Monday, June 4, 2012
Who's Got Your Back?
Malcolm Gladwell talks about the importance of opportunity in the success of the successful in "Outliers". I totally buy into this idea. Example: you grew up on a farm - you have more opportunity of becoming a farmer than someone who grew up in the city. A tall kid growing up in a "basketball family" - probably has more chance of making the NBA than most and so on...
So I had to take a look at my own life to figure out what opportunities I had. The list is too long to mention here but at the top would be my parents. My mom and dad were always very encouraging when it came to my art. You might be thinking, "yeah, what's the big deal?" but I've realized that many kids don't have this kind of support when they want to tackle a non-mainstream career.
But my mom went way beyond support. She was truly excited whenever I showed her what I was working on. She NEVER gave me a critique. She was much smarter than I ever gave her credit - she knew I just wanted acceptance and she was more than willing to pour that all over me. We lost her last year but I can still hear her words of encouragement and see her smile as her genuine enthusiasm shined through. I owe her more than I ever told her - I wish I could now.
My wife Lori also get's a huge piece of the credit pie. What a wife. She's put up with the ups and downs of my non traditional career and learned to ride it with me. Without her support I wouldn't be an illustrator. My kids also give me a lot of love and words of encouragement even though they usually revert back to being boys.
I also have many wonderful friends who also provide me with the support and encouragement I need to feel confident about trying new ventures. Like the I HATE READING! app project. It's a scary thing venturing down a road you've never been on before. The voices of doubt are constantly throwing negative questions in your path to trip you and turn you away from the very thing you set out to do.
So - in order to be successful you need to surround yourself with "can do" types that give you encouragement without tearing you down. The world will do it's best to do that for you. What you need is a posse of people who unconditionally love you and get the fact that you're in it to win it. Self doubt is relentless and needs no sleep but you'll be fine if you have a group that has your back.
Progress: here are some sketches and finished work on the I HATE READING! app.