Saturday, January 8, 2011


2011 has already begun feeling like a hustle, but I'm entirely cool with that. I really believe that those who have a top-kind of recognition in our industry have achieved this by the sheer ferocity of their work ethic. Sure, luck sometimes shows her face and helps out, but for the most part, it's one's push to do better which directly translates into a positive outcome (as long as one's intentions are honest).

I was extremely fortunate as a young illustrator to land an international advertising campaign shortly after school, called Lavalife. This project was divided into more than 9 campaigns spanning about 9 years; the first of which was sold to the client as a complete buyout; which means that I no longer own the rights (copyrights or moral rights) to these particular images. It was both a blessing and a curse because the project truly provided me with a kind of financial freedom I had never known. I might be able to compare it to an expired television series that goes into syndication, in which the actors who are on this program benefit from the royalties of it. This campaign lasted for several years, and although it took only a few weeks worth of work per year to create the drawings, it constituted about one-third of my income, not only from the fee that I received for the new drawings, but also for the reuse of those images in some of the previous campaigns. Nowadays, my work with this client has ceased for the most part, and so has the money. And although I feel a bit pained because my pocket-book feels lighter, I also am a somewhat relieved that a new part of my career is beginning.

I've written in the past about new beginnings, and for a long time I thought that "a new beginning" was that flash moment in time, that denouement in a story where things are suddenly reshaped, but it's not.
Love to believe that life unfolds in this manner, but I don't buy it.

New beginnings occur over a period of time, and for me, I realized over the past few days that I have been in the midst of a beginning for several months now, which will, like any other part of one's studio practice, have setbacks and successes. The idea of embracing the possibility of failure is something that truly frightens me. There's no need to expand on this (and yes, I know, I've written about this before).

Success makes me happy.
Failure makes me sad.
But it's those teachings that rise out of failure --wait, let me digress here, and pull back a bit -- it's the information we discover in those uncomfortable moments within our studio practice that makes us stronger artists. It helps us to think more critically about our work; define our vision and to to clarify, and concretize our vocabulary so that our work can over time, become a style, or signature that a client and our peers recognize.

* The illustration above was drawn for Bloomberg magazine - a portrait of Deepak Chopra and Russell Simmons.

1 comment:

Narco said...

So many insightful statements.

It was really great seeing you today! Thanks so much for all the compliments on Instigatorzine! :)