I had two blogs before this one, but they both went to R.I.P in the electronic forever after. On this one, I wanted to focus on challenging my writing skills. Any challenge is good enough for me. The frequency of regular and creative posting might trigger the mojo inside to squeeze and ooze the good stuff out to smile for the camera. I agree that this last imagery might not be my best metaphor to date but you get the picture. I now consider myself equally an illustrator as much as a writer. But it hadn’t always been the case.
I wanted to share with you what eventually made a difference in my life as for the perception of one’s own abilities. And that sometimes you need an outsider’s heartfelt opinion to realize your own potential, because as we all experienced it at one point in our lives, we are sometimes our own worst judge of character. I can remember the time I was working for a corporate identity company as a drone graphic artist, doing hundreds of adaptations on a theme. You know, the company logos on everything but the kitchen sink type of thing? We had a long time employee move to California (I’m from Montreal) and I volunteered my skills to format a farewell package to send her off to the ever so sunny southern part of the Americas. I was given the reigns to take the direction that would have her send-off, a success. Together with a few photo-shopped funnies of the protagonist in various compromising situations, I concocted a California dreaming cliché package and a farewell praising speech. And , to my surprise they nominated me, the deliverer of that speech.
The problem was, that my skills as a public orator were and still are, to put it bluntly, as effective as a flint on wet wood as a fire starter. I might have to join one of toastmaster’s group someday. I broke down on the first few lines of the delivery and had to delegate the speech, to the dismay of the next poor soul in line. But, what made the difference was that, afterwards, that same person came to me privately and told me, I was in the wrong business (graphic design in this instance). She had tears in her eyes. I didn’t even have to ask her why, I knew intrinsically what she meant and it stirred me to my core. At that point in time, in my life, she made total sense to me without even knowing it. She turned my life on a dime in an instant. I had composed and delivered lyrics for published songs before, but never considered myself a full fledged writer. My art was at the forefront, not my writings. And she turned it upside down right there. It made me question my priorities and my direction. But in the long run, thinking about it now, it equalized everything. Smoothed the whole thing out like peanut butter on hot toast. Both had the right of way in my life, they just had to find their respective spaces. And that’s the day I became an illustrator SLASH writer.