Thursday, October 24, 2013

All Work and No Play

I haven't written a post in almost two weeks. Normally when that happens it's because I'm insanely busy, but in this case, it's because the stuff I've been working on can't be shared publicly yet. Since June, when I received a grant which enabled me to work on my book full time, I've been putting in long days at my desk. And honestly, the last few months have had their high and lows. I feel privileged and grateful that everyday I get to write and draw and I don't really have a boss to report to (but instead a friendly and supportive publisher.) On the flip side, I'm almost always alone and most of my human connections take place online. In the grand scheme of things, I'm okay with this because I see it as a trade off. When my book comes out in May, I'll have a few very social months while on my little book tour. In conclusion, lots of work now for lots of play later.

Last month while I was at a party (a rare occurrence) I met a writer and we got to talking about our books. Not before long we discovered that we share the same fear. Occasionally, I'll feel doubtful about my work, especially if I haven't seen another human in a while and the food I've been eating is of the frozen variety. My reoccurring daymare (daydream+nightmare) is that I am in fact Jack Nicholson in The Shining and the "genius" book I've been working on is discovered to be nothing more than a mad person's ramblings. I was relieved to learn that this is a common fear and that the best thing to do is to just  keep on working... and maybe make some friends in the city you live in too.

Its actually been tough to keep the book underwraps. One of the main reasons I decided to pursue illustration as my primary career path over a life in the fine arts is because I feel that human relationships, collaboration and community are a big part of it. I like the accessibility of illustration and question a lot of the institutional constructs of what art is supposed to be. This is also why I chose to switch from making art for a gallery- which can only be in one place at one time, to making a book- that can be read by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Connecting with an audience feels very satisfying, like inserting the last piece in a 5000 piece puzzle. As far as my book goes, I'm only about 3,467 pieces in and I should be getting back to work soon.

But after all that, I can't not-share something, so here is a newer Photobooth Portrait* of a booth that is still active in Berlin. (I made it in colour, though the version in the book will be in grayscale.)

copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2013
*The Photobooth Portraits are full page pieces that are drawn in a style that reflects the personality of the booth. These pages standout from the otherwise more comic-like, line based drawings of the rest of the book.

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