So, I think I've decided that this will be my last year teaching. I'm going to do something crazy instead. I think I'm going to quit my job and move to Colorado to give this art thing an actual go.
I have a friend who started their own publishing company and has offered to help me make a book...which is awesome! Except I don't feel I'm ready, skill-wise, for something like that. And I really admire and respect this person and want to do justice to the label, so it needs to be a good effort. Being a published illustrator is something I've always wanted to do, and I'd like to give it a real shot.
As far as the quitting and moving to Colorado thing goes, well, that's something I've always dreamed of. It's basically been my plan from the minute I declared myself an education major to only teach as long as I needed to in order to get debt free and save up money to start a new career. And, well, I think I have come to that moment. As it stands, I have saved up enough these past five years to potentially live off of savings for a year without a job, which would be great and help me to focus on art-making for once. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to have no other distractions or obligations than to my art.
To be realistic, I will probably pick up some part time work while I'm up there so I don't completely suck my bank account dry. But I'm talking 20 hours or less. I really want to spend the majority of my time focused on my skill set. Plein air painting, figure drawing, color theory, sculpture, animation, digital design--these are all things I am looking forward to getting to do in a mountain setting. With any luck, being able to focus for a year on these things will help me hone my skills and give me an actual marketable portfolio.
I have so many PS tutorials and guides saved/bookmarked that I've been dying to find time to do, and always think I'll be able to get to in the summer after school, but summers aren't enough. Between travel and seeing friends and family that I neglect throughout the school year I rarely have time to relax and just draw. Even this past summer I really only ended up with a few weeks of down time, as evidenced by my sudden posting and then lack of posting in July. Teaching starts gearing back up at the beginning of August and then it's two weeks of room set up and training then BAM suddenly the kids are back and it starts all over. I'm sick of this routine.
I've been given the ability to do this financially so I feel like I need to give it a whirl. Worst comes to worst, I can always go back to teaching and at least I can say I tried. My nightmare is waking up 40, still teaching at this same school, and regretting never putting myself out there and giving this crazy idea a shot. I know my family and friends will be there to catch me if I fall and I am *eternally* grateful to them. I am seriously so very, very blessed. I thank God for the people He's put in my life and the way He's helped me along the way to this point. I'm going to trust in Him and follow this plan through to whatever end, I think.
This also means I'll be opening up for commissions again soon. One of my biggest regrets is letting go of the great online community I used to be a part of and I'd like to ease myself back into the swing of this, if I can. Drift is just the first, tentative step back into that. And I really am still working on it, it's just slow going with the script now that school's begun again. But I have hope now and, possibly, a fire lit beneath me to see this project through. My goal is to have the first page up by the end of 2014. I've already got the first 5 or so pages sketched out, just need to blow them up and get going.
Sorry, that was all kinds of ranty, but I've been bursting to share this news for a couple of weeks now. If you read all of that, thanks. You get a dragon! *hands you leash*