Warning: Rant approaching…
I’ll probably get lambasted for being mean after this but really, what on earth are these people thinking? The ones that send me their portfolios of ‘illustrations’ – in hope, nay expectation, of some professional paid work on our books – with samples that look like this:
Oh, come on. Really? You think someone should pay you money for those, do you? And kids are going to just love them, right?
Okay, so they’d be perfect for the book we’re doing for the blind children, yes… but otherwise, look, I’m sure your parents tell you how talented you are and that’s great, they love you, however I’m here to tell you that you are not talented. Not at drawing, anyway. So please, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stop wasting my time and yours and find what it is that you genuinely are good at, because illustration sure as hell ain’t it.
It is an insult to all the people who spend years working hard to hone a natural talent with constant practice to submit crap like that.
But you like drawing? Fine, wonderful, by all means keep drawing if it pleases you. Just don’t confuse that pleasure with either the talent or the ability to make a living at it – even the pros struggle with that and the groundless assumption that everyone is artistically gifted, if only they could get their big break, just makes it even harder for the real artists to thrive. There’s no respect for the magic of art anymore, we’ve deconstructed it so far that any muppet with a felt-tip thinks they can do it just as well as anyone else.
And before you chastise me for being an art nazi, wanting to prevent people from expressing themselves creatively or exploring the visual arts, I’m not. I’m all for that. I wish more people did it – I’m sure the world would be a much healthier, more zen place if we did. You don’t have to be Van Gogh to produce lovely work that pleases you and others. Its just when people don’t see the insult to the professional artists with whom they brazenly equate themselves that it rankles.
Maybe its because, unlike medicine or accountancy or plumbing, people draw as a hobby. And then they assume they can do it as a profession. I mean, how often do ER departments get emails from people saying “I really enjoyed stitching up my son’s arm the other day when he fell out of the tree, and I also love wiping up vomit, prescribing drugs and sticking needles into people, so I’d like you to hire me as a doctor please.”