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Sunday, 24 November 2013

I Hope

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning."
(Albert Einstein)

I love this quote by Einstein. I have been holding onto hope this month more than ever. The big question for me is "where will all of this passion to illustrate take me?" 

But the more I have pondered on this, the more I try and let it go.
I think the important thing is really not to keep looking too far into the future. Instead it is to grasp what is in front of me right now - that is to LIVE FOR TODAY - and trust and hope that these day to day workings will gather momentum and plant seeds that will sprout so gradually and naturally that I will be standing in a field ready to be reaped before I even know it. 

So what is in front of me today?

Firstly, my studies. I am just months away from graduating. There is still much to be learnt before the end of January. There are connections to be had with my classmates as we inspire each other along. There is a wealth of information to be sought after from my teachers. There is the joy of knowing that as a student I have the right to make mistakes - and fail spectacularly if needed. It's part of the process of learning after all.

Secondly, my work as a drama teacher. Although this work is not illustration based, it is fuel for inspiration and passion. Children need you to be present and awake to reach them. And when you reach them the magic can happen. I recently directed three casts of about 60 kids in each in a musical version of the ugly duckling. Earlier this year I volunteered to create the poster for these performances. On the weekend the last show was played with the final cast. It was when I was doing one of the final runs of the show that I realised I had a group of seven year olds peering over my shoulder with concentration while waiting for their turn to go on. They were pointing at my doodles, which until then I had not noticed were on almost every page. As they waited for their turn to go on stage they excitedly waited for the page of my script to turn so that they could see the next drawing I had absent-mindedly scribbled while nutting out directing notes.

As they smiled and moved closer to inspect my work the words of one of my favourite writers - Ralph Waldo Emerson - suddenly flew before my mind's eye:

"To laugh often and much
to win the respect of intelligent people
and affection of children…..
This is to have succeeded."

The joy on these kids faces was infectious. If kids are loving what I do then I must be on track. After all, if a child doesn't like something - they will tell you! They are the best and most honest of critics.

The show poster I designed for Honk:

So what else is in front of me?

Well, this is the obvious one. My sketchbooks, my pencils, my pens, my Wacom and my computer. The artists tools. Drawing almost everyday is second nature now. I am jumping at chances to take my pencil for a walk on the page. After recently joining Twitter I started to seek out other illustrators across the globe. I found a little fun weekly drawing challenge set by a design agency in the UK - Broccoli Creative Design.  To keep my pencil moving and inspired I have entered a sketch every week called "Saturday Scribbles" based on a set theme for the last month or so. It's been fun to see my work shared and retweeted and to know that oceans away people are engaging with what I love to do.

Here are some of my contributions:

Theme: Moustache

Theme: Bears and Bandages

Theme: Fireworks

Theme: Frost

Soon I will be sending my portfolio out into the world to seek representation from an illustration agency. This is a little bit nerve wracking, but I am feeling that perhaps an agent might point me in the direction of actual paid work. While thinking about my hopes and my dreams I drew this picture (which prints are now available from my Etsy shop I hope - print for sale)

So what are your hopes and dreams for the day? I hope that you have hope in your own hearts.

- Lou

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