thing or a good one? Well, today the answer is pretty clear to me. For better or for worse, that kind of attitude is always right, because you are in your personal journey to find out what are the real emotions that drive you to keep experimenting and trying new stuff. And that means don’t stay stuck on one thing for too long, keep moving from project to project, idea to idea. Plus, don’t forget that passion evolves, changes, and maybe in the future, you’ll be a different person with different ideas to pursue.
In my case, my own curiosity and restless mind, drove me towards practicing a different kind of illustration, not-related with letterforms anymore. Will it be the final direction? The definitive field for mastering? One thing or another, it was what it felt right for me at that time, so.
I became a character illustrator.
But with what purpose? Editorial commissions? Commercial projects? Own products? Besides, I’m not only drawing characters, but I also draw landscapes, animals, inanimate objects and abstract shapes too, so what kind of illustrator I am? Ahgg… labels, will talk about that stuff another day.
So, what is the next step? I know what I like to draw, I know that when more effort I put in the ideas during the whole process, I’m happier. At this point, I’ve realized about a lot of important stuff for thriving my career as an illustrator. Then, should I start looking for my own and exclusive illustration style? Is that strictly necessary?
In my opinion, when the more defined is your style, the better, for a lot of proved reasons. But, I rather talking about your own voice, which I think is connected with your ideas and the way you depict every aspect of life through your own eyes.
Today, I keep trying new things, playing and having fun all the time I can, fighting against strugglings like every artist or entrepreneur has, but finally feeling myself closer to that “something special” that makes me start every day with energy and ambition.
If you have read until this point, you deserve this useful set of conclusions that I hope help you in some way.
Every new thing I practiced, every resource I was changing, improving, removing, redoing, over and over, with every little step, the voice is being built. And that journey never ends. You will get bored about what you’re doing today, I can guarantee you that.
Keep drawing, learning and discovering new ways to represent your ideas through your illustrations.
I learned that “the style”, as you probably read or heard before, comes on its own, just keep working. I know, is vague advice, but it’s because the answer is that easy.
Be prolific instead of a perfectionist. What you think is perfect today, 99% probabilities that tomorrow it won’t.
The best work lay ahead of you, not behind. Focus on the big picture.
The real power relies on your ideas, on your imagination. The resources you put in the paper/screen are just visual results of that, and the resources and styles usually have date of expiry, but not your imagination, nor your points of view and experiences. Surprise! you are already unique.
Learn from your references, understand all the years of effort and dedication they put into it until they have become the successful professionals they are today.
Now put your ass to work on it.