Before I left for my vacation, I listened to a live lecture by Lucy Bellwood and Jessica Abel about fear, making art, and freelancing as well as creative life and all the craziness that goes with that. A few points in the talk really resonated with me. One of the most obvious ones was a poll that opened at the start of the talk. Jessica started a poll with the audience before the talk began, asking "What does your demon stop you from doing?" and while I checked all of the above, mine actually stops me from FINISHING work most often. I have thousands of tiny sketches but the thought of finishing and being judged by the work is terrifying, it might be 'wrong' or have errors and then everyone will know that I am a hack --or that's what my demon keeps telling me anyways.
The talk was excellent and gave me a lot to think about. In the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about how I want to present myself after graduation and how to go about making the transition into a creative illustration or animation career. This talk really identified SO many of of the ways that I had been struggling and helped me to see that EVERYONE feels this way, even professional artists and its more about showing up, doing the work and putting it out there than it is about being the 'perfect artist'. It made me feel better about publicly presenting myself as an artist, especially online. Lucy stressed that online presence is so much more about PROCESS and building a community of your peers than it is posting perfect work to attract the illustration/animation 'Gods'. Lucy also suggested that the audience read 'Show Your Work' and 'Steal like an Artist" to help those struggling to either put themselves out there or get started (or BOTH!). I read "Show Your Work" over my vacation because at the moment I'm most interested in how to get over the fear of posting finished work (err...well finishing it at all)! It was an excellent (and short!) read. Many of the points it makes were actually mentioned in the talk but the book is able to go into more detail and helped to put working as an animator/illustrator into perspective. You don't need to be perfect, you just have to let people see how you work and let them into the process of what you're making and why.
You can see a recording of the talk here. And equally as awesome but unfortunately I probably can't link back to it is--Lucy Bellwood hung out after the talk to answer remaining questions! I was left with so many thoughts about realizing my animation/illustration dreams when I left the chat room and hopefully I can begin putting some of those things into practice soon!
Here's a few ideas I went through when trying to figure out what my demon might look like. At first I thought it might be 'Evil Hershey' (one of my cats) because some days he's my nemesis and he likes to stomp all over my artwork with his brother smokey! I realized that I'm really more of my own worst enemy that Hershey is...and he probably just wants a hug anyway.