Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying "You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose."
And there's the rub: finding that one thing you want to do, and sticking with it. Having one goal helps you to have the strong focus needed to succeed, and also helps you to define yourself.
For me, that one goal has been newspaper syndication for a long time. That field is changing, howevcr, and the syndicates have been quiet. I've sent material to them and haven't even recieved a reply from some. Doesn't look promising, and it's sad because here I am, a professional, hard working, and dedicated cartoonist who would do everything I can to help me, and my syndicate, succeed in a changing world.
Well, until they come to their senses, I must adapt, and have been. I continue to learn new things, and to improve my artistic skills, and to grow my business. However, that business has had to be very diverse, from cartooning, to publishing, to fine art illustration. Not exactly a singleness of purpose, but fun!
When someone asks what I do, saying I'm a cartoonist usually gets the reply "Cool!". Saying I'm a cartoonist slash illustrator slash publisher usually gets a glazing over of the eyes. And trying to keep your audience with an explanation usually leaves you alone with a drink in your hand, wondering why the guy you were just talking to has suddenly found an extreme interest in the Swedish stewardess across the room.
Still, I am lucky to have a job that I enjoy so much. Or jobs, I should say. And having a job where you are doing something different every day or week can be very stimulating, and very educational, and keeps you from ever getting bored.
If one of my cartoons, or stories, or any creative endeavor ever takes off, then you can be sure that I'll put everything into it. Giving a hundred and ten percent will be the order of the day. Until then, I'll do whatever project has the most audience interest, and the most potential to help me, and my business, grow. Unfortunately, that means I don't get to draw a cartoon every day, or post new material regularly; the stuff you have to do to grow and keep an audience. So my audience comes and goes and comes back again, with a core group who seem to stick with me.
And to those of you who do stick around? A very sound Thank You! I'll continue to do my best to entertain you, and bring a little laughter and art to the world... and put that 110% into all that I do. :0)
A very happy Holiday season to you all, and a marvelous new year to come! JOHN :0)
On my iPod? Andi Starr: the world will follow. Very appropriate music for the person who strives to succeed inchasing their dreams. :0)