A little over fifteen years ago, I set out on a direction. It was a direction that changed my focus and job skills. I began to develop Flash websites and modules along side my illustrations.
Almost ten years ago, I made a firmer decision in that direction and while it was the right one to make at the time—it was a tough one. Shortly after 911, all of my illustration freelance jobs dried up (I am sure that happened for many). What didn’t dry up, as much, was the need for a Flash developer. So, for the most part I refocused my skills and became a Flash desdev.
Fast-forward ten years, Flash isn’t on the high that it once entertained. It isn’t dead by a long-shot, but it isn’t the king of the hill either. As a matter of fact it has been thrown down and is having to fight, once again, the climb to the top against faster, younger, technologies.
In light of this, and other personal matters, I have been taking an inventory of my skills and making some hard, but necessary, choices. Almost ten years ago, I chose Flash over and against my illustrations. Now, it is the reverse. I have made the choice to regain skills that were left dormant (and somewhat neglected) and retrain my hand eye coordination and regain a creative confidence. It has been worth while. I have, also, began to focus more on writing. They, both, come loaded with insecurities and risks.
What if I am not good enough?
This is the question I have to seriously ask myself, on one hand, and, on the other, it is an insecurity that I (and many others, including experts, ask themselves) on a daily basis—in short it is a fear.
Do I have what it takes to reposition myself as an author/illustrator?
If I would have kept at it, ten years ago, I would have a much higher quality art and writing than I have now, but would my family have suffered due to the fact that I wasn’t a great artist, but was merely “ok”. It’s the whole 20/20 thing and in hindsight I would have done it the exact same way. The question is will my future self look back and heartily say:
I would do it that way again?
I do not know.
For now my family and I are going to navigate the waters of relearning and changing of skills to reposition ourselves for the next ten years and beyond. Each day that passes I am growing in confidence that I can stand out, in the field of excellent author/illustrators, and make a difference through my art/writing. We have challenges ahead of us, but this change has already been a good one for my family.