On being the Tortoise, On being the Hare...


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I signed up for Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells course and have been exploring various markets and pushing my boundaries on both work but more importantly beliefs and work habits. Last week in class was spent learning about illustrating for the children’s book market. The week started excitedly as I quickly created a ton of tortoises for the assignment to come. It was fun but when the actual assignment came to make a book cover for a famous fable I found myself stuck. The quick doodles and sketches seemed far from enough.

I was suddenly questioning exactly what I wanted to be doing as I moved forward. What should it look like? Did I even really want to do it (always a question when met with challenge)? The week went on and I worked on a sketch or two but knew that even though the drawings and layout and finished piece would be “fine” it would not be representative of me.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon in flight on our way out to Colorado for a week. I suddenly found myself recommitted and ready to roll with an idea that I felt would reflect my work and share my voice that I hope to keep consistent across all markets. I drew for the 4 hours in flight, first some rough sketches, then a finished drawing then a graphite transfer on to some watercolor paper and then stopping (nothing but sharpie markers in flight and I didn’t want to fume to plane out.)

Sunday morning I woke and painted and embellished while my mom prepared brunch and my husband entertained the kids. I scanned and edited while we sat around the living room and visited with friends. I got it done, late for the deadline in hindsight, and wondered about the lessons of it all.

As I reflect on it I keep coming up with on being the tortoise vs being the hare. Slow and steady won that race but I would argue that given another opportunity the hare would kick butt.

Consistency and time invested are key and yet at times so are fast, hard sprints. You need a mix of both to be successful. I definitely have hare tendencies and yet when I look at my interest in some of these markets I am exploring it becomes very apparent that I have a sliver of tortoise in me as well. I have been considering and exploring the possibilities on and off for sometime and continue to find more focus and hopefully get closer to completing the long race.

What’s my point? My point is it doesn’t matter what animal you are? You, at one time or another, in one circumstance or another, will come upon an opportunity to win. I honestly believe this to be true. However, it is only true if you know the race course and you are doing your best to stay on path.

So move slow and steady, move fast and hard, just move! And more importantly than moving even is knowing the path you’re moving on and staying the course.

So here I am, part tortoise, part hare, former blind traveler, currently one finding her way, staying the path or at least learning enough so that I may pave my own.