Alright. I've written this post five times now. I'm not even sure why I've had to, really, as the whole point of this post is to thank a lot of people. That kind of thing is and should be easy. But it's not the thanking part that has me flummoxed, it's all the stuff leading up to it. You know, all the context and background bits where I explain to you, the reader, exactly what I'm thanking these folks for. I have tried hard to be succinct in my explanation, but I've been oddly unable to tidy the mounds of words that have been piling up. Instead, I've repeatedly worked my way into a corner, have pushed the previous wreck aside and started over with a new approach in mind. I tried extreme pruning and cutting things down, but they stopped making sense. I also tried mending more than one version together, but the disparate points of view made for a lot of work in the blending. An interesting exercise if you have the desire to follow through on it, but I do not. So, for a week now, I've been at an impasse.
Then, rather suddenly, I came to the realization this morning that I was over-complicating things and I once again scrapped the most recent iteration so I could write this version. The final version. Or at least what I hope is the final version. In this version, there is no exposition. There is no track laying. There is only thanks, followed by a brief explanation of those thanks. That's it.
So here goes.
Thanks to my friends, my fans, and the fine folks in the Magic community for pummeling me with your support, encouragement, and your very kind words. Thanks for all the emails, messages, handshakes, smiles, and joy. Thanks for reminding me that I'm part of a greater community and that I have value within that community. Thanks to the students and up-and-comers who've shown me how much my work has meant to them. Thanks for the quotes, the movie suggestions, the offers to lend an ear. Thanks for being there, thanks for the propping up, thanks for the love.
Thank you. Thanks you. Thank you.
It's been a long year, and the funk of self-doubt has loomed over every brushstroke and been an unwelcome sidekick for far too long. I see light through the fog now, and many of the folks I've met over the last couple months — not to mention those I already know — have been a huge factor in that. While I don't know that I'll ever be all sunshine and cartwheels (lets face it, I never really have been) I've been feeling noticeably less Eeyorean of late, which is encouraging. It helps, of course, that the days are growing longer, that the tax hoops have almost all been jumped through, and that I've ended up with a hunk of time in my lap to concentrate on a personal piece or two. But the fact is that two decisions I made in an attempt to deal with my dour headspace turned out to be instrumental in getting me out of my rut. The first was the post wherein I came clean about my feelings (link). The second was agreeing to go to three Magic tournaments over the last couple months.
During these appearances, I was thanked an awful lot. As much as I could, I offered my own thanks in return. As I see it, were it not for players, for fans, and for collectors, I simply would not be able to do this for a living. And were it not for my friends, colleagues, and the illustration community as a whole, the endeavor would be a lot harder and infinitely more lonely.
And so I thank you all so very much.
I'll be back tomorrow with some art updates.