Just a couple of lines, a bit of color and - voilà - a new illustration. It looks so easy and like so little, people wonder why we're paid to do this kind of work. And really, who would call this work?! Your three year old niece, too, draws like Picasso?
Illustrators, everybody knows that, sit or walk around, waiting for inspiration to strike. Otherwise we don't do much. My young students often tell me they can only work at home because they don't feel inspired at school.
And you know what? There are those moments when I just sit down and something strikes me and I create an image or - even better - a series of images that are beautiful and great in absolutely no time and ... and these are the most beautiful moments in my professional life. The most rare moments, too. In the last six years I've had maybe two?
All the rest of the time I sit. And sit. And draw. Erase. Draw. Erase, shred to bits and pieces, draw, erase, pull out all of my hair, howl at the moon...
The rest of the time I throw away most of my work. This version of 'noblesse oblige' is the 5th. I had the idea and battled with it for an entire week (off an on, I always work on more than one piece at a time). It wouldn't work, whatever I tried. By Friday I felt like a complete failure, let me tell you. Telling myself 'what the hell kind of illustrator are you?!'
The answer came by Monday when, with a satisfying 'click' (or a ear-splitting, heart-wrenching howl if you're more dramatically inclined) everything fell into place - and this is the illustration I wanted to show you. All along.
I'm a working Illustrator. I work every day of the week. Otherwise I would forget what I do for a living. Otherwise I would never advance and I would not get better at tweaking ideas to my will and pencil. This is my job and if I waited for inspiration to strike I might be retired by the time I create another good illustration! And what the hell kind of illustrator would I be then?!