Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Author/Illustrator Dilemma

Being both an illustrator and an author can be frustrating. Those of us who wear both hats have to DOUBLE our efforts for success, and be equally as talented in both arena's. In today's market, there's no room for weakness.
Authors must constantly update blogs, research publishers, spend time critiquing and assisting colleagues, work on promo material, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Illustrators must create new promotional pieces in addition to their current assignments, send out illustration packages and post card updates, seek out publishers for submissions, research visual trends and constantly work at evolving their style.

Individually these jobs are difficult enough, but combined they are nearly impossible to maintain. Those who are singular in their efforts seldom comprehend this dilemma, so quite often, author/illustrators are left feeling isolated from colleagues, and overwhelmed by the weight of expectations.

If you are like me, both an author and an illustrator, there is a new place where you can go to learn, vent, share and feel truly understood. It's called, "Manic-The Author/Illustrator Network" at http://manicnetwork.ning.com/ Our numbers are rapidly growing.

My personal solution is to accept the fact that there will never be enough time to address both the author and illustrator side of me. There will always be an ebb and flow, with one winning out over the other at different points in time. I can not control either of them any more that I can the ups and downs of my personal existence.

The inspiration that ignites them comes in waves, rolling over me until they are spent and a new swell begins.

I may be an illustrator today, but tomorrow, words may arrive that beg me
to lay down my beloved paint brush, and take up my pen.
It's as if they were my children, each wanting to be held
in arms already overflowing, each demanding equal time,
knowing they must be patient and wait their turn.
I sincerely hope that soon, conferences will have Author/Illustrator guest speakers who understand and address the unique problems that exist for those of us crossing over and mixing the lines between writing and illustrating. The publishing industry is showing signs of acceptance, and perhaps even preference towards those who are capable of filling both rolls. It makes sense. One contract is cheaper and easier than two. Communications are easier when there is only one individual to consider, and funding is less complicated when there is only one check to be issued! Hang in there my friends, our day is coming.


Tara said...

I'm glad you've found a place to network. I admire your ability to wear both hats. :]

Anonymous said...

I'm digging that poem and will have to check out that networking site should I ever make the illustrator-AND-author transition myself.

Michelle said...

Beautifully said Lisa!

Kit said...

nice blog, says it all,

Kit Grady