Jillian Tamaki

Prototype for Walking Machine

Feb 23rd, 2011

I haven’t been posting too much sketchbook stuff in here lately. It’s because I’ve been working like a crazyperson trying to finish up some big book illustration projects that hopefully I’ll be able to share soon.

I gave a talk at Parsons last week. There was a theme that kept on coming up (maybe it’s just on my mind): Faith. Not the religious kind, but rather how a life in the Arts demands quite a bit of it. Following a life in the Arts is a leap of Faith ALWAYS. No matter if you tackle the freelance life when you first get out of school, or are transitioning from a day job or whatever. There are no guarantees that your work will connect with anyone, or that you’ll make a living from it. Or, for someone in my position, a little more established, that you’ll be doing this in 40 years’ time. (It’s for this reason that I have infinite respect for those illustrators have been doing this for a lifetime, REGARDLESS of whether I personally like their work or not.)

You can only task yourself with creating good, honest work, because that’s one of the few aspects of all of this one can actually control. In fact, “creating good, honest work” is the meat of it. The life-long labor that is difficult and sometimes not fun, but a mysterious compulsion. The rest of it is a semi-delusional Faith in the Universe that it things will work out; that you’ll be able to feed yourself, shower regularly, take a vacation, not feel the need to stick your head in an oven.