Friday, October 28, 2011

100 Thank You's!

Hey guys! Next Friday, I hope to have another awesome interview for you all, but I wanted to get a little personal this week.

Today, it's been 2 full years since I've started this blog. Back then, I was working a dead-end job that demanded more time and energy than I was willing to dedicate to it. While the job itself was surrounded by fantastic co-workers, it had a stranglehold on my dream because of the time and energy it robbed from my schedule. I took the office job because, frankly, I needed money and insurance out of college, because I couldn't find any art-related work.

About a year later, my girlfriend asked if what I was doing really made me happy. That moment, I sort of snapped out of the trance of settling for a job I didn't want. I'm really lucky, because it's an easy sleep to fall into and not wake up from. I decided it was time to start putting my dream ahead of "playing it safe." I wouldn't admit it then, but I partially started this blog to stay motivated and help keep my eye on the prize. I really did want to chronicle the journey for people that came after me with similar dreams, and I hope one or any of you have learned something or benefited from my experiences (see: "Rambling")! However, as I started to say a moment ago, this blog was also an excuse to keep working. I promised to the world, in my first post, that I would become a Star Wars artist. I guess that meant I had to keep working or else I'd be a liar, wouldn't I?

Another year has come and gone, and where I've ended up (and I use the word "ended" very lightly) is still a huge shock. The support I've gained through this blog, DeviantArt,,, Hughes the Force, the Star Wars artists themselves, and of course Topps' Galaxy 6 series has been overwhelming ever since it all started pouring in at once. None of you ever let me feel like I couldn't do this.

Every speed bump has been a learning experience, every failure a new opportunity, and every success a victory I've been privileged to share with you and all of my supporters. I take no credit in my early success as a commercial artist, because it's OUR victory. Every single person that complimented my work, gave an honest critique, commissioned me for work, bought my first self-published art book, or simply told me they believed in me -- NONE of this was possible without each and every one of you. Make no mistake, I'm far from out of the woods. There's still a lot of hardship ahead, but the past two years have armed me with such confidence, determination, and energy that I know I'll make it. While I knew this was the right path for me back in my first post here, 99 posts later I can say "I told you so" with all the confidence in the world...thanks to you all.

So now, in my 100th post on this blog, I'm older and wiser, and the experiences I've been blessed with over the past two years have been nothing short of the best time of my life. I also beg you to follow my example and chase after YOUR passion as if you only had one more day to seize it. Whatever your goals are, however unachievable they may seem, you can do it. If you have to settle on another job, never, EVER, lose sight of your dream. Do what you have to do to keep reminding yourself that it's a temporary situation and you have the power, sometimes over time, to change it. I'm living proof that any idiot can end up where they want to, as long as they work hard, are kind to others, and stay focused on the prize.

I'll close with a tone poem for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, voiced by Liam Neeson's character, Qui-Gon Jinn.

It will be a hard life.
One without reward,
Without remorse,
Without regret.

A Path will be placed before you.
The choice is yours alone.
Do what you think you cannot do.

It will be a hard life.
But you will find out
Who you are.

May the force be with you, my friends -- Always!

- Joe

No comments:

Post a Comment