Alright guys. Here it is- my piece for the semi-final round of Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. Whew. When I opened the assignment the day I found out I had made the top fifty, there was a big "wah, wah, wah" playing in the back of my head. You see, the assignment was children's art. Ok, that's fine. I don't do a ton of children's work, but the kicker? Create an animal character with human characteristics. Yeah. I wasn't exactly feeling like this was going to be in my wheelhouse. No backing out now though.
So I did what I do with any project I have that I don't immediately resonate with: I stashed it away in the back of my head to let it marinate for a few days. Some people might call this procrastination. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. But I've found over the years that if I immediately jump into something that isn't normally my jam, it's going to be time wasted. It's like trying to shove a size 8 foot into a size 6 shoe. You end up frustrated, sore, and the shoe still doesn't fit. I guess you could say, it's a way for me to ease into something that would otherwise be an uncomfortable, frustration driven process.
I knew this would leave me with just a few days to get my piece in for the deadline (we only had one week to create) but I was fine with that. I've been creatively raised on a diet of short deadlines and fast turnarounds.
I'm not going to go into detail about why or how I was inspired for my piece, I'll just tell you my intentions as I set out: 1) same as round one- to create a piece that was uniquely me and that I would be excited and proud to send out to manufacturers. 2) To create a mini collection along with my piece to show off my strength at fleshing out a whole range of products, illustrations and patterns.
So yeah, based on that, I'm feeling pretty good. AND I totally surprised myself in the process. I never would have made an animal character if not for this competition, and guess what? It was a blast. I can't wait to make more AND I can't wait to make a couple friends to coordinate with our little bear friend here. (He totally needs friends, right?!)
And now, I have one teensy, weensy favor to ask of all of you. Out of the 50 semi-finalist, 5 will be chosen by the judges to move onto the next round. And one lucky artist will also be put through as the people's choice award. If you love my piece, I would love it if you could pop on over to the gallery and vote for me to move on to the next round. It's been a thrilling ride so far, and I would love to continue on, and of course I would love to win the big prize: representation by Lilla Rogers Studio. It seems surreal even typing that! Years and years ago when I was working as an art director on seasonal campaigns for Target, her artists were always my go to resources. I marveled at the roster of talent. Not in a MILLION years, in my wildest imagination, would I A) even think about having a career as an artist or illustrator myself, and B) be in contention to be represented by Lilla herself. Yep. It's kind of a big deal. And I'm kind of pinching myself just a little bit.