"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." I think it was Confucius who said that.
Confucius is a damn lie.
I love, love, love illustrating children's books. But I'm working hard, hard, hard. I started painting Ron, a picture book for Dutton, this past January. And four months later, I'm down to the final four. The art is due to my publisher by the 25th (I've been granted a week extension.). The last few weeks are always the most stressful.
I feel really good about how the illustrations have turned out. At least today I do. Last week, I was depressed, thinking they were a total failure. They seemed too dark. The color pallet all wrong. The paper texture too rough. I wallowed in self pity, ashamed.
But that all changed. I continued to work them. Fixed problems. Adjusted colors. I shared them with a coworker, an artist who also uses the grasalies under painting technique. He liked the paintings just fine. And in a better lighting situation — the newsroom is better lit than my studio — they look completely different to me. They sing!
The colors are rich. My color pallet works. The paper texture is still a bit too rough for my taste, and the surface way too shiny (a result of glazing), but nothing a final coat of matte varnish won't fix (I'm using alkyds, so I'm hoping it will be OK to varnish immediately).
So I'm happy. Tired, achy, in bad need of next month's Disney vacation. But I'm happy.