Several weeks ago, I sent an email to an illustrator whom I have been following to gain inspiration as I return to illustrating. I wanted to share my eBook with him, but I was nervous about what he would say, what he would think of my writing, and what he would think of my art.
I struggled with the “If you don’t want to…” sentence.
In the end, I forewent the apology and chose to turn it around a bit. The return email was kind and contained a positive response to my work. My fear proved unfounded.
This post, from Jeff Goins, reflects that experience and other posts I have read.
Either say something worth saying or don’t say anything at all.
If you feel like you have to apologize, then you probably shouldn’t waste someone’s time.
Or (and this is a big “or”), learn to be confident in what you do. To the extent that you don’t have to end your requests with clauses like, “You don’t have to…” or “sorry to bother you.”
When you obviously believe in your message, so will others.
Check out the rest of the article. It’s a great one. I still do struggle with asking but, now, when I do ask I am turning off self-rejection (most of the time).
It has been a awhile since I was able to really focus on writing here. I have been focused on completing the next issue of The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.
It has been a much slower process than I thought it would be. I am writing, editing, reediting, having my wife and another writer friend
edit the story. Then, I am illustrating, reillustrating, and struggling over illustrations that I am not 100% happy with.
I am nearly 80% done drawing the 10 illustrations I planned for this next issue. I am mostly happy with them. There are a couple that I have just had to let them be what they are and move on to the next one. Horses have always been particularly difficult and I am not sure what I was thinking to make a story wherein they play a prominent role. But, I have and I will end up being better for it.
This next issue is entitled: New Friends, and I am very happy with the story and art overall. I hope to have it published before December, but that might be a pipe dream.
Meanwhile, I have been pulling together the Tomy and Jon site. It is slow going, but it, too, is coming along. I will continue to tweak the site in my sparest of spare time. My wife and I are also working on a coloring contest and a true printed copy. I will share details about that when it is completed.
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Favorite artists can be a troublesome lot. It’s not their fault really, but they mess with us. They get into our work and tangle up our natural tendencies. Why? Because we let them.
There are several things that we need to recall as we look to our favorites.
- They may have talents we don’t yet possess.
- They may have been at this longer, or more consistently.
- They probably don’t feel that their work is as easy as we think that it is for them.
I have touched on the first two in this post. I am not going to beat that one dry. I want to focus on number three. When we look at our favorite’s work too often we assume that they can just spit and their work comes out perfect.
It doesn’t. Follow a few of them on Twitter or Facebook.
You will read about them, at times, with their guard down. You will discover that they too have difficult days. Days when they just can’t get anything right.
This is good. It is helpful. It means they struggle too. Don’t let their polished work fool you, in the end they have favorites that they too feel can do no wrong. (That too I wrote here.)
Ok, so enough of repeating myself.
When we see an artist that has a smooth line style and we think they just whipped it out. Think again. They took their time. The same holds true for one with a scratchy style. Just because it looks rushed and quickly drawn (in a good way) doesn’t mean that it was. In many cases, what we think might be a ten minute drawing (because they are just so cool like that) might in fact be an hour long drawing or more.
Yes, it might be true that their crap is better than our masterpieces or it might be that we have blinders on and that all we need is more confidence in our line-work—that comes with work and persistence.
So, before you close up shop try slowing down. Try easing up a bit on the expectation to perform to your favorites’ capacity and discover your own strengths.
That’s my current process: slow down, reassess my strengths, strengthen my weaknesses.