Last week I listened to Lisa Congdon’s keynote address at ALT Summit 2015 which took place in January. So happy that this was made available for all to watch on the interwebs. (Yay interwebs!)
// Credit: Lisa Congdon – Words for the Day | No. 57
Lisa is an accomplished artist, illustrator and published author with work in many different facets. It was interesting to hear her talk about being a “late-bloomer”, her humble beginnings (re: painting on her coffee table), and what I hear most from many creatives that I admire, you gotta work damn hard.
In particular, I love her hand lettering. I remember trying this for a drawing that I was doing some time last year. I figure, it should be easy for me to do. I have pretty good writing, I’m a designer, I like to illustrate, I understand “type”. But, I didn’t like what I came up with at all. It was pretty blah. I realize now, that Lisa Congdon, spent a WHOLE year, EVERYDAY practicing her hand lettering. (She committed to hand-lettering a verse everyday for one year, 365 days). It’s about Commitment, Time. Dedication.
// Credit: Lisa Congdon – Book cover for latest book, “Fortune Favors the Brave”.
Something else that she talked about that was along the same lines is that it takes a lot of time, so start now. There’s no such thing as overnight success; there were a lot of bad paintings before there were good ones, so start.
To become a good writer, you must write. To become a good painter, you must paint. To become good at selling your work, you must do the work of putting your work into the world — not once or twice, but over and over and over. Success and opportunity never come to those who sit back and wish things were different. They come to those who do stuff.
Not to confuse the issue, but while doing the stuff (the work, the self promotion, all of it) is really important, I also believe that so are more “woo-woo” things like having positive intentions and envisioning yourself being successful. You must believe it’s possible in order to do the work. Simply envisioning yourself being successful without doing the work will get you nowhere. In the end, having positive intentions and showing up and doing the work go hand in hand.
So this leads me to my next point. I started taking Lilla’s Roger’s MATS bootcamp at the beginning of January, and somehow it crossed my mind that maybe I should think about signing up for the much more intensive 5-week course this month. I thought the bootcamp course would just get my feet wet for the time being this year, and next year, when I have more experience, and more time (??), and the girls are older, I will go for the other courses. But somehow, maybe since it’s been slow with work lately and I have too much time to think, it crossed my mind to consider doing it now and not waiting another 6 months or year. Maybe I’ll need to take it again next year, but I’ve built up some momentum with bootcamp right now so I really want to keep at it. I’m completely freaked out that I’m doing this but as Lisa Congdon says, it takes a lot time, so start now! <Insert nervous face! >