No Plan B's.

Pen and India Ink study of protagonist from graphic novel.
One of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard- one that hit me right between the eyes- is one that I heard recently. Will Smith said, “There’s no reason to have a Plan B because it detracts from Plan A.” It’s so true. I’ve always had “lots of irons in the fire” but I could never figure out why I wasn’t making any headway into anything. I mean, I was busy, I had a lot going for me… but success just seemed to elude me.

Fear is a big part of it. I was screwed over by people I trusted, and instead of getting up and dusting off, I used excuses and blaming others for not moving forward… when really, it was because I was fearful of being taken advantage again.

For what? Fear may have kept me safe, but it’s also kept me hidden.

I’ve recently tried concurring my fear for many situations. I am finding confidence in my art and writing. Conversely, I am discovering people don’t always want to know how you feel. The price of facing your fears is high, but the benefits are far-reaching… John Steinbeck once said “And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” Fear of loss keeps you from moving forward.

Also, knowing what your Plan A should be is a gift. Not everyone knows what they want to do. “Follow your passions” doesn’t really mean much if your passion is something that isn’t sustainable. I’ve had many passions. I spent much time trying to decide what was the best fit for my life, so I experimented and made many new friends along the way.

Yep. Hard work. Day in, day out. You face it, and you work at it. You work towards it. I used to be so afraid of using the croquill pen. I tried using it when I was starting out, as well as a brush for my inks. The results were a big, gloopy mess. It scared me. I would look at magnificent artists work like Mark Schultz and dream the worlds I could create if I could just master those tools. But daydreaming isn’t enough. So, I finally took my fear head on and practiced. At first, I used ball point pens- innocuous enough. Then moved on to the more fountain type pens. I began to get annoyed with the limitations of those implements, and one day I took out the 10 year old croquill and ink (which was still fresh) and went to town. All those years of working with the ballpoint and fountain pen paid off- and my hand was steady. Now, when I use the croquill, I have a steady hand- and steady hands come from confidence- confidence which came from practice.

It is progressing. I am tidying up the plot, and twisting in some juicy subplots. I want to use a number of realworld props to help me illustrate my world better. One book- “Imaginative Realism” by James Gurney has been a wonderful guide to creating things to use as reference.