Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Public Promise

Hello there. I'd like to introduce myself.

My name's Joe Hogan, and I'm a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Long story short, I want more than anything in the world to be an official Star Wars illustrator and/or cartoonist.

So why should anyone care? Why would I make something like this public? Some background on me, if you can stay awake for it:

Star Wars has been a central part of my life. I actually hate when people ask me why I'm so crazy about it. This is simply because it's so interwoven in my very being that I can't give a straight answer!

I never bothered anybody, and mostly kept to myself and my sketchbooks on the playground. However, that didn't stop be from getting bullied from 1st to 3rd grade. Being the shortest kid in the class (that includes the girls) makes you a target in the eyes of classmates. Finally, the day came that I decided to study martial arts.

Suddenly the scrawny little target wasn't so introverted. I gained self-confidence that remains with me to this day. I went on to study martial arts
for the better part of a decade, and the lessons I've learned mirror those of Star Wars to the letter. Finally, the day came to choose what I wanted to go to school for. My love for Star Wars only grew as I learned just how much truth was in the films. While I didn't want to be a martial artist as a profession, two of my passions jumped out at me. Star Wars, and drawing. Drawing and Star Wars had ALWAYS been there for me! It was then I applied to the School of Visual Arts.

Art school is tough. You go from being the top artist in your high school, to the least talented schlub in the whole campus. I had to work twice as hard as anybody else -- just to catch up on what they already knew! There were a LOT of times where I felt like I couldn't lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. But there was that little voice in the back of my head. DO. OR DO NOT.

I graduated with a portfolio I was extremely proud of. With high hopes, I finished SVA...but never quite got my feet off the ground. The stress of having no health insurance forced me to take a job in advertising, at an office 1.5 hours away. That's 3 hours a day of commuting, with 9 am - 6 pm office hours!

While it hasn't been the worst experience of my life, it made me realize just how skewed my path has gotten. I've settled for something I didn't want. It isn't my dream to do this for a living.

Star Wars is about growing up. It's about taking your first steps into a larger world, and leaving the farm. That's what I'm doing today. I hear the voice. DO. OR DO NOT. Well, I'm gonna go with the former.

I'm starting this blog with a promise to myself and to everyone. I WILL be a Star Wars artist one day. It probably won't be tonight, and it probably won't be tomorrow either, but I'll kick and scream and take every step I have to take to improve until my dream becomes a reality. I'll be documenting my journey from start to finish here, and I hope to entertain any followers I may pick up along the way!

So, here it is. The ol' DeviantArt gallery. You can find my current Star Wars art in a nice little folder on the left side of the page.

I hope you join me on this sure-to-be-bumpy ride. Whether or not you do, though, I hope the force is with us all!