ICON 5 is the fifth illustration conference held in the U.S., and it’s the first one I’ve attended. Lucky for me (and my bank account), the conference is here in NYC this year. Just a quick trip to Midtown from Queens! Woo Hoo!
The conference has been inspirational of course, and I have to say it’s been reinforcing the direction I’m taking my career and artwork in a big way. After spending the first 14 years working mostly as a freelance designer, I tried to do anything to make clients happy. Which translated in a similar way into my illustration work. Which really meant I no longer enjoy what I am doing because I let people walk over me. I digress, but only to talk about how the sessions I’ve attended at ICON have shown me that I have permission to do what I want to do now. I ‘ve found that looking for work for work’s sake isn’t the way to get happy clients that want to hire you over and over again. Instead I intend to do what I love which is simply expressing myself through art/illustration/design/ whatever it is that I do. To let go of simply selling, and to embrace creation, and giving to current and potential clients.
It is difficult in a way to let go, because I worry about making money, which means making clients happy by giving them what they want. But my clients need to want what I can create for them, and I want to have a partner as an illustrator to work with. I think I can get past my ego, and simply embrace when the ideas come to act on them as quickly and diligently as possible.
I know that I’ve barely nicked the iceberg of what can come through me to bring new form into the world, and it’s pretty exciting to see that possibility.