I learned a lot from the New York trip. Not only did I not want to leave all the bright lights of the city, I had a greater appreciation and understanding of what it takes to live there. The saying is true, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
I think I learned the most from Zelda Devon and Kurt Huggins. They truly explained the ins and out of the business end of illustration. It is no walk in Central Park. (cute joke right?) I loved how honest and straight forward they were. Many illustrators who I have been fortunate to meet, are either currently established in the field or have moved to a more educational position. It’s refreshing to meet someone who is just starting out. It definitely puts everything in perspective and helped me personally to understand more of how that initial first step really works (though it’s really more like 100 little steps to get to the first one). It seems as though many people forget how hard they have struggled to get to where they are. It all seems like a blur until you’re on the other side. The whole thing kind of reminded me of a workout. You need to struggle and work so hard constantly motivating yourself until you reach your goal in which after you’re there you can’t remember how much pain you went through in the workout, just the results. It’s great to see other artists persevering and currently struggling to get an understanding of what it takes and how hard it will be, an art education being the very beginning.
Their visit really resonated with me more than any other visit. It’s nice to meet other people who are involved and excited about working. If it works out, it really is a life to be loved. Seeing other people so passionate, really made me want to do art of my own right then and there. I don’t think there is anything better than that. I think the best influence on me is just other artists. Seeing their work and their own process is what makes me excited to make my own art and if I learned anything, it’s that you just got to figure out what works best for to get to where you want to be.
It also seemed as though the most successful artists had that support of a spouse who was also in the field. I never would have imagined. It seems as though there are so few working illustrators and all of them seemed to be married or dating one another. It’s a great observation though. The people who are doing the best are those who are surrounded by what they love. The ones that are truly immersed in the lifestyle. They also have a strong support and maybe even a slight competitive edge from their partner. You can tell they all loved what they were doing and finding someone you can share that with is really special.
The whole seminar made me so excited to do art. I don’t think there was a single artists I met that didn’t make me want to pick up a pencil or a paint brush…something that I’ll really need if I want to be an illustrator. I think this is a trip that everyone should really experience. It is one thing to learn about it but it is another to actually see it and see it through another’s eyes. I think this was my most valuable class I’ve taken so far and doubt others will be able to top it.