So I’ve just had my first real experience with disappointment. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed with someone or something in my entire life, until now. Unfortunately I can’t really talk about it, but I’ll try to give you an idea… I did a TON of work for someone, and they are making money off of said work. And they refuse to pay me.

I don’t think you can image the heartache that goes along with the job of being an illustrator. I won’t harp on it too much, but you have to understand, we are putting our emotions, thoughts and ideas on paper for your use and your enjoyment and with the intention of drawing a response or reaction from you. It’s not necessarily easy to be an illustrator and come up with ideas that reach an audience larger than yourself. And the fact is that nowadays people don’t want to pay for that kind of work, they either don’t want to pay well or just not at all. Why? You think what we’re doing isn’t hard? Or time consuming? Or costly? Or worth paying for? It’s a terrible feeling when you trust someone to utilize your ideas to the best of their ability, and they wind up taking advantage of you in the end.

That’s all I’ll say on that matter. Moving on… Yesterday I had sort of a “revelation”. I realized exactly what all I needed to do in order to start this “career” off right, and truthfully it was overwhelming… terrifying… and kinda fun all at the same time.

I never really got into the blog world much until about a year ago when I started my personal blog, and then I started noticing like EVERYONE had blogs!? Geez! Where have I been!? The great part about having all this blog access is that people are sharing information everyday! Useful information! And recently (since I’ve been at jury duty) I’ve had the chance to sit down and start perusing all those places I thought, “oh that’s cool, I’ll have to come back to this”. And that led me to one blog after another of A-M-A-ZING information… and an overwhelming feeling of not being totally ready when I thought I was! All these artists and agents and resources and so on and so on blogging DAILY about how to become successful, or just BEGIN, or where to start being a licensed illustrator! A LICENSED ILLUSTRATOR, you can’t get any more specific than EXACTLY what I’m trying to do. How have I just never come across this stuff before!? I feel like I’m so behind the times, and yet so trend forward with my ideas ;)

Anyway, yesterday was a bit of a “slap in the face” for me and essentially woke me up to what I’m doing is bigger than me… and bigger than anything else I even realized. I’m not the only illustrator out there trying to make this a living, TONS of others are, and they’ve all put themselves out there the same way I am. They are having or have had the SAME exact problems I’ve had!

So now, I’m back in “duty” and I’m working on gathering lots of information to get myself “ahead of the game” since I wasn’t very caught up until yesterday. If this gives you any idea of the caughtupness I’m speaking of, I’ve never used Google Reader before… Yesterday I added 14 blogs to it… And that doesn’t include the other 10 bookmarks I added to my Bookmarks Bar. I had all those windows up at once too, it was scary. So moving from that, I had a mini panic attack, ate some delicious snacks to distract myself and made a list. A long list. Of everything I needed to do within the next 2 weeks to prepare for my first show as a licensed illustrator.

I’m going to peruse the Atlanta Gift Show on July 16-21 in Atlanta. I’ll [hopefully] have post cards, business cards and a great introduction to make me confident and ready to meet some contacts! I’m nervous, I’m not usually a talker, I’m no sales woman… And I gotta pull it all together to make myself a commodity!

By the show I have to finish up a portfolio [in two weeks yikes], get post cards and business cards printed, finish re-vamping my website, and convince myself that I am good at this. I am I am I am I can do this I can do this I can do this…