The word business derives from a noun form of the word 'busy'. Originally the word's meaning related to anxiety. In the late Middle Ages it started to be used for 'appointed task,' which is the origin of all modern usage.
Illustration and story telling are hard work. Just as caring for the sick, teaching, trading stock, and cleaning up houses are all skilled tasks, I hope that time and hard work will make me better at doing and selling my "appointed task."
I have decided not to mention the "business" of selling, producing or writing art for children on my blog or other parts of my website because I believe I have other interesting things to say. I want to feature my own work on my blog. However, the existence of this website is, as you may have guessed, an attempt at promotion.
My professional goals for 2015:
- Improve anthropomorphic animal drawings
- finish my middle grade novel and begin first cycle of revision
- work on manuscripts for my picture book stories in various states of production
- improve human drawings
- start submitting my alien book
- start revising portfolio for New York Conference
- sketch more
- ....get an axolotl
A short, true parable: a conversation with my grandmother, a stockbroker, and me a 21 year old, soon to be college graduate.
Nana: I do hope you're thinking carefully about what career you are planning to pursue.
Me: (opening up job searching website for first time)…. Well, yes…. I'm…thinking. I don't really care where I work though, as long as I have a job… and I'm not too evil while doing it.
Nana: Well…I don't think that's a very good attitude, but anyway… just remember… you're always selling yourself. That is one of the major things I have taken away from my career. Also, Google only had it's IPO a few years ago, I would say the jury's still out on whether not being evil is an operative strategy.
The statement about selling made me mad. At that moment, I decided that I come from a generation that is privileged not to have to sell themselves. That we can just be.
Unfortunately for me, this conversation took place in the early fall of 2008. Being since then has not always been fun, especially for relatively low skill recent college graduates. I have applied for jobs selling insurance, books, phone plans, Kim Kardashian products, and apartments.
Somewhere in the process of being a dietary aide, file clerk, health insurance assistant, phone interviewer, document technician, document scanner, temp worker and a data entry clerk, I started to draw.
Today I feel fortunate that I have a product, of my own making, to sell.