Thursday, July 23, 2009

Commissions and Confidence

I picked up another portrait commission yesterday, and it looks set to pay really well. The struggle I always have with commissions is to remember that people are paying to get something I've made, rather than something that I think will please them most. Going into Magma yesterday and looking at the books of the 200 Best Illustrators and the like just added to how intimidated I feel when I think about my drawing.

It's a funny cycle, going into shops like that. There's so much incredible talent in those books, on those postcards and in the cute plushy toys that I get a gnawing sense of dread that by doing this course I'm meant to be operating at an equivalent level to these artists and I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing, or if the course leader made some insane mistake in letting me join the course with such ease.

Then, I see a single drawing that captures something emotional and evocative in a book - sometimes it's a brilliantly complicated and realistic drawing, but more often it's something where you can see the motion of a human hand in its creation. Then, I stop and wonder if I'm being blinded by science when I see the splashy and technically advanced stuff I couldn't replicate without years of photoshop practice and I find myself cooing over a little drawing of a mouse or a fashion illustration of an incredibly thin woman whose body is expressed as two almost straight lines and her eyes carry a story of pain and entanglement.

I guess it's like anything, it's not what you've got, it's how you use it. I'm just hoping that it's not an unrealistic desire to want to attain a standard where my drawing supports and enhances, rather than hinders communication and storytelling. I'm nervous, but it's born of a desire to do what I do better, rather than a desire to be or do something different.

1 comment:

Ash said...

I know what you mean,I think. sometimes it hurts me to read Skin Deep just because some people are SO good, I feel indimidated and fraudulant even saying I'm a tattooist let alone a pretty good one.

Never forget, none of the shitty work that goes all wrong get into the books/magazines. I bet it happens to everyone more than theyu'd like to admit.

You're a good artist, I'm really glad you're getting the chance to make some money out of it. Everyone needs and deserves some money... its worth remembering how much absolutely useless shite there is out there that ppl are happily paying for if you ever feel intimidated by the fees you're gettting. In comparison to THAT, your work is SO FUCKING WORTH IT, by anyone's standards.