Monday, August 9, 2010

on my desk monday

This is a painting I am doing for my friend (and amazing illustrator/author) Dan Santat's Eyewitness Auction to benefit 826LA. It's a great charity and I'm glad to be a part of it but I have to admit that participating in it has been a bit of a lesson for me.

Because this is my 2nd painting for it. My first one I painted hurriedly while in the midst of writing my first draft of "Dumpling Days." And it was bad. Really bad. But I just couldn't paint anything of quality while consumed by first draft concentration as well as schedule (I was already a month late). But it was such a great cause that I wanted to help with that I threw my subpar painting into an envelope and mailed it out.

But it gnawed at me. I realized it wasn't even that the charity deserved more (though that would've been a more selfless reason), it was a point of personal pride. I was embarrassed to think that people would see my name on that piece of artwork. As the days passed, it bothered me more and more and finally I asked Dan if he could withdraw my piece. Which he did quite graciously.

So, as soon as my first draft was finished (and after I bought my cherry sheets) I got to work on a new one. I'm glad to say I'm much happier with this one. It's not my greatest work (unfortunately. the subject matter of chaos & destruction is not my forte) but I am not ashamed of it and I'm proud it's a part of the project.

However, this was a learning experience for me. I love creating art for good causes, it's something I will always feel strongly about. But, I've also realized that I need to be able to do it right. I have to be able to devote the time to it or else it's better to decline. People have asked me if I ever plan to revive Robert's Snowflakes and while there are many parts of me that want to, I realize that all of me has to be dedicated for it to happen. And, right now, there are parts of me that want to do other things instead.